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Body, intimacy and sexuality



18:30 - 21:20


1st semester

Lecture venue
Lecture time
Offer semester
  • How do you think of your body? Where do you start when you think about your own body? To what degree do you have control of your body, or is it subject to the production of the multi-faceted social, cultural and political processes? Our body is not simply what we have and what we do things with and to – because we are bodies. What is the role of body in intimacy, is it physical or emotional or sexual? Who and how are we supposed to do intimacy with? How about sexuality? How should we make sense and live our lives with respect to people of different genders, sexualities, classes, ethnicities, ages, and bodies? This course is an investigation of the social processes and practices in constructing our understanding, management and expression of our bodies, intimacies, and sexualities. We draw upon theories and studies in sociology, cultural studies and queer studies with special attention to East Asian societies.

    Besides learning from theoretical approaches and debates about body, intimacy and sexuality, students will be able to reflect on their own lived experience and connect personal narratives to cultural analysis through an autoethnographic project and other class discussions.

  • On completing the course, students should be able to:

    1. Understand key theoretical concepts and debates in the field of sexualities and sociology of the body.

    2. Analyse the role of civil society and government on the regulation of bodies, intimacies and sexualities.

    3. Reflect on their own narratives and construction of bodies, intimacies and sexualities.

    4. Gain critical tools in conducting ethnographic research on bodies, intimacies and sexualities in contemporary social life.

  • Tasks


    Participation and class discussion


    Readings presentation (group work)


    Project presentation (group work)


    Autoethnographic essay


    Research essay


  • Malacrida, C. & J. Low eds. 2016. Sociology of the Body: A Reader (2/e). Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press.

    McLelland, M. & V. Mackie eds. 2015. Routledge Handbook of Sexuality Studies in East Asia. London: Routledge.

Course co-ordinator and teachers
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