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Lecture 16

SOCIOL 1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Talcott Parsons, Orthogonal Basis, Gender Role


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCIOL 1
Professor
Molly Jacobs
Lecture
16

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Functionalist Approaches
Gender differences are functional and beneficial
Gender specialization of tasks contribute to a stable society
Based on a conservative worldview, popular in the 1950s
Talcott Parsons: families are most efficient with a clear-cut division of labor
Feminist theories: a sociological perspective that emphasizes the centrality of gender in analyzing
the social world
Liberal Feminism
Gender inequality is produced by unequal access to civil rights and social resources
Seek solutions through changes in legislation to ensure rights are protected
Equal Pay Act and Sex Discrimination Act
Primary critique: does not deal with the root cause of gender inequality
Radical Feminism
Gender inequality is the result of male domination in all aspects of social and economic life
Patriarchy: systematic dominance of men over women; exists in varying degrees
Believe the personal is political
Primary critique: patriarchy alone cannot explain women’s oppression
Does not leave room for historical and cultural variation
Black Feminism
Highlights the multiple disadvantages of gender, class, and race that shape the experiences of
nonwhite women
Unified form of gender oppression neglects the concept of intersectionality
Emphasizes aspects of the past to inform current forms of gender inequality
Frameworks offered by white feminists may not apply to other communities
Postmodern Feminism
Challenges the idea of a unitary basis of identity and experience shared by all women
Encourages the acceptance of multiple standpoints representing different experiences
Do not believe it is possible to provide a single, overarching explanation for women’s oppression
Gender Inequalities in Education
Teachers interact with students differently based on perceived gender
Content of interactions differ
Girls may be engaged less in problem-solving processes
Boys are punished more than girls and behavior may be mislabeled
Differential treatment perpetuates stereotyped gender role behavior
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