SOC102H1 Lecture Notes - Heterosexism, Class Consciousness, Social Disorganization Theory

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Published on 16 Nov 2012
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Oct 23 lecture (1)
Cities and minorities: The case of gays and lesbians (lecture 6)
-habits of inequality theory
-inequalities are socially constructed & collectively imagined on the basis of a supposedly important
natural difference
-social differentiation: heterosexual vs. homosexual
Gays and lesbians have their own parts of town
-institutional completeness
-generalized knowledge of what places to go
-very small (only 1-2%) in comparison to other inequalities like ethnic, classes, age groups
-therefore it is particularly vulnerable to attack and victimize
Homophobia
-not a phobia, but a learned subcultural attitude
-an irrational fear, and a form of defense mechanism
3 elements of homophobia (Herek)
1) Heterosexism- a cultural ideology that favours cross-sexual behaviour
2) sexual stigma- negative labeling of people who practice any non-heterosexual behaviour
3) sexual prejudice-negative expectations and discrimination based on sexual orientation
4 causes of homophobia
1) lack of openness to human diversity
2) lack of openness to sexual diversity
3) lack of familiarity with homosexuals
4) membership in a homophobic culture
Alfred Kinsey
-human sexual orientation lies on a continuum (fixed and binary)
-attitudes and feelings towards the same sex are common
-people’s location on the continuum is not permanent
-Marx’s growth of class consciousness- when a bunch of similar people come together, they share
experiences
-eg. in 1950-60s, when males were brought together in the military, people’s gay ideas grew. They
decided to settle in bigger gay communities, such as New York and San Franciso, instead of returning
home
Victimology
-sociological study of victims of crime
-greatest among the disadvantaged (homosexuals, handicaps, aboriginals)
Routine Activities Theory
-victimization will be highest where likely offenders and suitable targets converge, and capable
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