SOC101 Lecture Notes - Hegemonic Masculinity, Binary Opposition, Plastic Surgery

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Published on 14 Apr 2013
School
University of Waterloo
Department
Sociology
Course
SOC101
[GENDER]
March 6, 2013
Chapter: 8
1
1. Sex and Gender
Societal interpretation of identification
Sex
o Determinant of male/female on the basis of a set of socially agreed upon biological criteria
o Biologically rooted, describes our physical bodies whereby we distinguish between male and
female
Dichotomous way of thinking
o Categorized based on binaries implying diametrical opposites, groups are polar opposites ~
“opposite sex”
Gender
o Socially constructed characteristics associated with girls and boys, men and women
o Explore the notions of Masculinity and femininity
o Also suggests binary opposition
Problematizing Sex/Gender Distinction
Intersexed individuals; hermaphrodites
o Born with ambiguous genitalia
o How do we decide who is male and who is female
Gender relations: organizing principles that shape and order interactions between as well as the relative
social importance of women and men
Transgender:
o used as an umbrella term for those who do not fit into normative constructions of gen and sex
Transsexual:
o used to encompass those who undergo sex reassignment (realignment)
2. Masculinity and Femininity
Culturally dominant forms of masculinity and femininity:
o Hegemonic masculinity (Connell, 1987)
Ideal of masculinity that men are supposed to strive to achieve
Derives from Gramsci
Requires men to be successful, aggressive, capable, and reliable
Dominant structures: White, middle class
Irrevocably tied to heterosexuality
o Emphasized femininity (Connell, 1987)
Based on women’s compliance with their subordination to men
Requires women to be supportive, enthusiastic, and sexually attractive
What would you say about the portrayal of each gender in Disney films?
3. Reproducing Gender: Families, Education, and Media
Families
o Gender expectations begin at birth
o Child-rearing practices are deeply gendered
Ex. A mother will respond to their baby girl’s cry faster than their baby boy’s
o Parents spend more time talking to girls while leaving boys alone, punish their sons more often
than daughters
o Gendered divisions of household labour
o Exchange theory: power flows from resources that a member brings to a relationships
Education
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Document Summary

[gender] march 6, 2013: sex and gender. Sex: determinant of male/female on the basis of a set of socially agreed upon biological criteria, biologically rooted, describes our physical bodies whereby we distinguish between male and female. Dichotomous way of thinking: categorized based on binaries implying diametrical opposites, groups are polar opposites ~ Gender: socially constructed characteristics associated with girls and boys, men and women, explore the notions of masculinity and femininity, also suggests binary opposition. Intersexed individuals; hermaphrodites: born with ambiguous genitalia, how do we decide who is male and who is female. Gender relations: organizing principles that shape and order interactions between as well as the relative social importance of women and men. Transgender: used as an umbrella term for those who do not fit into normative constructions of gen and sex. Transsexual: used to encompass those who undergo sex reassignment (realignment, masculinity and femininity. Culturally dominant forms of masculinity and femininity: hegemonic masculinity (connell, 1987)

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