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SOSC 1185 9.0 - LECTURE # 5

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Social Science
SOSC 1185
Lee Wiggins

1 SOSC – Lecture # 5 Instructor: L. Wiggins th October 5 , 2011 Gender as socially constructed: Macro level explanations • Focus on broader patterns of human behaviour & thinking, emphasizingsocietal level structural and/or ideological factors (instead of individual level) as the main influences in shaping and determining our social attitudes and behaviours. • Do provide insights into individuals but emphasis is on the “big picture” so social, political, economic & environmental factors & their influence on dominant ideology and/or material organization of society. • Not interested in examining individual development as a facet of individual level factors and aspects. • Gender/gender roles are not seen as the property of the individual or as resulting from individual level development (whether biological, psychological, or social) but as part of a cultural, historical, ideological & structural influences & interactions. Historical Materialism/Conflict theory: - Focus on what people produce & how they produce it, emphasizes material conditions. - Not a theory that demonstrates the explanation of things that works in any time period anywhere in the world - Says that we need to be historically, geographically specific  because things change - The focus is on how and where somethingis produced - Macro-level structural theory: how people are coming together in organization in order to survive  shapingour cultural and structural lives - Creating the dominant ideas Material conditions = the concrete variables or factors that make up a society so the available resources, environment, the means of production or economy, technology & scientific knowledge. - looks at society as a whole & differences within a society due to different relations to mode of production. Initial focus on class as critical to status & power 2 relations (via relations to mode of production). A conflict approach, emphasizes class conflict based on who controls the means of production - These groups in society struggle to keep their positions - OR, they struggle to move up a class - A lot of focus around class  diff. class in society are going to be in conflict/ compete with each other - Higher classes get more privileges, and power - Structural potential for conflict  unequal distribution for power, status - central theorists are Marx and Engels ---- importance of private property, paternity &inheritance in establishingstratified class & sex/gender relations. - Emphasizes problems - Early theorists focused on early economies (subsistent levels) ; trying to meet your basic needs, enough to eat, shelter from elements, findingwater, staying alive - Low level of technology  lower standings, all about survival on a daily basis - Early gathering societies  set up in an environment where there is food - Production, reproduction - Child at a young age are already seen as contributors  dependent - importance of historical changes in material conditions resulting in movement from subsistence to exchange to expansion economy. - Family based economy - development of more stratified societies tied to exchange & later to expansion economies (private property &personal wealth) - emphasizes the importance of dominance of exchange value labour (for wages) over use value. Men = wage labour in the public sphere & women = use value or unwaged labour in the home. - children &women seen as dependents; women function as reserve army of labour when needed. - different work = different ideas and consciousness. So the material conditions (especially the economy) determine dominant ideology at a particular time &place. Since the material conditions change historically & cross-culturally, this explains differences in culture & dominant ideas. - Systematic approach – change in one system will affect the entire system - understands relationship between ideas & material conditions as dynamic, changing & negotiated by individuals. But conditions of life determine which ideas become dominant at a particular time & place. Emphasis placed on the causal role of material conditions. - Women experience workplace discrimination  ra
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