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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 Gender inequality terms definition 2.doc

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Lecture 7 Gender inequality terms definition Social roles: are the expectations and behaviors associated with particular positions in society. Part 1: Understanding gender inequality: 1. Gender stereotype: are a set of prejudicial generalizations about men and women based on the oversimplified belief that sex determined distinct personality traits and, as a result, causes men and women to experience the world and behave in different ways. 2. Gender inequality: are inequalities between men and women in the distribution of prestige, material well-being, and power. They are also inequalities in relations of male domination and female subordination. 3. Dimensions of inequality: 1) Power: is the capacity to influence and control others, regardless of any resistance they might offer. 2) Material well-being: refers to having access to the economic resources necessary to pay for adequate food, clothing, housing and possessions. (two important sources of material well-being are work-related earnings and accumulated wealth.) 3) Prestige: is the social evaluation or ranking, by general consensus, of occupational activities and positions in a hierarchical order that reflects the degree of respect, honor, or deference the person engaged in the activity or occupying the position is to be accorded. Part 2: Explaining gender inequality: 1. Feminism: refers both to the body of knowledge about the causes and nature of women’s subordination to men in society, and to the various agendas, often involving political action, for removing that subordination 2. Feminist theories: 1) Liberal feminism: A. Definition: It assumes that human beings are rational and will correct inequalities when they know about them. Liberalism assumes that a good society is one in which men and women enjoy equal rights and opportunities. B. Gender inequalities causes by gender stereotyping and the division of work into “women’s” and “men’s” jobs. C. Two main ways to achieve gender equality: Removing gender stereotyping and discrimination in education and paid work. Changing laws so that men and women have equal opportunities in the labor force and in politics. 2) Marxist feminists: writings of Karl Marx: A. Idea: Women’s unpaid work in the home maintains and reproduces the labor force. Capitalists benefit because they obtain refreshed workers at the beginning of each day and mothers raise children who will become future laborers. B. Gender equality is possible once socialism replaces capitalism. 3) Socialist feminists: A. Idea: Gender inequality is caused by the gendered division of labor and its exploitation by capitalism. And the system of male domination over women. B. Decreasing inequality: government-subsidized maternal benefits and child care, and the payment of equal wages and salaries to people who do equally valued work. Eradication of male dominance as expressed in the legal system, the educational system,the family and the economy. 4) Multiracial feminism: A. Idea: multiracial feminism emphasized the importance of race in understanding gender inequality. (Observing that hierarchical systems of domination incorporate race.) B. Patricia Hill Collins: race , class and gender combine to form a “matrix of domination” C. Understanding of gender inequality in three ways: Highlights differences among women in terms of gender inequality. Women of specific races and in certain class locations are in positions of power and domination over other groups of women Solutions to gender inequality vary according to the location of groups of women in the matrix of domination. 3. Labor-force participation rate: for women is the proportion of women over the age of 14 who work for money, are seeking to work fo
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