Science and Social Difference

Science and Social Difference

Project Director: Rebecca Jordan-Young

This working group considered 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) released controversial new policies on who can compete in women's events. These policies, which were meant to ensure that competitors are both "female" and "feminine enough" to compete with other women athletes, provided 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. This project's broader goal was 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.