January 19th Lecture
2 key terms from last week:
--Geneology; focus on how we got here, evolved through history.
--third term: hegemony; comes from Marxism, has to do with the gaining consent of the governed…by consent, not
-in gender terms, hegemony has to do with the ‘making natural’ for example: the whole cosmetics industry. The only
way for it to thrive is for people to believe that it benefits them.
-The more we agree to the categories presented the more we confirm their existence
-gender norms/gender hegemony is interchangeable for prof.
(Review from last week)
Assumptions – cultural; our language, standards, the english speaking west
Prescriptions – more localized, social.
performances – individual, but in a social environment
negotiations – the feminist argument
regulations – what’s put in place to contain such feminist arguments
representations – how we depict others, through language, drawings, physical objects
identities -- how we perceive ourselves
Scott, ‘Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis
-provides 4 definitions of gender:
1) gender is the social organization of the relationship between the sexes
- prof says major problem with this definition, ‘the’ relationship ‘the’ sexes, only two—binary perception. There really is
only men and women as genders.
2) gender is a social category imposed on a sexed body
-talking about biological sex, doesn’t say only two though, but its an important bedrock to the other things we think are
gender. The social organization imposed is critical, it says that gender is there, 100% social category, and we are then
associated with a sexed body—that separation is very important.
-gender as a dictionary definition… language of it is important because among many other things the most important
part about language is it categorizes. Distinguishes between thangs, rule of thumb in linguistics. Eg. Eskimos have 37
different words for snow because they feel the need to have that many different distinctions.
-language limits the expresser. If we only have male or female in language, simply talking about anything beyond that is
***Readings notes added post lecture***
Scott’s definition of gender has 2 parts and several subsets;
gender is 1) a constitutive element of social relationships based on perceived differences between the sexes, and 2)
gender is a primary way of signifying relationships of power.
Gender involves 4 interrelated elements: