Gender Studies

‘Gender studies’ is an umbrella term for an academic field that uses gendered, feminist, queer, and transgender perspectives to critically interrogate and describe the social and material world with a view to generating greater equality. The perspectives drawn upon are related to the subfields of gender studies: women’s studies, Black women’s studies, men’s studies, queer studies, and sometimes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies. Each of these subfields has emerged historically, initiated by those who felt that there were significant differences of experience and injustice that were not yet being captured. This entry provides an overview of gender studies, including its origins, international and national contexts, contemporary status, and its challenges to core institutional values.


Many felt that the middle-class White women who initiated women’s studies ...

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