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Soc102 Lec 3

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University of Toronto St. George
Lorne Tepperman

Sociology Lecture 3: Gender and Domination Majority of People back then Didn't Discuss Gender Inequality -because most of the researchers were men -Today, more identification because more women are in the field - -more discussion on gender bias -people now have a new angle on viewing society -This is an example of how society is a reflection of whom knowledge was passed from. -more gender topics = more aware next generation of gender issues Assortative Mating -most people associate with people who are of similar (not necessarily identical) status -same social class -defined by: -education (overall level, not necessarily field) -Age -ethnic background -religion -racial origin However People tend to Marry Someone who is Different in Terms of Sex -often marry someone we didn't know personally (attracted by unfamiliarity) -i.e. men marry women -means our intimate relationships marked by -unfamiliarity -(visible) power differences -men vs women though the traditional norm has changed -gap has shrunk -includes income, power and education -Evident in Canada as this was not the case in the past -also, Canada has more subgroups -tend to be more ahead in equality transition How Does This Daily Intimate Confrontation With Inequality Affect Social Life? -What effect does this conjunction of inequality and desire have on: -Marital Satisfaction? -Domestic division of labour -relations in workplaces -opportunities for hiring and promotion Sex vs Gender -Gender is socially constructed -not given by nature -Sex is the biological characteristics that makes one male or female -sociologist not interested as male or female -Gender refers to the expectations of behaviour and appearance -defines one as masculine or feminine -are associated with the person's sex -how one identifies themselves -sociologists interested in others' response to performances -difference in performances between male and females in terms of gender -Note: not much study on masculinity as femininity -because male sociologist not too invested in gender inequality -It should be noted, being a man is as subjugating as being female -men act specific ways just as females do -must meet expectation (oppression) of others Gender as a Social Performance -dramatizes biological differences -difference in lives between men and women are socially constructed -until now, most societies have unequal treatment between men and women -based on assumed natural differences -really, nothing socially that should cause women to live different lives then men -however, people comply to construct throughout history -performance of gender diff. thought to be natural by people -thus easily accepted -What causes such difference to arise throughout history? -women can have babies, men can't -during pregnancy, women in vulnerable position -hence the masculine display and feminine stereotypes -Found that countries with lower birth rates have less gender difference -less biological gap witnessed -ex: Scandinavian countries have had declining birth rates for 100 years -high acceptance of gender equality The Gendered use of power -social construction makes differences seem large, small or important/unimportant -relations between men and women shaped by stereotypical beliefs on masculinity and femininity -most likely due to difference in physical size -men use socially constructed gender differences to justify domination over women -this despite women subtlety in using power -This is still an issue in Canada Maleness is Considered the "Norm" -Simone de Beauvoir: define men as the "subject" and women as the "other" -men are considered the norm in most traditional societies -they define what is normal -i.e: our expectations for particular occupation -Women are subordinated to men by virtue of gender Gendered Rules Shape all Social Relations -women do work that is undervalued, unpaid and uneding -includes house keeping and caring for family -assumed to be the norm for women to provide it -major finding by Meg Luxton -book: More Than a Labour of Love: 3 Generations of Women's Work in the Home -studied homemakers in Flin Flon Manitoba -Flin Flon a one company town -employers exploit town -would expect men and women to help eachother -not the case, severe inequality over gender roles Family Life in Flin Flon -Women carry out social reproduction -work that ensures the functionality, development and continuity of the family -includes child bearing, meals, housework and dealing with family emotional issues -gets not financial or moral credit -characterized as "labour of love" but is not the case -only motivation is so husband can make his wage -women do this because they are economically depend on their husbands -also have little decision power because of this Family Life is OrganizedAround Male Needs -Women's work often unnoticed, taken for granted -this despite the importance to the family and capitalism -In this setting, men's wage more important then women's work -domestic work always organized around the needs of wage work -Ultimately, their work simply makes the capitalists richer The Emotion Work of Women -Emotion Work: being able to create or maintain a feel of warmth in the home -settle confrontations calmly etc. -wives' work never stops -shoulders responsibility for emotion work/labour -is a traditional expectation -to preserve an atmosphere of warmth and comfort -provide satisfaction and completing tasks quietly and efficiently -even today, conversation with a man and women different -women socially trained to do emotional work at home and work -women who have to do this feel stressed and resentful -feel alienated Sex and Violence in a Company Town -Emotional work includes satisfying husband's sexual demands -considered a duty of married women -single women are expected to do the same on dates -may risk missing marriage offers if they break this rule -These women often suffer domestic violence, both physically and psychologically -In past, there were laws that claimed a husband cannot rape his wife in Canada Class Relations Shape Gender Relations -Neither the men or women have much power in the community (belongs to the capitalists) -family power belong to men -Men face class-based pressures of the workplace -Women solely responsible for the care of the family -Men responsible for financially supporting family. Alienation in the Home -Ann Oakley: was the first sociologist to take housework seriously -first study of housework -topic wasn`t taken seriously before because majority researchers were male -The Sociology of Housework was the first to talk about housework as real, unpaid work -describes it as legitimate, difficult and worthwhile work -not just labour of love Housework = Normal Slavery -surveyed women who do housework/social reproduction -Middle and working class women found housework unpleasant -attitudes were similar and negative and felt under appreciated -most women had come to terms with the monotony, isolation and low social status of their domestic lives -they viewed their lives as normal, inevitable and natural order of things Women Cooperate in their Own Subjugation -women legitimate own subjugation by settling into the housewife role -were unhappy but felt morally and socially obligated to continue -alienation not directly due to economy or class as Marx would predict -completely a gender issue IsAn Equal Division of Labour Possible -recent years, household labour division has changed -reflects more gender equality -also reflects the growth of income inequality in Canada -the need of two family incomes -as a result, inequality of well being among families with children has increased even more quickly than income inequality -causes and increase in stress and anxiety -trade-off between social reproduction or equality (income) Gender Inequalities at Home -inequalities in division of labour at home still unequal -this despite more awareness on the part of men -when children arrive, couples with progress gender neutral ideas tend to stray away from them -conform back to traditional roles temporarily How Does Gender Domination Work? -Domination: Rule by coercion or by legitimate authority -Women are subordinated and thus dominated in society -shown by Luxton and Oakley -Weber was interested in how people obtain authority -authority: control without ownership -for one, there is often an expectation to submit -not an ownership of production -was not interested in authority by force however -only voluntary submission Authority = Legitimated Subjugation -compulsion is part of domination process -However, Weber claims the following: -Genuine form of domination implies a minimum of voluntary (or willing) compliance an interest (based on ulterior motives or genuine acceptance) in obedience -The Stockholm syndrome Defining Dominance (Weber) -is a power relationship with 4 key elements: 1) Voluntary compliance or obedience 2) people have or think they have an interest in doing so -ex: Women in Flin Flon 3)Compliers believe the actions of the dominant are legit 4) Obedience is part of a sustained relationship of dominance and subordination shows established patterns of inequality -believe it is the norm for those defined roles -may be part of culture or beliefs in the group -ex: Flin Flon Institutional Patterns of Inequality -Weber gives us a useful way to examine all unequal institutionalized or regularized relationships -focus on willing compliance -relations of men and women follow routine patterns -dominance by men and rebellion by women The Growth of Traditional I
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