What is ‘queer’? Queer can be an insult, an identity, a theory, a political stance. Queer studies emerged out of the sexual activist politics of the 1980s and brought an angry, playful, challenging approach to everything ‘normal’, particularly to established ideas about gender and sexuality. This module aims to introduce students to, or enhance their existing knowledge of what ‘queer’ is and does. We think about the benefits and limitations of queer to key sociological concerns.
By the end of the module students should have an understanding of:
• The history of queer as a scholarly and political approach, including its (contested) relationship to sociology
• What might be meant by queer method and how, when and why such methods might be deployed in sociological contexts
• The challenges, rewards and potential problems of queer approaches in relation to a range of sociological themes and real-life concerns.
The module addresses the question ‘what does taking a queer approach tell us about … ?’ by exploring different areas, including: queer history and activism; bodies and embodiments; identities; dis/ability; sex/ualities; race and nation; institutions such as education and family; time and space.