Recent book-length introductions to gender and/or feminism

Note: Also see other introductions and overviews here. The books Feminism, by Hannam, and Reclaiming the F Word, by Redfern and Aune, are particularly accessible introductions.


Anderson, Kristin J. (2015). Modern Misogyny: Anti-Feminism in a Post-Feminist Era. Oxford University Press.

Banyard, Kat. (2010). The Equality Illusion: The Truth About Women and Men Today.

Beasley, Chris. (2005). Gender & Sexuality: Critical theories, critical thinkers. London: Sage.

Cameron, Deborah. (2018). Feminism. University of Chicago Press.

Campbell, Beatrix. (2014). End of Equality: The Only Way is Women’s Liberation. University of Chicago Press.

Caro, Jane, and Catherine Fox. (2008). The F Word: How we learned to swear by feminism. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.

Connell, R.W. (2002). Gender. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Connell, Raewyn, and Rebecca Pearse. (2015). Gender: in world perspective. (Third edition of Gender).

David, M. E. (2016). Reclaiming Feminism: Challenging Everyday Misogyny. Policy Press.

DeFrancisco, Victoria Pruin, and Catherine Helen Palczewski. (eds.). (2007). Communicating Gender Diversity: A Critical Approach. Sage.
Part I: Foundations.
1. Developing a Critical Gender/Sex Lens.
2. Alternative Approaches to Understanding Gender/Sex.
3. Gendered/Sexed Voices.
4. Gendered/Sexed Bodies.
5. Gendered/Sexed Language.
Part II: Institutions.
6. Introduction to Gender in Social Institutions.
7. Family.
8. Education.
9. Work.
10. Religion.
11. Media.
12. One Last Look Through a Critical Gendered Lens

Finlayson, Lorna. (2016). An Introduction to Feminism. Cambridge University Press.

Gottfried, H. (ed.) (1996). Feminism and Social Change: Bridging theory and practice. University of Illinois Press.

Hannam, June. (2006). Feminism. Routledge.

Holmes, Mary. (2007). What is Gender? Sociological Approaches. Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore: Sage.
Introduction to the sociology of gender
How different are women and men?
Is gender something that we do?
How can gender best be explained?
Is gender about bodies?
What are the politics of gender?
How is gender intertwined with class?
How is gender intertwined with ‘race’?
Conclusion: So what is gender?

Jackson, Stevi, and Sue Scott. (eds). (2001). Gender: A Sociological Reader. Routledge.

Kenschaft, Lori, Roger Clark, and Desiree Ciambrone. (2016). Gender Inequality in Our Changing World: A Comparative Approach. Routledge.
1. Introduction: What Is Gender? Section I. Four Core Issues 2. Work and Its Rewards 3. Families as the Crucible of Gender Inequality 4. Gender and Violence 5. The Control of Sexuality Section II. Consequences 6. Life and Death Matters: Consequences of Inequality Section III. Continuity and Change 7. Learning and Performing Gender in School 8. Gender, Power, and Politics 9. Religion and Gender Inequality 10. Displaying and Constructing Gender in the Media 11. Acting Out Gender on the Sports Field Section IV. Looking Towards the Future 12. Conclusion: Possible Futures of Gender Inequality

Kimmel, Michael S. (2000). The Gendered Society. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press
2. Ordained by Nature: Biology Constructs the Sexes.
3. Spanning the World: Cross-cultural Constructions of Gender.
4. ‘So, That Explains It’: Psychological Perspectives on Gender Development.
5. Inequality and Difference: The Social Construction of Gender Relations.
6. The Gendered Family.
7. The Gendered Classroom.
8. The Gendered Workplace.
9. Gendered Intimacies: Friendship and Love.
10. Gendered Sexualities.
11. The Gender of Violence.
Epilogue: A Degendered Society?.

Kindersley, (2019). The Feminism Book.

