Gender in Popular Culture

Unit code: ACW2026 | Study level: Undergraduate
(One credit point is usually equivalent to one hour of study per week)
Footscray Park
Online Real Time


This unit explores gendered constructions of femininities and masculinities through popular cultural practices by investigating themes of representation in a variety of old and new textual forms, including film, television, streaming sites, video games, social media, performance, art and even radio and books.

The unit critically considers the implications of popular culture in construction of gendered selves. It offers a reflective gaze in illustrating and understanding processes of objectification and sexualisation in the context of contemporary popular representation. Gender in popular culture introduces students to the limitations of gendered narratives in popular culture with a focus upon the field of cultural studies.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Investigate theories of gender representation, sexualisation and objectification in popular culture;
  2. Critically review a variety of ‘texts’ through a gender lens;
  3. Interpret through the creation of a media product, gendered constructions of femininities and masculinities; and
  4. Critically reflect on debates around gender in popular cultural practices.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Poster
Grade: 20%
Illustrate a body silhouette reflecting through a gender lens popular culture influences with a short explanation.
Assessment type: Journal
Grade: 30%
Post and respond in a blog format throughout the unit illustrating and reflecting upon learning.
Assessment type: Exercise
Grade: 15%
Respond to a set of questions on the field trip
Assessment type: Project
Grade: 35%
Demonstrate social research skills in semi-structured interviewing through the creation of a podcast interview on gender and popular culture.

Required reading

This unit utilises a range of essential texts relevant to the unit. These can be located on VU Collaborate.

As part of a course

This unit is not a compulsorily taken as part of any specific course. Depending on the course you study, this unit may be taken as an elective.

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