The Gender, Sexuality, and Society (GSS) master track explores the significance of gender and sexuality in contemporary societies. This means we conduct theoretical investigations in which gender and sexuality are put firmly on the sociological agenda as crucial categories of analysis in accounting for social reality. It also means we explore themes such as the global crisis of care, homonationalism, non-heteronormative sexualities, and the rise of #metoo movements. We study gender and sexuality in their entanglement with class and race and other critical dimensions of power and inequality.
Gender and sexuality are at the core of many pressing national and global debates and challenges. Think of global gendered and sexualized divisions of labor and the crisis of care, sex work, attacks on reproductive health care and the question of reproductive justice, the cultural or civilizational battles played out on the bodies of (Muslim) women, the hypersexualization of some – notably Black – bodies over others, the rights and recognition of transgender and intersex people, new developments within porn, world-wide “anti-gender ideology” mobilizations, sexual violence, new forms of toxic masculinity, the gender and sexuality agendas of white nationalist mobilizations, how poverty and precarity is gendered, fierce debates on identity politics, and so on.
The GSS master track equips students with the analytical concepts and tools to make sense of such predicaments and debates. Our programme initiates students into a longstanding tradition of critical thinking, in which gender and sexuality are understood as both social, political, and cultural formations as well as analytical categories – always already intersecting with class and race and other social relations of power. We also teach students to translate critical epistemologies and analytical categories into solid and rigorous empirical research on the topic they are passionate about. This master track, in other words, trains students to be knowledgeable, sharp, and keen observers and analysts of the workings of power, the processes of in- and exclusion, and the production of difference and in/equality in this complex world.
Some of our students are passionate about a particular question or topic in the field of gender or sexuality, be it reproductive justice or LGBT rights. Other students are keen on understanding social relations of power in a more in-depth and intersectional way, expand the class-based analyses that ground sociological analysis. Others still desire to pursue questions about the connections between power and knowledge, and develop their interest in feminist, queer, and critical epistemologies. The GSS programme caters to these various profiles and points of departure, and provides students with the bodies of knowledge, conceptual tool kits, and methodological know-how they need to pursue their research projects.
The programme is theory-driven, problem oriented, and interdisciplinary, linking critical social scientific concepts and theory to applied research. The programme provides students with a solid theoretical, conceptual, and methodological foundation for the theoretical and empirical study of social, political, and cultural issues where gender and/or sexuality are explicitly or implicitly at stake.
The University of Amsterdam has accumulated a great amount of interdisciplinary expertise in the field of gender and sexuality, through an academic staff who is engaged in international academic debates within the field as well as within public sociology in the Netherlands, and well-connected to international and national network of experts, specialized libraries, and archives. The programme is reinforced by the Chair in Sociology of Gender and Sexuality and enriched by the activities of the Research Centre for Gender and Sexuality (ARC-GS).
For students interested in this field of study, we also offer a two-year Research Master’s programme in Social Sciences.
This Master's programme Sociology: Gender, Sexuality and Society is an academic partner of the following institutes:
Gender, Sexuality and Society is a track of the accredited degree programme Sociology. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in Sociology and the title Master of Science (MSc).
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