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The Kaleidoscope of Gender

The Kaleidoscope of Gender
Prisms, Patterns, and Possibilities

Sixth Edition
Edited by:

March 2019 | 616 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The authors are proud sponsors of the 2020 SAGE Keith Roberts Teaching Innovations Award—enabling graduate students and early career faculty to attend the annual ASA pre-conference teaching and learning workshop.

The Kaleidoscope of Gender: Prisms, Patterns, and Possibilities provides an accessible, timely, and stimulating overview of the cutting-edge literature and theoretical frameworks in sociology and related fields in order to understand the social construction of gender. The kaleidoscope metaphor and its three themes—prisms, patterns, and possibilities—unify topic areas throughout the book. By focusing on the prisms through which gender is shaped, the patterns which gender takes, and the possibilities for social change, the reader gains a deeper understanding of ourselves and our relationships with others, both locally and globally. 

Editors Catherine Valentine, Mary Nell Trautner, and the work of Joan Spade, focus on the paradigms and approaches to gender studies that are constantly changing and evolving.  The Sixth Edition includes incorporation of increased emphasis on global perspectives, updated contemporary social movements, such as #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo, and an updated focus on gendered violence.

Free online resources are available at The SAGE Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. This site is intended to provide you with an array of multimedia resources to enhance your studies of gender and sexuality.


Part I: Prisms
Catherine G. Valentine
Chapter 1: The Prism Of Gender
Reading 1. Gender as a Social Structure: Theory Wrestling With Activism

Barbara J. Risman
Reading 2. What It Means to Be Gendered Me

Betsy Lucal
Reading 3. Reflecting on Intersex: 25 Years of Activism, Mobilization, and Change

Georgiann Davis and Sharon Preves
Reading 4. “I Don’t Like Passing as a Straight Woman”: Queer Negotiations of Identity and Social Group Membership

Carla A. Pfeffer
Reading 5. Masculinities in Global Perspective: Hegemony, Contestation, and Changing Structures of Power

Raewyn Connell
Reading 6. Multiple Genders Among Native Americans

Serena Nanda
Catherine G. Valentine with Joan Z. Spade
Chapter 2: The Interaction Of Gender With Other Socially Constructed Prisms
Reading 7. Intersectionality: A Transformative Paradigm in Feminist Theory and Social Justice

Bonnie Thornton Dill and Marla H. Kohlman
Reading 8. On Violence, Intersectionality and Transversal Politics

Patricia Hill Collins
Reading 9. Asian American Women and Racialized Femininities: “Doing” Gender Across Cultural Worlds

Karen D. Pyke and Denise L. Johnson
Reading 10. Protecting Caste Livelihoods on the Western Coast of India: An Intersectional Analysis of Udupi’s Fisherwomen

Kaveri Thara
Reading 11. Intersectionality in a Transnational World

Bandana Purkayastha
Catherine G. Valentine
Chapter 3: Gender And The Prism Of Culture
Reading 12. “It’s Only a Penis”: Rape, Feminism, and Difference

Christine Helliwell
Reading 13. Conceptualizing Thai Genderscapes: Transformation and Continuity in the Thai Sex/Gender System

Dredge Byung’chu Käng
Reading 14. Nocturnal Queers: Rent Boys’ Masculinity in Istanbul

Cenk Özbay
Reading 15. Native American Men-Women, Lesbians, Two-Spirits: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives

Sabine Lang
Reading 16. Gender and Power

Maria Alexandra Lepowsky
Part II: Patterns
Mary Nell Trautner with Joan Z. Spade
Chapter 4: Learning And Doing Gender
Reading 17. The Gender Binary Meets the Gender-Variant Child: Parents’ Negotiations with Childhood Gender Variance

Elizabeth P. Rahilly
Reading 18. Athletes in the Pool, Girls and Boys on Deck: The Contextual Construction of Gender in Coed Youth Swimming

Michela Musto
Reading 19. Gender in Twentieth-Century Children’s Books: Patterns of Disparity in Titles and Central Characters

Janice McCabe, Emily Fairchild, Liz Grauerholz, Bernice A. Pescosolido, and Daniel Tope
Reading 20. “Cowboy Up!”: Non-Hegemonic Representations of Masculinity in Children’s Television Programming

Kristen Myers
Reading 21. What Gender Is Science?

Maria Charles
Mary Nell Trautner and Catherine G. Valentine
Chapter 5: Buying And Selling Gender
Reading 22. The Pink Dragon Is Female: Halloween Costumes and Gender Markers

Adie Nelson
Reading 23. Marketing Manhood in a “Post-Feminist” Age

Kristen Barber and Tristan Bridges
Reading 24. Carrying Guns, Contesting Gender

Jennifer Dawn Carlson
Reading 25. Performing Third World Poverty: Racialized Femininities in Sex Work

Kimberly Hoang
Reading 26. Firming the Floppy Penis: Age, Class, and Gender Relations in the Lives of Old Men

Toni Calasanti and Neal King
Catherine G. Valentine
Chapter 6: Tracing Gender’s Mark On Bodies, Sexualities, And Emotions
Reading 27. Embodied Inequality: The Experience of Domestic Work in Urban Ecuador

Erynn Masi de Casanova
Reading 28. Individual Bodies, Collective State Interests: The Case of Israeli Combat Soldiers

Orna Sasson-Levy
Reading 29. “Freedom to” and “Freedom from”: A New Vision for Sex-Positive Politics

Breanne Fahs
Reading 30. “I Like the Way You Move”: Theorizing Fat, Black and Sexy

Courtney J. Patterson-Faye
Reading 31. “Malu”: Coloring Shame and Shaming the Color of Beauty in Transnational Indonesia

