Sex, Work and Reproduction (609L5)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

On this module, you will explore the links between sex, work and reproduction in contemporary society. While ‘work’ is often seen as a separate (public) sphere from reproduction (private), this module insists on integrating the two.

Taking its cues from feminist and social reproduction theory, you will interrogate the complex network of social processes and human relations that produce the need for work, the conditions of sex, and ‘desirable’ reproduction. The module explores how gender, race and class are intertwined with these processes.

While Marxist theory has traditionally had a monopoly on questions of work and social reproduction, the module takes a more eclectic approach, and asks whether it adequately accounts for gender and race oppression as structurally relational to and shaped by capitalism, rather than simply on the margins of analysis or add-ons to class-based analysis.

Themes that will be explored include:

  • sex work
  • desire and dating
  • abortion
  • domestic labour
  • trans pregnancy
  • queering parenting
  • intimate violence.

Connecting these themes is an interest in exploring the mental, physical and emotional work involved in life under capitalism.

The module takes an interdisciplinary approach and is intended to appeal to a wide range of students from across the humanities and social sciences, including:

  • sociology
  • criminology
  • politics
  • philosophy
  • psychology
  • media and film
  • English literature.


100%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.