Kiraly, Miranda, and Meagan Tyler (eds.). (2015). Freedom Fallacy: The Limits Of Liberal Feminism. Connor Court Publishing.
INTRODUCTION — Miranda Kiraly and Meagan Tyler
Not your father’s Playboy , not your mother’s feminist movement: feminism in porn culture —Rebecca Whisnant
‘I do what I want, fuck yeah!’: moving beyond ‘a woman’s choice’ — Meghan Murphy
Depoliticising the personal: individualising body image and disordered eating in The Beauty Myth — Natalie Jovanovski
Questioning ‘choice’ and ‘agency’ in the mail-order bride industry — Kaye Quek
Feminism and the neoliberal state — Margaret Thornton
The illusion of progress: a betrayal of women from both ends of the political spectrum — Miranda Kiraly
The making of women’s unfreedom: sexual harassment as harm — Helen Pringle
Entitled to be free: exposing the limits of choice — Shakira Hussein and Camille Nurka
‘We love make-up, romance, high heels and men, of course’: the contradictions of ‘pop feminism’ — Kate Farhall
Business as usual, rebranded as ethics: the whitewashing of systemic injustice — Laura McNally
A line line between pleasure and pain? On the issue of ‘choosing’ sexual violence — Laura Tarzia
A human right to prostitute others?: Amnesty International and the privileging of the male orgasm — Caroline Norma
If pornography is sex education, what does it teach? — Meghan Donevan
The oppression that dare not speak its name? Silences around heterosexuality in contemporary feminism — Julia Long
Political not generational: getting real about the second wave — Finn Mackay
Abuse masked as a ‘cultural practice’: speaking out against female genital mutilation — Naela Rose
For the sake of equality: moving towards the Nordic Model of prostitution law in Canada — Teresa Edwards
Saying ‘I don’t’: moving beyond marriage — Meagan Tyler
Building feminism, resisting porn culture: where to from here? — Rebecca Whisnan.

Launius, Christie, and Holly Hassel. (2015). Threshold Concepts in Women’s and Gender Studies: Ways of Seeing, Thinking, and Knowing. Routledge. Includes:
1. Introduction 2. The Social Construction of Gender 3. Privilege and Oppression 4. Intersectionality 5. Feminist Praxis.

Leavy, Patricia, and Anne Harris. (2018). Contemporary Feminist Research: from Theory to Practice. The Guilford Press.

Lips, Hilary. (2013). Gender: The Basics. Routledge.

Mackay, Finn. (2015). Radical Feminism: Feminist activism in movement. London: Palgrave.

Mann, Susan A. (2012). Doing Feminist Theory: From modernity to postmodernity. New York: Oxford.

Marinucci, Mimi. (2015). Feminism is Queer: The Intimate Connection between Queer and Feminist Theory. Zed Books.

Mikkola, Mari. (2017). Feminist Perspectives on Sex and Gender. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =

O’Brien, Jodi, and Arlene Stein. (eds.). (2018). Gender, Sexuality, and Intimacy: A Contexts Reader. Sage.

Orr, Catherine M., Ann Braithwaite, and Diane Lichtenstein. (eds.) (2012). Rethinking Women’s and Gender Studies. Routledge.
Preface Acknowledgements INTRODUCTION: Why Rethink: Critical Genealogies in the Discipline Part 1: Foundational Assumptions Section Introduction 1. Feminism, Layli Maparyan 2.Interdisciplinarity, Diane Lichtenstein 3. Methods, Katherine Side 4. Pedagogy, Susanne Luhmann 5. Points to Ponder Part 2: Ubiquitous Descriptions Section Introduction 6. Activism, Catherine M. Orr 6. Waves, Astrid Henry 7. Besiegement, Alison Piepmeier 8. Community, Martha McCaughey Points to Ponder Part 3: Epistemologies Rethought Section Introduction 9. Intersectionality, Vivian May 10. Identity (Politics), Scott Morgensen 11. Queer, Jennifer Purvis Points to Ponder Part 4: Silences and Disavowals Section Introduction 12. Discipline, Ann Braithwaite 13.History, Wendy Kolmar 14. Secularity, Karlyn Crowley 15. Sexuality, Merri Lisa Johnson Points to Ponder Part 5: Establishment Challenges Section Introduction 15. Trans, Bobby Noble 16. Institutionalization, Aimee Carrillo-Rowe 17. Transnational, Laura Parisi Points to Ponder CONCLUSION: Continuing the Conversation.

