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Woodsworth College Courses
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Rosemary Gartner

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MASCUYLINITIES AND WHITE COLLAR 12/09/11 DEFINITIONS OF GENDER AND SEX o Most definitions refer to gender and sex as attributes of individuals o Sex is typically seen as a biologically-based attribute with two „natural‟ categories, female and male o Gender is typically seen as a socially and culturally based attribute; a continuum with two poles, feminine and masculine and is more fluid. o There are different views of how people see the relationship between sex and gender ESSENTIALIST VIEW o It is a casual relationship, sex largely determines gender. Biology is fundamental. The relationship is causal, sex causes gender, you do not choose your se, you may have some flexibility with choosing the extent to which you are masculine or feminine but in the end you are still follow your sex o Your biology plays a critical role in how you act think and feel THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONIST VIEW o It‟s an arbitrary relationship: there is no necessary or natural relatiship between sex and gender o Gender is very dependent on social and cultural factors are fundamental o Ones biological sex does not cause the expression of masculinity and femininity o Examples: Transgender and female bodybuilders o Gender and sex are related through this process of social construction THE INTEGRATED VIEW o Sex is important there are physiological differences that do place certain limits on the gender which you can embody o This is the view most social scientists hold o Sex influences gender, but doesn‟t determine it o Biological and social/cultural factors interact and influence each other, the relationships can go both ways, gender can influence sex MORE DETAILED AND EXPANDED DEFINITION OF GENDER o This is the view taken by many in the social sciences o Gender is a set of relationships, a set of structures and everyday practices that characterize social life and social institutions o It is not simply a role you learn, it is reflected in and played out in a much wider sphere than the idea it is simply an attribute of individuals o The fact that activities are gendered does not exclude the opposite gender from doing it, but when they do engage in activities contrary to our gendered expectations, we notice it, we are alarmed o Plus when males engage in male gendered activities but in a feminine way, we notice and comment on it. o Men tend to be criticized much more forcefully than women when they engage in activities outside their gendered role. o Gendered expectations come with all our social institutions and organizations. from food, to wearing jeans, even policing and the criminal justice system, it is very hierarchical and masculine. THE GENDER ORDER o The gender order refers to the ways in which basic social institutions reflect and reinforce dominant notions of gender and gender relationship in a particular society and a specific place and time o It differs across cultures and over time o It typically provides men some type of o It is taken for granted as „natural‟ and becomes embedded in our ideologies belief systems and shapes how we view the world HOW ARE SEX AND GENDER RELEVANT FOR CRIMINOLOGY o Females and males differ in the amount and types of crime they commit o Essentialists trying to explain this fact will power or advantage over women even though it differs over time and space refer to biological explanations i.e. more testosterone, neurobiological differences o Most definitions emphasize gender, that boys and girls are socialized differently, girls are rewarded for being compliant and conformant boys for being risk takers o Reactions to crime (by the criminal justice system and the public) are based on assumptions and expectations about femininity and masculinity o Criminal justice agencies are gendered Quiz: Why don‟t we know which gender had the highest arrest rate for theft, Because we collect data on sex of the offender not the gender, we don‟t know if it was masculine or feminine type people. BASIC ASSUMPTIONS AND THEMES OF MASCULINITY THEORIES 1. Patterns of gender are social phenomena; gender emerges from groups and interactions among individuals 2. The socially constructed nature of gender is the source of men‟s privilege 3. The gender order produces particular social arrangements that seem „natural‟ and gender inequalities are produced Gender inequalities in wages are attributed to the ways we organize masculine and female expectations 4.The ways the gender order privileges men depend on the particular social, cultural, and economic context 5. Men‟s power isn‟t primarily exercised in their relations with women, but in their relations with men 6. Gender is an on-going social practice “Masculinity must be proved, and no sooner is it proved than it is again questioned and must be proved again – constant, relentless, unachievable.” (Kimmel) o If males slip up just once or twice it is extremely damaging to them, it is much more fragile than femininity, because it is more privileged than masculinity o Sports are often referred to as an exemplar of numbers five and six. Sports are a social practice very important to the social construction of masculinity. o Sport is an organizing institution for the embodiment of masculinity, it is a cultural site where idealized images of masculinity re constructed and reinforced. o When men engage in sport they are competing for masculinity and status amongst other men more so than proving themselves to women. Sports is a performance that must be observed by others in a way to accomplish gender 7. 7. Masculinities, not masculinity a. Hegemonic masculinity “The idealized form of masculinity in a given historical setting. In contemporary western industrial societies, it emphasizes authority, control, competitiveness, independence, emotional neutrality, assertiveness, discipline, self-reliance, and physical strength.” (Connell) --Violence is not included which
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