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Gender, Sex and Society in Twentieth Century Britain


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor: Julia Laite
  • Assessment: two essays of 2500 words and a three-hour examination.

Module description

Why are we so preoccupied with sexuality and intimacy? Why is sexual imagery so pervasive and acceptable in Anglo-American culture? Is this just the natural consequence of the freedoms, economic and social, that we associate with modernity and consumerism, or does it represent something deeper that is amenable to historical and theoretical analysis? Does this process have something to say about power, authority and its relationship to selfhood? How should we analyse it? This course addresses these and other questions via the history of 20th century Britain. Specifically, it explores the links between intimate life, identity, politics, society, power and the state. It will also try and provide some theoretical pathways through the thicket of argument. Each subject will be approached via primary sources.