L. Ayu Saraswati
Mary Nell Trautner with Joan Z. Spade
Chapter 7: Gender At Work
Reading 32. Inequality Regimes: Gender, Class, and Race in Organizations

Joan Acker
Reading 33. Gendered Organizations in the New Economy

Christine L. Williams, Chandra Muller, and Kristine Kilanski
Reading 34. Racializing the Glass Escalator: Reconsidering Men’s Experiences With Women’s Work

Adia Harvey Wingfield
Reading 35. Embracing, Passing, Revealing, and the Ideal Worker Image: How People Navigate Expected and Experienced Professional Identities

Erin Reid
Reading 36. Just One of the Guys?: How Transmen Make Gender Visible at Work

Kristen Schilt
Reading 37. (Un)Changing Institutions: Work, Family, and Gender in the New Economy

Amy S. Wharton
Mary Nell Trautner with Joan Z. Spade
Chapter 8: Gender In Intimate Relationships
Reading 38. Negotiating Courtship: Reconciling Egalitarian Ideals with Traditional Gender Norms

Ellen Lamont
Reading 39. Straight Girls Kissing

Leila J. Rupp and Verta Taylor
Reading 40. Privileging the Bromance: A Critical Appraisal of Romantic and Bromantic Relationships

Stefan Robinson, Adam White, and Eric Anderson
Reading 41. The Deadly Challenges of Raising African American Boys: Navigating the Controlling Image of the “Thug”

Dawn Marie Dow
Reading 42. When Dad Stays Home Too: Paternity Leave, Gender, and Parenting

Erin M. Rehel
Reading 43. Mothers, Fathers, and “Mathers”: Negotiating a Lesbian Co-Parental Identity

Irene Padavic and Jonniann Butterfield
Catherine G. Valentine with Joan Z. Spade
Chapter 9: Enforcing Gender
Reading 44. Gendered Sexuality in Young Adulthood: Double Binds and Flawed Options

Laura Hamilton and Elizabeth A. Armstrong
Reading 45. Digitizing Rape Culture: Online Sexual Violence and the Power of the Digital Photograph

Alexa Dodge
Reading 46. Gender-Based Violence Against Men and Boys in Darfur: The Gender–Genocide Nexus

Gabrielle Ferrales, Hollie Nyseth Brehm, and Suzy McElrath
Reading 47. Gendered Homophobia and the Contradictions of Workplace Discrimination for Women in the Building Trades

Amy M. Denissen and Abigail C. Saguy
Reading 48. “Who’s the Slut, Who’s the Whore?”: Street Harassment in the Workplace Among Female Sex Workers in New Zealand

Lynzi Armstrong
Reading 49. Punctuating Accountability: How Discursive Aggression Regulates Transgender People

Stef M. Shuster
Part III: Possibilities
Catherine G. Valentine
Chapter 10: Nothing Is Forever
Reading 50. Roundtable: Reproductive Technologies and Reproductive Justice

Laura Briggs, Faye Ginsburg, Elena R. Gutierrez, Rosalind Petchesky, Rayna Rapp, Andrea Smith, and Chikako Takeshita
Reading 51. #FemFuture: Online Revolution

Courtney E. Martin and Vanessa Valenti
Reading 52. Making a Choice or Taking a Stand? Choice Feminism, Political Engagement and the Contemporary Feminist Movement

Rachel Thwaites
Reading 53. Ask a Feminist: A Conversation With Cathy J. Cohen on Black Lives Matter, Feminism, and Contemporary Activism

Cathy J. Cohen and Sarah J. Jackson
Reading 54. Forks in the Road of Men’s Gender Politics: Men’s Rights vs. Feminist Allies

Michael A. Messner
About the Editors

Kaleidoscope of Gender provides groundbreaking research by leading scholars in the field with diverse expertise, knowledge, and academic training. The book has a great selection of readings that an instructor can choose from. The layout of the book is also helpful for novice/new instructors who have never taught a gender class.”

Hortencia Jimenez
Hartnell College

“A good selection of contextual chapters and readings that provides an overview of current and cutting edge research on gender studies from an interdisciplinary perspective.”

Pamela McMullin-Messier
Central Washington University

not given the course to teach

Dr Jesse Clark
Sociology Dept, Univ Of N Carolina-Greensboro
July 25, 2020
Key features


  • New readings that include data from India, Darfur, the U.K., and New Zealand, and incorporation of global perspectives makes international students feel recognized, and gives domestic students ways to think about—and tools to change—the world at global as well as local levels.
  • Updated contemporary social movements of gender, including Black Lives Matter and #MeToo offers students relevant challenges and changes of the contemporary world that they are participating in.
  • Updated focus on gendered violence, including street harassment and online rape culture, touches on a significant contemporary social issue of interest to many students.
  • A focus on intersectionality, with readings highlighting gender, class, race, sexuality, and age, help students understand the organization of power in society and see the applicability of theories and concepts to different groups in society.
  • Updated chapter introductions that incorporate new data, including on wages and household arrangements in the U.S., share the latest data and trends with students to accurately describe the current state of wages and gender relationships.


  • The “kaleidoscope” metaphor helps students understand the complex and dynamic meanings and practices of gender—especially as it interacts with other social prisms to create patterns of identities and relationships.  
  • The authors’ introduction provides an overview of key theories in the field, particularly theories based on a social-constructionist perspective.  
  • Articles by top scholars in the field challenge students to question how gender shapes their daily lives.  
  • Chapter introductions contextualize the literature in each part of the book, introduce the readings, and illustrate how they relate to analyses of gender.  
  • Questions to consider at the beginning of each reading help students focus on key points as they read.  
  • Topics for Further Examination at the end of each chapter encourage students to take their understanding beyond the book.

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