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Lecture 4

SOC265 Lecture 4 The Social Construction of Gender.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC265H1
Professor
Bonnie Fox
Semester
Winter

Description
- SOC265 Lecture 4 The Social Construction of Gender: “Doing Gender” - Last week clarification: social processes DO have an effect on us, society teaches us what is expected of male and female bodies - Are there differences been men and women that would justify gender inequality!? - Example: why do people do different kinds of work?! - Are there gender differences in empathy? - 1) Recap: Gender inequality is not the product of differences between men and women - Some thoughts on the findings: the difference between behavior as a product of personality and behavior as a response to an expectation about gender conformity - If differences, size of differences very small! - This society does not seem to produce two different kinds of people - We don’t see kinds of differences that would explain differences in work, power, privilege - Social inequality product of other things! - 2) Problems with Socialization Arguments and Role Theory - (1) girls and boys: not always treated differently - Researchers only focus on differences, not how boys and girls are the same - We don’t know effects of differences of toys (dolls) - Study of empathy - Parents learn to read their kids - Think girls are more emphatic than guys, sex of psychologist has an effect - Girl in lab, girls more emphatic, boy in lab, no gender difference or boys more emphatic - NO INTERNAL PERSONALITY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOYS AND GIRLS - In a situation where girls know they are being self-observed, you get differences based on social expectations of women being tuned into people - Pressuring and socializing girls to care for other people! - (2) Children aren’t passive in the learning process - Children rebel against messages - Much as we think we are shaping kids, kids don’t turn out way parents often think they will - (3) Stable personality characteristics? Social context matters. Identity also: not stable. - Problematic notion - Our behavior is influenced by our context - Different in work and at home - (4) Multiple masculinities/femininities - R.W Collnell: Isn’t one way to be a man, isn’t one way to be a woman in this society - “hegemonic masculinity” kind of behavior we associate with dominant men - Collnell: most men do not have those traits - Occupation, white, athletic, good looking, rich - How men benefit from that image - (5) evidence: few sizeable (large) gender differences - Eliminating or reducing gender stereotypes - Problem with ending social inequality: only addresses the individual!!! - Haven’t touched in the institutions people are walking into - (little time off, workplace culture) - If don’t change institutions inequalities will persist - Maybe the workplace is built around men? - Socialization is about individuals, but if dealing with inequality need to also look at institutions - (6) the need to understand social organization, and social institutions, to understand gender inequality
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