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Sociology (2,430)
SOCB22H3 (48)
Lecture 3

Week 3 reading notes

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Ping- Chun Hsiung

Socb22 (Week3): The Gripof Culture on the Body: - In the 1990s afundamentaldisagreement em erged betweenfeminist scholars regardingthe extent to wh ich western be auty practices reprsent womens subordinate status or canbe seen as the expression of womens choice or agecy. - By the 1990s ideas abt the power of choice influenced the tinking of many feministstoo. The idea that womenwere coerced into beauty prac tices by the fashionbeauty complex,for instance, w as challenged bya new breed of liberal feminists who talked abt wom en empowered bythe feminist movement to choose beauty practic es that no longer be seenas oppressive. The newlanguage thatpenetrated feminist th inking from the pervasive rightwing rhetoric was that of agency, choice and empowermen t. Women became transformedinto knowledgeable consumers w ho could exercise their power of choice in the market. - Feminists whocontinued to argue that wo mens choices w ere severely constrained and made within a con text of womens relative pow erlessness andmale dominance were criticized with someacerbityas victim feminists,that is, making women into victimsby denying theiragency. TheFeminist Critique of Beauty: - Feminist critiques of beaty have pointedout that beautyis a cultural practice and one thatis damagingto women. - Andrea Dworkins views: Beauty practices arenot online time wa sting, expensiveand painfulto self- esteem,but rather they defineprecisely the dimensions o f her physical freedom. She further argues that beautystandards hav e psychological effects on women too because the relationship b etween physical freedomand psychological development, intellectual possibility,and creative potential is an umbilical one Beauty practices arenecessary so tha t the sexes can be toldapart, so that the dominant sex cal ss can be differentiatedrfom thesubordinate o ne. Beauty practices create,as well as reresent, the dfiference betweenthe sexes. - Sandra Bartkys views: It is possil she says to beoppressedin ways thatdont involvephysical deprivation, legal inequality,or economic explitation, one can be oppressed psyc hologically. The psychological oppressionof women consists of being stereotp yes, culturally dominated,and sexually objectified. She explani s culturaldominationas situation in whih, allthe items inthe general lifeof our peopl -our language, our institutions, or art and
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