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Gender Stratification

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Syracuse University
SOC 101

Danielle Kline SOC 101 October 31, 2011 Gender Stratification  Hierarchical distribution of social, economic, and political resources according to gender  Variation across countries  More gender equality in countries where: o Women’s work is central to the economy o Women have access to education o Strong ideological or religious support for gender equality o Men make direct contributions to household responsibilities o Work is not highly segregated by gender o Women have access to formal power and authority in public decision making  Gender stratification (and inequality is rooted in sexism o Sexism: a belief system that explains and justifies the unequal distribution of resources to men and women o Set of institutional practices and belies that allocate power and privilege on the basis of gender  Patriarchy: allocate power and privilege to men  Matriarchy: allocate power and privilege to women  Gender stratification depends on gendered behavior Why does gender stratification exist?  Reading 27. Barbara Risman, GENDER AS STRUCTURE o 4 theoretical perspectives o Gendered Selves  Maleness and femaleness are individual properties  Focus on how sex differences shape gendered behavior  Men and women develop different personalities that motivate them to fill different social roles  Sociobiology – natural selection (males who act in a more masculine way and females who act in a more feminine way are more likely to/better at reproducing with each other)  Sociology – sex role theory (boys are girls are nurtured in different ways that encourage masculine/feminine behavior)  Psychology – feminist psychoanalytic analysis (primarily nurtured and influenced by mother; girls identify with mom and develop a personality based on similarities, boys identify mom as being different from them so they develop as independent from this primary caretaker)  “Mothering”, “maternal thinking” o Structure (versus Personality)  Gendered behavior is rooted in different institutional positions  Social structure produces distinct male and female behavior  Women and men in the same structural positions should behave identically o Doing Gender  Individuals are expected to behave in accordance with the gender category to which they are assigned.  Other’s expectations compel us to perform gendered behavior  Doing gender legitimates existing inequality o Gender as social structure  Wh
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