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SOC 107 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Gerontology, Heteronormativity, Heterosexuality

Course Code
SOC 107
Tonya Davidson
Study Guide

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Essentialism– the assumption that your social identity is profoundly determined by your physical self, identity is
unchanging across time and space
Gender and Colonialism– colonial power both directly and indirectly worked through the structure and social
relations of the sex-gender system, imposing patriarchal rule
Hegemony– unequal power structures, creating dominance of one group over another
Gender Policing– male superiority over women and some other men requires monitoring of self and others
Heteronormativity– the idea or implication that heterosexual identity is the only normal and natural expression of
human sexuality, represented as fulfilling and positive, deeming non-heteronormative as negative and dangerous
Hegemonic Masculinity is held as opposition to all things feminine
All the norms associated with ‘the best man’ has a downside to men
wealthy, independent, white, even powerful at old age
Types of masculinity form a HIERARCHY
Differences not a matter of FREE CHOICE
Differences created by race, ethnicity, class, age, sexual orientation
Emphasized Femininity
supportive of male, dependent
sexually available
irrational and emotional
women are supposed to hold on to youth
Rapport Talk: Women’s way of talking
talk to maintain social relations “kin-work”
not recognized as work, more for leisure
helps them handle break ups from talking it out
Report Talk: Men’s way of thinking
talk like they have a purpose, mini lecture
talk for instrumental friendships
Romantic Comedies and Hegemony:
people read love as classed
women chase after economic power in men
women seduced into taking on a subordinate role
upholds oppositional understanding of gender
produces heteronormativity as compulsory and magical
privileging heterosexuality, suggesting it is not only natural, but so good it is magical
heterosexual kiss is seen as the climax
The Wheel Theory of Love (process of falling in love)
Rapport: connection/bond we feel to another person
Self-revelation: when we feel comfortable in another person’s presence
Mutual Dependency: couple’s reliance on each other for need of fulfillment i.e. social and sexual
Personality need fulfillment: establishing pattern of mutual exchanges of support sympathy and
decision making
“Coming out” and Symbolic Interaction
Coming out is precisely to expose oneself to a different set of dangers and constraints, to make oneself into a
convenient screen onto which straight people can project all the fantasies they routinely entertain about gay
people and to suffer one’s every gesture, statement, expression, and opinion to be totally and irrevocably marked
by the overwhelming social significance of one’s openly acknowledged homosexual identity
Ellen’s coming out - a script only necessary and possible in a context of heteronormativity
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Homonormativity: “the straightening out or mainstreaming of sexual minorities” (Duggan in O’Brien and Szeman,
2014 p. 188).
The discursive production of an ‘acceptable’ form of queerness
we respond to different types of gay people, there is an “acceptable form” i.e. Ellen who contributes to capitalism
Present in:
Gay anthems
‘It Gets Better campaigns
Ellen’s talk show
all illustrate dealing with queerness as a personal responsibility
suggests that they can challenge heteronormativity all by themselves
challenges can be overcome by queer self-love, not others loving them
however, it doesn't passively get better, we must make it better
Life Course– refers to our lives from infancy to death, and includes of the way in which social institutions shape and
institutionalize individual lives
Age Norms– shared ideas and expectations about what is typical behaviour at certain ages
Structural Functionalismsocial structures and shared values foster consensus in society, age norms is shared as
valuable for the function of society and necessarily enforced through social control
Recapitulation– idea that full adulthood and its pinnacle is ideally to be a white male, all others are savaged and
Developmentalism– historically shaping our understandings of how we think about the capabilities of children and
childhood in general i.e. how they should be raised for particular reasons and possibly interests of other groups
Reading childhood through the lens of their future capabilities
Adolescence– a category fostered through industrialization, gradual removal of young people from workplace into
age-graded schooling, still linked to dating, consumerism, and fears of delinquency
Gerontology: the study of the social aspects of aging
Social Gerontology
How we age, how we understand the elderly, varies over time and across cultures.
Aging includes physical, emotional, psychological and social changes.
North American culture privileges youth and encouraging ageism.
Critical Gerontology
Studies the power inequalities produced through social understandings of aging
Idea that young and old are marginalized
Ideological Dominance of Adulthood”Adulthood is the privileged stage of life over children and the elderly
Idea that adult is responsible worker who accumulates a lot of things is created by capitalism
They feel less successful if they have less things
The Social Invention of Childhood
back then, children were considered little adults and participated in the same activities as adults
as more parents became more affluent, they were able to delay child employment and prolonged education
Emerged with industrialization and the growth of a middle class
Dominant understanding of childhood is to protect the vulnerable child from what life is “really like”
Emerging Adulthood (19-30)
Even more recent idea than teenagers
Nature of economy transformed how we see growing up
In our current moment seem as a prolonged youth
Working/making money is deferred
Child bearing is deferred
Emerged with pressures for prolonged schooling
Idea of boomeranging (going to school them coming back to parents' house
In 1981 12% of 25-29 year olds lived with their parents, in 2006 26% of this age group lived with their parents
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