This course serves as an introduction to Gender Studies from both sociological and cultural studies perspectives. We'll use social science texts and theory as well as a focus on visual culture, media, and pop culture to explore the construction of gender and the pervasiveness of gender as a way of structuring social life and cultural representation. The class will emphasize how the social constructs of race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect to legitimize power and privilege for women and men in the United States. Although we will look at global perspectives on gender, the focus will be on the U.S. and the last forty years. The topics we will cover may include biological arguments about gender and sexuality; the cultural construction of gender in different societies; the psychology of sex roles; the ways gender shapes families, workplaces, and other social institutions; and cultural representations of gender. We will survey the variety of theories available to us to explain social inequalities, and examine the roles of individuals and institutions in creating, maintaining, and challenging them. Paying attention to the tension as well as convergence between transgender, queer, and feminist perspectives, we will consider how these different communities may engage with each other and build productive alliances.