Chapter 11: "Baby, you werent born that way": Teaching sociological perspectives on identities
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This chapter is a guide for sociology instructors interested in teaching an entire course, or specific units, on sociological approaches to the topic of identity. In this chapter, I argue that there are three key sociological insights on the topic that students should understand by the end of the course: (1) all identity-making is a social process, (2) all identities are relational, and (3) identities are produced within systems of power and inequality. In this chapter, I explain what each of these themes means by providing specific examples. I also suggest materials and strategies for achieving these learning outcomes that I have successfully utilized in a special topics course called “Sociology of Identity,” survey courses on gender and sexuality, and “Introduction to Sociology” courses.

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