Day # 1: Answer two of these two-hour questions



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Comprehensive Examination in Gender

November 2014
Committee members: Gloria González-López (Chair), Sharmila Rudrappa, and

Deb Umberson


DAY # 1: Answer two of these two-hour questions
1. Adrienne Rich called for feminist scholars to study how compulsory heterosexuality is crucial to the maintenance of gender inequality. In your essay, (a) Outline her argument, and explain, (b) Was Rich’s intervention successful? Why? (c) How did feminist scholarship take up the institution of heterosexuality in understanding gender inequality?
2. A great deal of feminist scholarship has shown how gender inequality is often maintained and reproduced through interactional/relational processes. In your essay, answer these questions: (a) How is gender inequality perpetuated through interactions? (b) What are the limitations of the gender-as-relational perspective in fully understanding gender inequality?
3. Various scholars, notably Rod Ferguson, have developed a queer of color critique of American sociology. In your essay, outline the queer of color critique of sociology, explaining how it converges and diverges from scholarship by feminists of color.
4. Third World feminists argue that conventional understandings of gender are narrow because they almost always build from the experiences of middle class, white women. Apply that critique to two of the four areas in the sociology of gender: (a) Sexuality; (b) Reproductive rights; (c) Labor; (d) Family.
5. Sociologists who study sexuality and gender have expanded our understanding of sexuality and social inequality in critical ways. In your essay, (a) Outline a genealogy of sociology of sexuality and gender, identify the main concepts and paradigms, and key proponents; (b) Explain how and why empirical research and theorizing on race and class have complicated these paradigms; and, (c) Incorporate a discussion of queer theory and LGBTQ studies and they ways in which they have expanded these contributions. Discuss your present or future research as a reflection of this analysis.


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