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Lecture 2

SOC345H5 Lecture 2: Lecture 2 The Basics The Social Construction of Gender

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Jayne Baker

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find more resources at Lecture 2: The Basics: The Social Construction of Gender Wednesday, January 11, 2017 1:21 PM  Retrace history of sex and gender as a binary  Masculinity rooted in the body was the previous belief  Pascoe and Bridges talk about when you look closer at sex, it is complex  Regardless of what body looks like, identity can be masculine or feminine o Move from binary understanding, to having a gendered identity that is not related to body Carrigan, Connell and Lee Sex Roles and Sex Role Theory  A stable society is ideal, complimentary = expressive and instrumental o Expressive role belongs to women, nurturing, expressive, warm, affectionate o Instrumental role belongs to men, dominant personalities, material tangible thingsxpectat  Grounded rationality that extends into other spheres as well  Lack of "power"  Two roles for people: instrumental or expressive  If you do not fit into these categories, you are deviant o Not fitting within societal expectations for men and women o Deviance is a reaction to someone violating a norm o Norms are our cultural guidelines of our behaviour o Parson's argument is making judgements of what men and women are supposed to act like ,and those who don't fit into these boxes o Not just a lack of power, but lack of recognition o Biased notion of how people should be behaving o Prescriptive, what it should be o Homosexuality as a failure  Expectations of roles  Limitations of theory, not critical of role, not presented with alternative way of thinking, preliminary critique of sex role theory Sex Role Theory (Parsons)  Male and female binary, two options and a line between them  "Role"- "practices and identities into which people are socialized" o Basic structural concept o Structure and agency o A role is a kind of structure that creates boundaries around own agency o Structure which constrains behaviour in a particular way o Socialization is important in Parson's work because it is through socialization that we learn about the two expressive and instrumental traits, and learn which role we are supposed to occupy o For Structural Functionalists: family is important institution o Socialized into masculinity and femininity  Two roles are limited find more resources at find more resources at  Parson's work is normative, reflective of the time that he was writing in  Not reflective of real people's lives  Loose variation, complimentary roles lose power  No room in Structural Functionalist understanding to think about power  Gender relations= power is at the center Taking Apart Carrigan, Connell and Lee  Crisis of masculinity o Look at instrumental role might create problems for men  "What does it mean to be masculine? It means, obviously, holding male values and following male behaviour norms.. Male norms stress values such as courage, inner direction, certain forms of aggression, autonomy, mastery, technological skill, group solidarity, adventure, and a considerable amount of toughness in mind and body." (562) o What it means to be masculine, able to see o Females can't be the same thing o Following male values and behavioural norms  "Much of this work could hardly be described as feminist. One of the most prominent themes in the "male role" literature of the 1970s concerned the restrictions, disadvantages, and general penalties attached to being a man. "Do men need women's liberation?" was a common question or point of reference, and the response was resoundingly "Yes" - for the benefit of men. This was sometimes so that men too could become complete, authentic human beings." (564) o Restrictive, need more freedom arriving through feminist movement o Open up the box of femininity, acknowledgement of not having two separate boxes o Men in support, because it would work to their benefit as well o Serve benefit as well, laundry list of masculinity is restrictive  "The new literature viewed traditional masculinity as bad for two main reasons. First, it leads men to do nasty things, like compete with each other, oppress women, destroy the environment, and ruin the third world, notably by bombing Vietnam. (That masculinity among the Vietnamese might have had a dif
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