- 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