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

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Published on 16 Nov 2012
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
-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
-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
-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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