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SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

[GENDER] March 6, 2013 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 8 o Exchange theory: power flows from resources that a member brings to a relationships  Education Chapter: 1 [GENDER] March 6, 2013 o Hidden curriculum: girls learn that they are not as important as boys  Girls typically more eager to participate in classroom discussion  Teachers interact with boys more than girls in the classroom  Praise girls for being congenial and neat while boys praised for intellectual quality o Chilly climate: experiences by girls, schools not as encouraging and supportive as they might be towards boys o Student teacher Interactions  Media o Gender divisions reflected in and reinforced by all forms of media o Television shows  E.g. Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Lipstick jungle  All women are beautiful, heterosexual, with few exceptions, leading women are white  Black men tend to be portrayed as frightening, scary characters  Reality TV glorifies competitive cutthroat behaviour  Commercials 4. Gendered Bodies  How we present our bodies, efforts to shape them and how we interpret others’ bodies are all accomplished socially o Muscular body is a Westernized ideal o Female bodybuilders must display strength typical in men, while maintaining their femininity  Television shows/networks directed at helping individuals achieve beauty ideals  Plastic surgery normalized o Typical surgeries are liposuction, Rhinoplasty, eyelifts o Highest proportion women between 35 and 50  Men’s bodies 5. Gender and Work  Dramatic increase in the number of employed women, after 1960’s  Gendered Labour Force o Occupations segregated into men’s and women’s jobs o Women hold more lower-paying jobs than men o Greater proportion of part-time workers (increase of 100% between 1976 and 2000) o Women rep 70% of part-time workers o Women who work in male dominated industries are more likely to never marry or remain
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