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Lecture 2

Week 2 Reading questions.doc

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Health Studies
Denis Maxwell

Week 2 Reading questions Definitions Social constructionism: a specific concept is structurally constructed. It’s a theoretical approach to the social critical analysis of biomedicine. Examples are the social analysis of gendered categories, illness categories and medical knowledge. The two major theoretical contributions are understanding the construction of medical knowledge as a social construct, dialetic relationship between medical knowledge and social relations. Discourse analysis used as a methodological approach of how biomedicine shapes the relations in society Framing and constructing: Charles golden suggest that conflict is inherent in the social world, and framing implies more attention and demographic shifts. Social constructionism has gone beyond medical approaches and focused on medical knowledge constructed by movement of social movements. Margeret lock uses the social constructionist approach to look at the social construction of medicine gender and relation of these dynamic procces. Ie Japanese vs NA menopause and how went from male to female importance—not climertic model According to Martin, have research advances in reproductive biology challenged the gendered stereotypes which animate earlier accounts? Despite the fact that biological research on reproduction continues the stereotypes still exist. - no that they have discovered the sperm doesn’t have the force to break through the zona, the language has changed to the egg trapping the sperm - still continued to write papers as if the sperm was the active penetrater. o Difference was they were doing this “weakly” o New evidence didn’t cause scientists to eliminate stereotypes instead change descriptions with damaging stereotypes Martin reports in the literature it says, spermatogenesis is awe- inspiring and menstruation as failure. The female system is unproductive and wasteful. Gendered stereotypes provide a basis for understanding egg and sperm behavior. - gender stereotypes o female reproductive systems are less worthy and inferior to men o female unproductive—was wasteful  while men is functional until senescence o egg is seen transported o sperm is independent o ego seen as a house wife and sperm seen as a postman, phone repairman—all male stereotypes jobs As biological research on reproduction proceeds, are such stereotypical representations of male and female systems being revised? - despite the new knowledge complicating the role of the egg, the sperm remains the active partner - another stereotype emerges: the femme fatale - now the sperm is doing this weakly. Or the idea of the female reproductive system trapping the male sperm, and calling the victimization of the sperm Martin writes, “ we have every reason to think the models of biologists use to describe their data can have important social effects” What might some of the social implications for the circulation of the discourse on reproductive biology which she describes? Such social implications that exist are the importation of cultural ideas about passive females and heroic males in the personalities of gametes. This leads to using social imagery to explain biological processes that in turn serve as an explanation for social phenomenon. For instance the s
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