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Lecture 8

SOC101Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Separate Spheres, Christopher Lasch

3 pages85 viewsFall 2009

Course Code
Sheldon Ungar

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The middle class in the 19 th
century, and the development of new ideas about
gender separate spheres
Ideas about gender developed by the middle class (successful
businessmen/doctors/lawyers & their family)
Notion that men & women are different have different nature,
opposite sexes
Two kinds of analysis of the causes of these new ideas
1. Social-organizational change: new ideas reflect a changed reality (how
social work is organized around the separation) work is separate from family, and the
idea about gender mapped on to this
Women belong in the family, men belong that work
The world changed, and ideas reflect that change
Home as a retreat/domestic heaven, home coming out of religious
imagery (religion was influential during changes)
Men seen as breadwiner, masculinity based on mens economic
2. Mens (& womens) agency: mens response to womens political campaigns
for change developing ideologies aimed to minimize change
Agency: action that people take
Men & women actively taken these ideas (when they have
campaigns for change), including womens right campaign men reacted to this
The cult of domesticity the home as a heaven in a heartless world (Christopher Lasch)
Compensatory ideal
Uncertainty: people frequently move (in less than 10 years), and
huge amount of downward mobility
Religious revival (Evangelical cults) charismatic leader self-
proclaimed to be in contact with God, set up tent where people live, active
o Breaking social norms: women who participate broke many
social rules, and there were also women preacher (public role, and made
lots of money)
o But also very conservative ideas are talked about
o Popular, and people based their identity of it
o Often middleclass who were involved
Home/heaven vs. the world
o Lasch: heaven in a heartless world, home sweet home,
theres no place like home
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