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Gender Inequality

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January 25, 2011 Gender inequality Gender relations are often unequal - Gender inequalities are linked fundamentally to both differentiation and domination - Historically: relationship between men and women has been troubled because it was based on inequality Sex versus gender - Gender: we mean the social expectations that people describe as masculine or feminine - Social construction is the is the process that makes sex differences seem large or small, important or unimportant - As fertility rates decline, inequality declines as women have more time to pursue the same activities as men What is domination? - Why have men historically dominated women? - Weber: as the probability that certain specific commands (or all commands) will be obeyed by a given group of persons - What is the basis of this patterned inequality? - Domination is not about coercion, its about persuasion and obedience based on belief that men have the right to give orders and woman have the obligation to follow orders - Examples of such relationships: child-parent, employer-employee, teacher-student Domination and legitimacy - Domination voluntary compliance or obedience - People obey because they have an interest - Weber: if we want to understand domination, we need to understand that there is some legitimate right to obedience the person who is being obeyed has some legitimacy to being obeyed - What is the legitimacy behind the male domination? - Culture of domination, not personal choice o What is there in our culture that legitimizes male power over women? o It is institutionalized Weber on authority - How patterns of inequality become reutilized?
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