Course Code


Course Name



Wednesday 1:30-4:15pm


WMY 406



Teaching Assistant


Course Description

This course takes an anthropological perspective to debate on a general human category, gender, in the context of contemporary Chinese society. Through this approach the course will show how the notion of gender is largely a sociocultural product. The anthropological approach helps us contemplate taken for granted beliefs regarding gender and sexuality. Gender politics in essence address difference and inequality. Reflecting upon how gender became a category of analysis for anthropologists, we bring to the fore the relationship between culture and power. Students will explore material, economic, political, and sociocultural factors that underpin such processes of construction. This course will start from introducing core concerns, arguments, and approaches related to gender and sexuality in China. After the introductory sessions, we will focus, week by week, on common (or controversial) gender and sexual issues we encounter in our daily lives. Students are encouraged to examine their own gender identities and beliefs critically; to not only understand how our gender assumptions are shaped but also to develop one’s own gender statement.

Course Outline

Detailed Course Outline is available on Blackboard.

Week 1: What is Gender, and Why do We Study Gender?: An Anthropological Approach to Gender and Sexuality

Week 2: Performing Chinese Femininities

Week 3: The Hybridity and Pluralism of Contemporary Chinese Masculinities

Week 4: No class

Week 5: Gender and the Chinese State

Week 6: Gender, Marriage, Power and Resistance

Week 7: Empowerment or New Forms of Exploitation?: Gendered Mobility in Contemporary China

Week 8: Presentation Day

Week 9: Gender, Class and Work

Week 10: Gender, Eating and Cooking

Week 11: Gender, Aging and Caregiving

Week 12: No Class

Week 13: Gender, Body and Consumption

Week 14: Romancing and Queering the Cyberspace: Gender and the Charm of “Beautiful Men”

Week 15: Individual Consultation Sessions

Assessment & Assignments

Attendance and participation (15%)

Discussion facilitation (20%)

Presentation and Reflection Paper (15%+20%)

Research Paper (30%)

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.