S OCIOLOGY 100: R EADINGS
F IRST READING
BROWNE , K. (2004)ENDERISM AND THE BATHROOM PROBLEM :
(RE)MATERIALISING SEXED SITE, RE)CREATING SEXED BODIES . ENDER
PLACE AND C ULTURE, 11(3)PP. 331–346
Summarized By: Kajal Singla
What is the research question?
This article is introducing a new term “genderism” that basically focuses on how
women who consider themselves males are mistaken for men in gendered spaces
such as “washrooms”. It questions the male and female binary and proposes a new
term of genderism that allows for the opposite ends to fluctuate, allows for
movement between the two binaries. It challenges the female and male binaries in
the public space and how they are defined.
What research methods were used?
The sample size was chosen through “snowball sampling.” And the individuals
participated in six focus groups, three coupled interviews, 23 individual interviews,
22 diaries and six sets of auto-photographs. It was a very personal method getting
lots of qualitative information rather than quantitative information. Further, the
encounters of 9 women were analyzed because they either mentioned or spoke in
detail of their experiences of being mistaken for men and this experience is termed as
genderism in this article.
Results and Significance
It was noted that many of the encounters in these public spaces (such as in a bar)
became extremely violent. And that violent affects men, women, and transgenders
differently. The purpose of this article is to expose the gender dichotomies. It shows
the intersection between geography and queer theory and allows us to see how
genderism is something that should be considered in the future to determine what
public spaces should really look like.
These articles take personal interviews with nine women who have been mistaken as
men and discuss how their experiences of genderism affect their lives. How it is a
very real example. Such as in a public washroom, it can be violent or simply rude.
They are not seen as normal but deviants.
SECOND R EADING
KINSMAN , G (2003) ONSTRUCTING SEXUAL PROBLEMS : „HESE THINGS
MAY LEAD TO THE TRAGEDY OF OUR SPECIES”IN LES SAMUELSON AND W AYNE ANTHONY (EDS.) POWER AND R ESISTANCE : CRITICAL T HINKING
ABOUT C ANADIAN SOCIAL ISSUES . HALIFAX : FERNWOOD ,PG ., 85-119
Summarized By: Bashar Asaeedi and Tina Hashem
What is the research question?
“Who is defining sexual problems? Who is being defined? Who are the definers silencing or
opposing? We need especially to investigate where the definitions have historically and
socially come from. If we can grasp where they have come from, and how that have been
put in place, we can act to challenge and transform them.”
How was data analyzed?
By tracing back to the origins of defining and regulating homosexual behaviors within the
Topic (what is the passage about?)
This article is talks about sexuality before the 19 century of how sexuality was a
physical and biological urge of human beings. During the 19 century, state and
professional agencies managed the sexual activities and cultures. Later, sexuality
became an area for the production of scientific knowledge and truth by these
professionals, which led to sexology (the scientific study of sexuality). The
categorization of different sexual “types,” “deviations,” “perversions,” and norms
was entered into administrative regulations, mandating action for the containment of
Detail (supporting detail and relevant and important facts)
Important concepts and definitions:
Gay = “perverse”/ “sexual perversions”/ “sexually deviant groups”/ “sexual
regulation” creates a social hegemony (not only through governmental institutions (ex
Criminal Code), but also through culture and mainstream media) - good example: Ellen
DeGeneres‟ show being cancelled a year after she came out of the closet)/ “heterosexual
hegemony”: practice of making heterosexuality normal, natural and healthy while making
homosexuality/lesbianism sick, abnormal, deviant and dangerous. It involves the lesbian/gay
subordination/ 1950‟s in Canada: homosexuals are defined as “criminal sexual
psychopaths”/ “hegemonic masculinity”
“Deviancy Theory”: how an individual comes to be labeled as deviant by social
agencies and significant others (Often groups “deviants” as gays, lesbians, prostitutes,
hustlers, women seeking abortions, “juvenile delinquents”, and people in prison, along with
rapists and sexual mass murderers (although clearly each one is unique to its own experience) “Heteronormativity”: assumption that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural
sexuality and relies on the congruence of sex, gender and sexuality.
Stafford‟s paper contributed to making prostitution and male same gender sexuality
seem as a social problem. Its definition as a “social problem” grew to medical, legal,
psychiatric, and governmental practices. Since issues of prostitution and homosexuality
appeared more in “authorized social languages” (such as the media, government
commissions, and parliamentary debates) than in our daily everyday lives, those institutions
suddenly have the power to define and name the context of this “social problem” (think
power/knowledge relationship: those institutions have the power and therefore control the
knowledge that is made public i.e. “social organization of knowledge”).
