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SOSC 1130 (72)
Awalou O (6)
Lecture 6

Lecture 6

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Social Science
SOSC 1130
Awalou O

Lecture 6 Gender and International Migration  Gender roles that we normally identify as normal were historically created  For some time, there has been an increasing awareness that women are disadvantaged in international migration o International migration policies affect men and women differently  Explanations of women’s experiences of migrating and the means through which they can be improved are not uniform o Some of these are embraced by policy makers while others are not o Reflecting on explanations is important because if a cause is identified then a solution will fit the problem o For example, lack of language skills or Canadian experience would be fixed by having language classes  Explanations are not neutral and either support or challenge the present power structure o The present structure relates to issues of gender, race, and class o Explanations provide the means to have better solutions to women’s problems o Gender alone does not give us a fill picture of migrant women’s experiences and is inadequate in itself o There is an intersection between gender, race, and class so focusing on gender alone is not sufficient Gender: Social or Biological?  Gender is a social construction that is power based  Like race and ethnicity, the social aspect of gender is often appears as natural rather than as something that has been constructed and open to change o It becomes part of common sense and is not questioned  The first distinction to be made is the sex/gender distinction o Sex refers to biological differences between men and women who have different characteristics  When we classify people according to sex, the classification is male and female  Some individuals are born with characteristics that are more ambiguous and are a mixture of both who are called intersex  Our society does not tolerate ambiguity o Gender appears to be natural but it is not and is social  It relates to the meaning we attach to biological differences and relate to social roles  Society informs these relations between men and women  Gender differences have to do with social expectations, are socially constructed, and are classified as masculine and feminine  There is also a discussion that was hidden before about people who are transgendered  Society is uncomfortable with these people because they do not conform to masculine or feminine  Ex: Getting passports may affect transgendered people  Gender organizes people and shapes the kind of people we become, the opportunities we have, social roles in the workplace and education, and health  It affects the freedom of movement internationally and the terms under which we migrate and therefore the ability to make decisions in our life  Yet, the common sense understanding tells us that these roles are natural and are connected to our biology  Ex: Female leads to feminine characteristics (ex: nurturing, motherly) while being male leads to masculine characteristics (ex: aggressive)  There is little attention given to these social roles historically and their importance is establishing the status quo  Gender differences are not only social but also change historically and cross- culturally  What is gender appropriate in one culture may not be in another (ex: premarital sex)  Gender not only has to do with social roles that change over time but also with the ranking of the roles and with power  Gender involves stratification o Stratification and differentiation are not the same because people can be different but equal or different and unequal depending on how society is structured  Some roles are ranked higher than others  Gender is, like race, a social relation of inequality The Historical Construction of Gender Roles in the West and the Industrial Revolution: A Case Study  It highlights the root of assumptions regarding gender  The Industrial Revolution brought about a transformation in the productive forces in society (ex: technology and skills) and also social relations around production and reproduction o Pre-industrial society was characterized by a non-wage economy, the unity of home and work, and the unity of production and family-life o This change within industrialization because prdction and reproduction became organized in a new way  The characteristics of the Industrial Society: o The domination of wage labour  With the IR, the household was no longer self-sufficient and families no longer had access to land and resources  In order to survive, they had to work for wages that became fundamental for them o The split between home and work  While in Pre-Industrial Revolution, there was unity between home and work but when production moved from the home to the factory, the household took a new role  It was no longer a place of work, lost its productive role and began to fulfill a reproductive one  Reproductive:  Reproduction of generations through having children  Daily reproduction of household members (social) o Feeding, preparing food, nurturing, etc. in order to provide a safe haven  The Industrial Revolution made a distinction between the public sphere of production and the private sp
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