Soziale Welt : SozW ; Zeitschrift für sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung und Praxis
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For many, "Gender Studies" has become a label for a huge field, comprising women's studies, men's studies and all investigations into their differences and relations. Understood in that way 'gender studies' would be the name of any science that regards human beings under the aspect of their sex. The article pleads for a more specific notion of gender studies as an enter prise investigating the distinction between the sexes instead of using the distinction for research (like women's and men's studies do). Gender studies in this sense get its contour through dealing with three 'margins' of gender: 1. those gender trouble makers which gave rise to the category of 'gender' in clinical research in the 60s, and who are still vital resources for theoretical innovation in the humanities; 2. the phenomenon of gender indifference which has to be taken seriously both as feature of modern societies and as a clue to understanding sexual discrimination as an unexpected re-enactment of gender; 3. the contributions of 'sex studies' in the life-sciences which have to be observed by gender studies in a science studies manner, and which have to be taken seriously as intellectual competitors, not opponents. In sum, gender studies should be regarded as 'social studies of sexual difference' aiming at a culturalist decomposition of the reifications 'man' and 'woman'.
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