Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit aims to develop students' critical skills in cultural analysis, particularly around the historical and structural relations of power as they operate through gender and sexuality, race and class, in contemporary life and popular culture. As such, the unit questions the ways bodies and sexualities are positioned in the 'spaces' of contemporary Western culture. It is interested in everyday practices as sites of potential subversion or maintenance of the status quo, and so draws on accessible cultural media like television, cinema and the internet, sites like the home, shops and workplace, as well as popular understandings of technology, advertising and politics as 'texts' that we can read. These spaces are examined as historical and cultural artefacts which have an investment in particular kinds of bodies inhabiting them. It investigates the ways bodies and institutions use space to configure identity in particular ways—some spaces (like shopping centres or car racing) are tightly scripted while others (like online communications or theatre) may offer sites of resistance that recognise cultural and corporeal diversity. Vision and sight are emphasised, so that sites of cultural reproduction can be visibly linked (e.g. the decentralisation of shopping to suburban malls which are reliant on clothing factories in India; the relations between online technologies and women's factory compounds in China). While the unit is grounded in these examples, it provides a range of current theoretical material to prompt thinking and debate around everyday practices through which we perform and negotiate gendered identities in a globalised economy.

The unit addresses a number of questions: How can we unsettle normative gender categories, and why do we want to? How can the practices of everyday life affect how we 'do' gender? What can we do about structural inequalities that affect us as ethical subjects in a globalised economy? This is an elective unit in Arts that is a highly attractive broadening unit to students in all other degrees.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) identify the continuing relevance of gender as a category of analysis in contemporary Western culture; (2) summarise and critically engage with a range of current theoretical positions interested in the representation and reproduction of gender as a critical social category; (3) apply theoretical concepts to examples of everyday practices and cultural texts; (4) analyse and evaluate the construction of gender, race and class in a range of cultural media; (5) explain and employ pivotal terms and concepts to do with embodiment, subjectivity, agency, normativity and institutional authority in readings of a range of media and events; (6) develop a sustainable research topic, undertake mid-level research and competently apply research in a coherent, engaging and appropriate written form; and (7) articulate critical ideas in both oral and written forms, and also evaluate such work.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial participation; (2) field report; and (3) research essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Alison Bartlett
Unit rules
any Level 1 Arts unit
WOMN2201 Sex Bodies Spaces: Gender in Pop Culture
Contact hours
2–3 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.