SOC380H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Gender Binary, Nuclear Family, Heteropatriarchy

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25 Jul 2016
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SOC380 Lecture Notes
Lecture 7 – Monday, July 25, 2016
Build on themes and concepts from lectures and readings
oLorber; West & Zimmerman
Gender is constructed
Gender is performative
Non-binary ideas of gender
Disrupting heteronormativity
oKitossa & Deliovsky; Razack
Class, gender, race and racialization
Gender, heteropatriarchy and colonialism
Household reproduction and the routine production of gender – Coltrane
oMixed-method study collecting both quantitative and qualitative data through
interviews
oSample of 20 dual-earner couples who have children
oPrimarily in their late 30s
oAll wives and 17 of 20 husbands had attended some college
oWives earned less than half of their husbands on average
Investigates couples’ construction of gender:
oGender: a routine, methodical, recurring accomplishment
oCouples construct gender by examining:
Couples’ negotiation over household tasks
How these divisions of labour influence perceptions of self and other
How couples in his study define gender-appropriate behavior
How they handle inconsistencies between their own vs. external views
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oHe shows how gender is produced through everyday practices
Discuss some of the ways you fit your ascribed gender role, and other ways in which you disrupt
it or do not fit.
oI do my hair, makeup, like wearing dresses, shave my legs, etc.
Describe the same thing in relation to your parents/the people who raised you. How is gender
produced and reproduced? (Think about things such as housework, outdoor tasks, rights and
privileges, accepted attire and other aspects of appearance, hobbies, etc.)
oMy dad mows the grass, takes out the garbage, maintains the pool, etc.
oMy step-mom makes dinner every night and does grocery shopping
oMy mom does it all – and teaches both my brother and I equal household labour, how to
fix things, etc.
In what ways do your parents or extended family members fall outside of hegemonic gender
norms?
Did some of you find that you do not fit your assigned gender role?
Can anyone give an example of how gender roles have shifted within their family?
How did your conversations reveal gender as socially constructed and as performed?
Underlying ideology of the couples
oChild-centredness
o*How was this described in the study?
oEquity ideals in childcare and housework
oDescribe some of the ways couples had to be intentional to work towards this ideal.
What does this say about the social construction of gender?
Coltrane examines how gender is transgressed or made more fluid:
oThe types of interactions that facilitate sharing of household labour
oHow couples describe the requirements of parenting and evaluate men’s developing
capacities for nurturing
oThe impact of sharing domestic labor on conceptions of gender
Male transformation
oMany of the fathers and mothers reported that the practice of child care transformed
the men.
oThrough interactions with their children along with ongoing marital conversations,
parents viewed fathers as nurturing, sensitive caregivers.
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oDoes this idea of transformation pre-suppose a normative male subject?
Father’s involvement
oOver half were reported to assume major responsibility for planning and initiating both
housework and child care
oYet nearly half remained in a ‘helper’ role, even while performing more housework and
child care than traditional husbands
oShared responsibility correlated positively with the father’s involvement in routine child
care from early infancy
Do essential differences remain?
oIn equal sharing relationships, couples were more likely to emphasize gender similarity.
oIn manager-helper relationships, couples were more likely to posit inherent gender-
based differences.
oWhen men and women were more equal in household tasks, they tended to see more
similarities in the genders, the opposite is true for unequal, gendered household tasks
oExample: Men can nurture, but not perform daily child care. Women are inherently able
to do this, while men are not.
oWhat does gender essentialism mean?
Ideas that based on your gender, you have inherent qualities
Race – certain qualities based on differences (how racism works)
oDo we do this with other groups? What are the implications?
Stereotyping
Barriers implemented
Labeling theory
Commitment of men to help with childcare impacted women’s decisions:
oTo have children
oWhether or not and when to return to work after having children
oWhether to have more children after the first
oWhat can this tell us about gender?
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