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Gender studies

Gender studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines power relations, inequality, resource allocation and norms in society. The starting point is that gender plays a role for societal structure and for the conditions and opportunities of individuals.

In order to understand how power relations are maintained and how society changes, we need to examine our surrounding world from a gender studies perspective, for instance, cultural manifestations, societal institutions, politics, knowledge production, media, the organising of work, and family constellations – locally and globally, in our time as well as historically.

Gender studies is based on feminist theories that have been developed during the last few decades. Even though gender as societal structure and power relations between women and are central, we must also understand how gender interact with other factors like, for instance, sexuality, ethnicity, age, and class.

To our help, we have methods, theories and concepts from a number of different fields and disciplines like, for instance, ethnology, history, comparative literature, political science, biology, philosophy, social anthropology, law, and sociology. In this way, gender studies transcend disciplinary boundaries and raise questions about the links between power and knowledge.

Gender studies is one of three subjects at the department of social studies. The other two are peace and development studies and sociology.


At Linnaeus University you can study gender studies as single-subject courses on campus and at a distance as well as within the frame of degree programmes. Through your studies in gender studies, you will become familiar with a broad spectrum of specialisations within societal and cultural theory with focus on complex power relations, from scientific feminist theory to queer theory and postcolonial studies. You will also acquire tools that help you examine scientific publications and investigations.

During your studies, you will learn how to carry out studies within gender studies through the collection and analysis of empirical data. We attach great importance to practicing and developing writing and presentation skills.

Competence in gender studies, preferably in combination with other university subject areas, is in great demand within many sectors on the labour market. The ability to analyse and critically review activities and information is in demand in the public sector as well as in organisations and the trade and industry.

Research in gender studies

Within the interdisciplinary field of gender studies, research is carried out on power relations, inequality and norms based on both societal theory and cultural theory perspectives.

Questions being studied by researchers linked to the subject include religion and family relations, masculinity and nationalism, gender and femininity creation within sports, inclusive design based on transtheoretical perspectives, and work relations and equality policy in the Global South.