Student Review: Gender and Sexuality: Sociological Approaches

May 26, 2011

Authors: Momin Rahman and Stevi Jackson

Edition: First

Publisher: Polity Press

Pages: 200

Price: £50.00 and £15.99

ISBN 9780745633763 and 3770

Here, Momin Rahman and Stevi Jackson engage with many of the concepts and debates surrounding gender and sexuality, and the links between them, in an accessible and engaging manner.

The book is a practical guide for newcomers to these subject areas, as well as readers who are already engaged with, and cognisant of, the debates and arguments under focus.

Sociocultural and political constructions, deconstructions, perceptions of and responses to aspects of gender and sexuality are examined and critiqued, enabling the milieu in which these terms and ensuing issues are embedded to be pragmatically deconstructed and discussed. Subsequently, many of the multifaceted issues within, against and upon which the complexities of gender and sexuality reside are explicated.

However, the authors could have diversified in order to further account for variations in sexualities and gender identities. Their engagement with gender diversity might be considered problematic at times, particularly if read by someone uninitiated in the issues and considerations surrounding transphobia and genderism, which may be experienced by gender-diverse individuals. Greater attention to a wider range of gender-diverse identities would benefit both the reader and the book overall.

Additionally, terminologies regarding trans and gender diversity at times lack clarity and cohesion. Not only would further in-text definitions be beneficial, and in some instances essential, but the provision of a glossary would also aid readers, particularly in relation to trans terminologies.

Overall, this book provides an important and informative contribution to the field of gender and sexuality studies. The authors guide the reader through each of the book's subcomponents in a manner that enables these to work well as stand-alone segments, as well as cohesive parts of the overall book. Moreover, the presentation of learning outcomes and resources for further study at the end of sections are useful, as are the suggested points of consideration and tasks within the chapters.

Who is it for? Undergraduate newcomers to the subject area, as well as undergraduates and graduates already engaged with the field.

Presentation: Accessible and informative.

Would you recommend it? Yes, both as an introductory tool and as contextual reading for readers who already possess some knowledge on the issues under focus. However, some issues lack the necessary detail and critique to provide uninitiated readers with a truly comprehensive introduction.

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