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SOC 603- Lecture 1.docx

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SOC 603
Pamela Sugiman

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SOC 603: Lecture 1 Conceptualizing Gender: Sex & Gender What is Gender? Male or female? • Are these indicators reliable? • To what extent do we rely on biological features alone? • Gender cues are socially learned - How they dress, hair, facial hair, etc - Lipstick is a cue • Signifiers: taken for granted - High heels are a signifier of femininity • These cues are also culturally specific: some cultures may think its attractive to be skinny while others find it attractive to be thicker Point: -- On the basis of culturally/ social cues we infer biological sex West & Zimmerman, pp 31-33 • Sex: refers to biological fact of maleness or femaleness (as determined by for example, genitalia, chromosomal makeup, hormones). • Sex categorization: process of applying sex criteria; in daily life, we establish & sustain categorization by drawing on cultural cues about membership in a category -- Using signifiers or cues to put individuals into different categories, which we call male or female • Gender relations: the managing of behaviors as defined for sex categories Exploring Gender: Gender as a Social Construct • Gendered learning is an integral part of identity and interactions -- The way that you learn how to interact is based on your gender (males act differently with males than they would with females) • We learn gendered behaviors though social interaction: ~ Po
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