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SOCA01H3 (591)


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Ivanka Knezevic

Four Main Ideas on Gender (Siltanen & Doucet) 1 Gender is a vantage point of critique (feminism is an activist ideology, not just academic) 2 Gender is a social construction (not an essential, biologically based, unchangeable characteristics of humans) 3 Gender is realized in social roles and institutions (gender is both and identity and structural constraint, which affects both women and men) 4 Gender is a relation of inequality (not just difference); depends Knezevic: this reflects the development of North American feminist sociology and assumes high salience of gender/impossibility of gender-neutral social arrangements Any gender ideology is a self-fulfilling prophecy Gender is a socially constructed identity that is thought to be appropriate to a biological sex Essentialism: view that male-female differences are universal and largely reflect biological differences Gender identities differ across time and societies and they are not binary and polar opposites. For example, though men may be strong, it doesn’t mean that women are weak Gender stereotypes: oversimplified beliefs that men and women possess different personality traits resulting in different behavior Structuralist view of the instrumental personality of men and expressive personality of women (emotional intelligence: high ability to perceive emotion of others) Siltanen & Doucet: hegemonic (dominant to the exclusion of other ideologies) masculinity and emphasized femininity contribute to gender inequality Gender in Education Majority of undergraduate and MA students in Canada are women, a slight majority of Ph.D. students are men Gender-base selection of elective subjects in high school enables gender segregation of university programmes (architecture, agriculture, engineering, math, physics, and forestry) More even gender structure of occupations in Denmark and other European countries, where all high school subjects are mandatory Gender structure of engineering students in Canada is more uneven now than it was in the 1970s Gender structure of licenced engineers is more even, due to immigration of women engineers from Eastern Europe and China Gender at Work (occupational segregation) Gender income gap: in Canada, women earn 79% of the income for the equally qualified man working full time (minimal change since the 1990s), 91% in Belgium, 82% in US Women with a professional or graduate degree aged under 30 in Canada: 96% Precarious work: 40% of Canadian employed women and 34% of the men High variability of gender norms of standard employment (North America, UK, Japan, continental Europe, post-socialist countries, China) Gender in the Family As female labour force activity has increased, men have begun to share some unpaid domestic and care labour (particularly child care) but the number of hours of unpaid work done by women has not decreased much Women active in the paid labour force typically work a double day (Hochschild: the second shift) The value of this unpaid labour (cca. ⅔ done by women, ⅓ by men) is estimated
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