Identity and Difference

Sidewalk sandwich board advertises the next dance performance at 12:30 by the Naa Kahidi Dancers, located in Sitka, Alaska.

Native performance in Sitka, Alaska, 2010. (Photo by Jean Jackson. Used with permission.)


MIT Course Number

21A.101J / WGS.170J / (formerly 21A.218J)

As Taught In

Spring 2010



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course explores how identities, whether of individuals or groups, are produced, maintained, and transformed. Students will be introduced to various theoretical perspectives that deal with identity formation, including constructions of "the normal." We will explore the utility of these perspectives for understanding identity components such as gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, language, social class, and bodily difference. By semester's end students will understand better how an individual can be at once cause and consequence of society, a unique agent of social action as well as a social product.

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Related Content

Jean Jackson. 21A.101J Identity and Difference. Spring 2010. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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