Gender, Health, and Globalization
(Not to be offered in 2022 – 23)

Course Description

Ming and Mohammed are traveling to the UAE to gain access to reproductive technologies that they cannot obtain in their home countries. Aki travels to Israel to receive a kidney transplant, bypassing the long waitlist for organ transplants in Japan. These are just two examples of the immeasurable ways in which gender, health, and globalization interact.

This course explores the issues of new reproductive technologies, reproductive tourism, organ transplants, organ tourism, and legal and ethical debates to highlight the linkages of globalization, gender and health, and to examine the impact globalization has on women and men’s health around the globe. Globalization is also a cultural process whereby symbols, meanings, structures, and practices that both enable and constrain human thoughts, bodies, and actions circulate unevenly around the globe. Gender, masculinity and femininity, are inherently unstable categories which are produced and reproduced, and increasingly shaped and remolded by the force of globalization. The notions and treatments of health are also gendered and unstable, and the processes of globalization interact actively with shifting perceptions of bodies, health, and illnesses, creating new opportunities and dangerous disparities.

Through readings, class discussions, and other exercises, students will explore a) issues of reproductive and organ tourism, b) bioethical theories on reproduction and organ transplants, and c) globalized health issues, services, and utilization by gender. This course will challenge students to consider the three keywords from a variety of intellectual perspectives and engage more deeply with the increasingly globalized world today.