Ray, Raka, Jennifer Carlson, and Abigail Andrews. (eds.). (2018). The Social Life of Gender. Sage.
Introduction: Conceptualizing Gender1: Power (Abigail Andrews)2: Position (Abigail Andrews)3: Representation (Jennifer Carlson)4: Practice (Jennifer Carlson)5: Gendering Sexuality (Oluwakemi M. Balogun & Kimberly Kay Hoang)
6: Gendering Crime and Justice (Jennifer Carlson)7: Gendering Social Reproduction (Dawn Dow & Katherine Mason)8: Gendering Exploitation (Abigail Andrews and Raka Ray)9: Politicizing Gender (Gowri Vijayakumar and Katherine Maich)10: Decolonizing Gender (Raka Ray).

Redfern, Catherine, and Kristin Aune. (2010). Reclaiming the F Word: The new feminist movement. London: Zed Books.

Richardson, Diane, and Victoria Robinson. (2008). Introducing Gender and Women’s Studies. Third Edition. Palgrave Macmillan.

Ryle, Robyn. (2014). Questioning Gender: A Sociological Exploration. 2ed, Sage.
Part I. What Are the Important Questions to Ask About Gender?
1. What is gender and why should we care about it? Introducing Gender
2. What’s the ‘sociology’ in the sociology of gender? Understanding Sociology and Gender
3. How do disciplines outside of sociology study gender? Some Additional Theoretical Approaches
Part II. How Are Our Lives Filled With Gender?
4. How do we learn gender? Gender and Socialization
5. How does gender matter for who we want and desire? The Gender of Sexuality
6. How does gender impact the people you spend your time with? The Gender of Friendship and Dating
7. How does gender matter for how we think about our bodies? The Gender of Bodies and Health
Part III. How Is Gender an Important Part of the Way Our Society Works?
8. How does gender impact the people we live our lives with? The Gender of Marriage and Families
9. How does gender affect the type of work we do and the rewards we receive for our work? The Gender of Work
10. How does gender affect what you watch, what you read, and what you play? The Gender of Media and Popular Culture
11. How does gender help determine who has power and who doesn’t? The Gender of Politics and Power.

Ryle, Robyn. (2017). Questioning Gender: A Sociological Exploration. Sage, Third Edition.
1 What Is Gender and Why Should We Care About It? Introducing Gender2 What’s the ‘Sociology’ in the Sociology of Gender? Understanding Sociology and Gender3 How Do Disciplines Outside Sociology Study Gender? Some Additional Theoretical ApproachesPART II HOW ARE OUR LIVES FILLED WITH GENDER?4 How Do We Learn Gender? Gender and Socialization5 How Does Gender Matter for Whom We Want and Desire? The Gender of Sexuality
6 How Does Gender Impact the People You Spend Your Time With? The Gender of Friendship and Dating7 How Does Gender Matter for How We Think About Our Bodies? The Gender of Bodies and HealthPART III HOW IS GENDER AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE WAY OUR SOCIETY WORKS?8 How Does Gender Impact the People We Live Our Lives With? The Gender of Marriage and Families9 How Does Gender Affect the Type of Work We Do and the Rewards We Receive for Our Work? The Gender of Work10 How Does Gender Affect What You Watch, What You Read, and What You Play? The Gender of Media and Popular Culture11 How Does Gender Help Determine Who Has Power and Who Doesn’t? The Gender of Politics and Power.

Salem Press. (2011). Gender Roles & Equality. Pasadena: Salem Press.

Shaw, Ines. (2008). The Collective Pursuit of Gender Equality Around the World: An Introduction. Kendall/Hunt.

Smith, Bonnie G. (2013). Women’s Studies: The Basics. Routledge.

Tarrant, Shira (ed.) (2015). Gender, Sex, and Politics: In the Streets and Between the Sheets in the 21st Century. Routledge.

Taylor, Verta, Nancy Whittier, and Leila J. Rupp. (2019). Feminist Frontiers. 10th edition, Rowman & Littlefield.Tong, Rosemarie. (2009). Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction. 3rd edition. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

Wendt, Sarah, and Nicole Moulding. (eds.). (2016). Contemporary Feminisms in Social Work Practice. Routledge.

Wharton, Amy S. (2004). The Sociology of Gender: An introduction to theory and research. Malden, MA: Blackwell.