Gender, Law and Legal Culture

Course content

The aim of this course is to study the interrelationship between gender, law & legal culture. Addressing issues of gender underlines the importance of status in the contemporary world as it is reflected in community norms and state and international law, as well as in traditions and religions which stress the importance of gender and sexuality.  Addressing the concept and understanding of legal cultures underlines a context different from the state – such as in intimate relations, spiritual communities or in economic relations such as the (often gender segregated) workplace and the market. This interrelationship also indicates the importance of a broader understanding of legal knowledge. The course seeks to increase the awareness of intersections between gender and culture in contemporary legal practices, and to research how both meet and cooperate, compete and change in these processes. We will seek to improve the understanding of normative forces beyond state law and of their relevance and impact on both individuals and groups and the different and overlapping contexts they operate within. Gender is one of the most important status relations in any culture and society, and modern values of equality and freedom has not put an end to this importance. In the Nordic countries “Women’s Law” has emerged as a field of study over the last 3 decades – to some extent due to the Nordic welfare state and legal culture. Globally we have during the last decade witnessed a growing interest for studies in masculinity, which must also be expected to have consequences for understandings of law and legal culture.


This course addresses many areas of legal  and broader cultural practice where considerations of gender are typically omitted as traditionally  taught in legal education, including newer 21st century concerns. These include reflections on, among others:

  • the role of authority and institutions on gendering legal decisions,
  • the notion of gendered criminality,
  • the influence on linguistic choices on judgments,
  • the role of new technology and digital life on law and gender,
  • gender minorities and the law,
  • the legal responses to inter-generational responsibility, climate change and gender,
  • the gendered family and work place,
  • gender, law, culture and religion,
  • gender and asylum
  • gender and trans-national legal culture, post-colonialism, globalisation, and international law.


The course aims to arm students with a point of view to not envision ‘gender’ as a buzzword but as a social practice with legal effects. In this way it looks to develop young lawyers to not just consider gender as a side note, but as an avenue to approach the law and produce adequate and empowered institutions.

Learning outcome

The objective of the course is to enable the students to:

  • Understand and explain the legal and normative significance of the concept of gender and of gendered status
  • Understand and explain the significance and importance of the concept of legal culture in its relation to gender
  • Discuss the importance, impact and changing understandings of these concepts and their relations in a contemporary (both local and regional especially European) context
  • Identify situations and relations where gender and gendered status influences legal cultures and formal state law
  • Analyze complex problems related to the interrelationship between gendered status and legal cultures


The course will be highly interactive and students will be encouraged to participate in all forms allowing for constant feedback and adaptation to students’ needs. Communicate and formulate arguments professionally and linguistically correct in a way that is sufficiently structured and suitably coherent to be convincing

Student presentations (individual & in groups); midterm papers (preferably groups); contributions to discussion during classes. Students will also participate in judgment and brief writing encouraging lateral thinking and legal argumentation. Students are expected to read the texts and participate actively in class. The classes will supplement the readings and deepen the knowledge of gender dynamics in law.

Required book: Srinivasan, Amia. The right to sex. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2022


All other materials for the class will be based upon a mixture of theoretical and practical texts related to the above topics. A list of literature will be provided and uploaded for students.


It is illegal to share digital textbooks with each other without permission from the copyright holder.

Good command of English reading and writing

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Home assignment
Type of assessment details
Individual written assignment

Read about the descriptions of the individual exam forms, including formal requirements, scope and deadlines in the exam catalogue

Read about practical exam conditions at KUnet

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period

Hand-in date: January 15, 2025


Hand-in date: February 19, 2025

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 356,5
  • Seminar
  • 56
  • English
  • 412,5


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice
Please see timetable for teaching time
Contracting department
  • Law
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator
  • Jacob Livingston Slosser   (13-6e656773663277707377776976446e7976326f7932686f)
Saved on the 30-04-2024

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students