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SOC 101 (300)

Chapter - Gender (and Sex)

4 Pages

Course Code
SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

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Chapter 8- Gender 1.Sex and Gender - Sex - Biologically rooted; describes our physical bodies whereby we distinguish between male and female - Categorized based on binaries implying diametrical opposites “opposite sex” - Gender - socially constructed characteristics associated with girls and boys, men and women - masculinity and femininity - also suggests binary opposition Problematizing Sex/Gender Distinction - Intersexed Individuals - born with ambiguous genitalia - how we decide who is male and who is female? - not clear if they are male or female - Transgender and Transsexual Individuals - Transgenderused as an umbrella term for those who do not fit into normative constrictions of sex and gender - Transsexual used to encompass those who undergo sex reassignment (realignment) 2. Masculinity and Femininity Culturally dominant forms of masculinity and femininity: - HegemonicMasculinity:(Connell, 1987) - Ideal of masculinity that men are supposed to strive to achieve - Derives from Gramsci - Requires men to be successful, capable, and reliable - Irrevocably tied to heterosexuality - ~ how does our media and connections, etc, reinforce what it means to be male and how do we build on that and reproduce it from one generation to the next - EmphasizedFemininity: - Based on women’s compliance with their subordination to men - Requires women to be supportive, enthusiastic, sexually attractive --What would you say about the portrayal of each gender in Disney films? --look at commercials 3. Reproducing Gender: Families and Education - Families - Gender expectations begins at birth - Child-rearing practices are deeply gendered - Parents spend more time talking to girls while leaving boys alone: punish their sons more often than daughters - Gendered divisions of household labour - Education - HiddenCurriculum:girls learn that they are not as important as boys - Teachers interact more with boys than girls in the classroom - Praise girls for more than being congenial and neat while boys praised for intellectual quality - Chillyclimate:not as supportive for girls Reproducing Gender: Media - Gender divisions reflected and reinforced by all forms of media - Television shows - eg Desperate House Wives, Grey’s Anatomy, Lipstick Jungle - All women are beautiful, heterosexual and with few exceptions, leading women are white - Black men tend to be portrayed as frightening, scary characters - Reality TV shows- glorifies competitive cutthroat behaviour - Commercials - Talk shows 4. Gendered Bodies - How we present our bodies, efforts to shape them and how we interpret others’ bodies are all accomplished socially - TV shows/networks directed at helping individuals achieve beauty ideals - Plastic Surgery normalized - Top surgeries are liposuction, rhinopla
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