Science and Social Difference

Social Difference

This working group will consider a series of linked questions about the social, cultural, and scientific nature of the sexed and raced body. The governing bodies for international sporting competitions (such as the International Olympic Committee) have released controversial new policies on who can compete in women's events.  These policies, which are meant to ensure that competitors are both "female" and "feminine enough" to compete with other women athletes, provide an excellent focal point for exploring how an entangled and intersectional view of sex, gender, and other social formations might be relevant to contemporary matters of science and social policy. Our broader goal is to use the specific focus on sex-testing of elite athletes as a lab for considering larger questions related to social difference and the intersections of scientific and sociocultural perspectives on the sexed and raced body.