Spring 2022 - SA 365 D100

Selected Regional Areas (A) (4)

Gender and Intimacy in China

Class Number: 2796

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 10 – Apr 11, 2022: Wed, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Yuan Wei
    Office Hours: We 13:30-14:30 via Zoom
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



An examination of selected aspects of the social structure, culture and the processes of social change in varying regional areas. The focus will vary from semester to semester.


Gender, Intimacy, (Re)production, and Social Changes in the People’s Republic of China

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has undergone dramatic social and political changes since its establishment in 1949. In this course, we will study the country’s radical transformation from the Maoist/collective era (1949-1978) to the post-Maoist era (1978-now) through the lens of gender, intimacy, and (re)production. The course is divided into two parts. In the first five weeks, after a brief review of the social revolutions on women and family before 1949, we will move on to study the socialist state-led reforms and campaigns around family, women, and work during the Maoist/collective era. Starting from the sixth week, we will examine the contemporary social practices around intimacy, desire, reproduction, and child-rearing, the governance of gendered subjects and population, and the emergence of social activism tackling new forms of inequality and injustice. Throughout the course, we will read academic articles from the disciplines of history, sociology, anthropology, and gender & sexuality studies and learn about different approaches in studying gender relationship, intimate life, state-building, governance, and historical (dis)continuity.


  • Understand social and political changes around gender relationship, intimate life, and (re)production in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) since 1949.
  • Approach desire, sexuality, and reproduction not only as people’s private matter, but also social formations that are closely related to state-building, governance, and political struggles; Approach PRC state and society not as homogenous entities but intertwining spaces full of contentions, conflicts, and changes.
  • Learn about theories and methodologies in historical, social, and political studies on gender relationship, intimate life, state-building, and governance; Develop skills of reading legal, policy, and media texts that can help us understand social changes.


  • Active participation and attendance 15%
  • Class presentation (15-20 mins), 1-page notes, and discussion facilitation (25-30 mins) 20%
  • Midterm paper (1500 words) 25%
  • Course project: ideal proposal (200-300 words) and final research essay (3000-3500 words) 40%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T20.01), and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10‐S10.05). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style. It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

The Sociology and Anthropology Student Union, SASU, is a governing body of students who are engaged with the department and want to build the SA community. Get involved!  Follow Facebook and Instagram pages or visit our website.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.