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Lecture

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 603
Professor
Pamela Sugiman
Semester
Fall

Description
SOC 603: Symbolic Representations of Gender I: Gender Embodied The Body, Self and Society Meaning of the Body • The embodied self: body as a symbol of the self • „Face‟ to the world: visually oriented culture, people tend to develop information about others from visually analyzing them. We often use photos to find out about people (Facebook) • Body consciousness: “the ability to reside comfortably in one‟s body… and to consider one‟s body as connected to oneself‟ The Body as a Sociological Issue • “The body – how we eat, how we dress, and the daily rituals to which we attend- is a medium of culture” • Gender difference is one‟s relationship to the body: the body is at heart of cultural constructions of femininity and masculinity • Body as “locus of social control” -- People control you based on your body. Control seen when people are told that their bodies aren‟t good enough Conceptualizing the Gendered Body: Self as „subject‟ and „object‟ Subject: Our unique identities, communicated to the world; textured and with substance Object: • A thing to be probed, ridiculed, judged (i.e. clothing) • Need to examine process of objectification and the objectifier(s) Hegemonic Femininity and Masculinity -- Barbie is a prime example • Hegemonic masculinity and femininity: celebrated or legitimated cultural ideals -- The ideal female and male • Hyper-femininity & masculinity: keeps gender order in tact • Hegemonic femininity: glorified in popular culture (fashion and beauty industry) i.e. Victoria Secret Models • Hegemonic Masculinity: glorified in most male performance sports (basketball players) Gendered Bodies in Sports • Boys and men can prove themselves in world of sport: the agentic subject • Institutional reinforcements – reinforce the male athlete • Interpersonal reward: fathers approval given by going through sports with son rather than having time to attend parent teacher interviews or make child‟s lunches, peer respect given when child does well in sports • Avenue where others are closed: sports and economic success for working class & racialized men – Could do well by excelling athletically • Salaries of female professional athletes are not as great as male professional athletes • Way to excel is also in the entertainment industry • Women can make a lot of money through entering the modeling industry Link Between Masculinity and Sports Brian Ponger (1999): • Celebration of macho heterosexual identity – yet homoerotic quality in masculine sports meaning that there is something erotic that exists between men of the same sex in the locker room (patting eachother on the bum, etc.) • Macho exists in 3 categories of sport: 1. Most masculine: boxing, football, ice hockey; dominant physicality = success 2. Less masculine: tennis, swimming, track and field, strength is needed however they are not violent; opponent but no physical contact that exists 3. Least masculine: figure skating, gymnastics, diving; low degree of face-to-face or head- to-head aggression -- Variations depending on each sport ESPN‟s Top 100 Athletes of the Century -- Mainly men in masculine sports that made the list -- Michael Jordan was ranked number 1 -- Very few women incorporated in this list Who Makes the List & Why? • 55 African Americ
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