None of these institutions are neutral, each have a specific social standpoint. During
the early years of social sciences, gay men, lesbians and prostitues were rarely involved in
producing knowledge about their own experiences. Later sexuality grew to medical terrains
grew to medical terrains, where one would assume that the objectivity of the science would
rely on pure fact (and not be affiliated with previous religious beliefs at all). However,
“religious definitions of social norms conditioned and shaped how the new secular
“scientific” knowledge emerged and also reappeared as an organizing idealogy for moral
conservatives.” Development of sexual sciences was “contradictory and uneven”.
Additionally, prostitution before was seen as a biological issue but it is seen today as
a vector of disease, spreaders of disease and seen as a moral issue.
AIDS/HIV used by mass media to reconstruct homosexuality as social problem and a sexual
danger. People with AIDS were considered the “other” in society. AIDS became a problem
of sexual and other forms of deviance. Also, media focused on HIV transmission as being
the fault of deviant HIV individuals. For example, media described an HIV infected male
prostitute in Saint John, N.B. as a social danger even though he was engaged in safe sex.
Governments and agencies need to address the problem of sexually transmitted diseases and
try to give access to treatments for HIV and other related diseases.
Child sexual abuse has also been transformed into an issue that is highly correlated
with homosexuality. Often the media tends to focus on homosexuality being the problem
within child sexual abuse/ violence (despite the fact that in reality, “a young person‟s
chances of being molested by a heterosexual partner or a relative are more than one hundred
times greater than the chances of being molested by an identifiable gay man, lesbian, or
bisexual”). The example he gives is the Christian Brothers in New Foundland where the
police did not prosecute these group of boys for physical and sexual assaults on boys and the
commission that was placed to investigate this situation focused on the homosexuality as the
problem. The media worked erroneously interconnected homosexuality with child abuse
specifically boys and young men. Example: The Boys of St. Vincent film that focused on the
framing of child sexual abuse that is affecting boys and are occurring in institutions such as
orphanages, training schools.
The fight for equal same sex spousal and family recognition has led to the redefining
of social policy definitions of “spouse” and “family” as exclusively heterosexual in
character”. “Radical lesbian and gay activists view marriage as a patriarchal institution that has historical and socially contributed to the oppression of women” (ex Rachel Sullivan
LOL). The concept of deviancy transforms gay men into “objects of study”.
Another important thing to understand is that groups like lesbian/gay liberation
movements/prostitutes/sex trade workers are not the problem but instead they are made
into social problems by powerful state and professional agencies.
Some examples of resistance are: 1) creating awareness, 2) the ways in which gay and
lesbians create communities (having specific place to meet) to resist the legal and moral
issues they faced
Some needed to set up themes of liberation movements, feminists, prostitutes rights,
and AIDS organizing for people to have more control over their bodies and the need to
decriminalize, challenge social inequalities facing women and gays in society, etc.
Radical pluralism shifts attention to character of sexual relations between people instead of
sexual acts themselves.
For gays and lesbians, heteronormativity and oppressive sexual regulation becomes
For prostitute, criminalization of women‟s sexuality and social and economic
People living with AIDS/HIV, state professional practices, media coverage that
foster discrimination and prohibits access to treatment
Another Perspective (the RPARSF):
Radicals: focuses on the limitations of respectability
Pluralism: defense against moral conservatives
Anti-Racist: keeps racialization part of the analysis
Socialist Feminism: keeps class as part of the analysis
Move beyond recognition of difference and diversity to transformative acts of social
T HIRD R EADING
M AWANI , RENISA(2003). “EGAL GEOGRAPHIES OF ABORIGINAL
SEGREGATION IN BRITISH COLUMBIA : HE MAKING AND UNMAKING OF THE
SONGHEES RESERVE ,” NC AROLYN STRANGE AND ALISON B ASHFORD
(EDS). SOLATION : PLACES AND PRACTICES OF EXCLUSION . (LONDON &
N EW Y ORK: ROUTLEDGE ), 173-190.
Summarized By: Julianne Hennig
"Focused specifically on late nineteenth-and early twentieth-century Victoria, British
Columbia (BC), I use this context to examine how the forced confinement of Aboriginal peoples on to legally mandated reserves figured in the making of a
mythical white settler society."
How distinctions between „coloniser‟ and „colonised‟ were spatially
articulated and legally sanctioned.
How did the coercive displacement of Native communities on to reserves
enable local authorities and white colonists to physically construct and
symbolically envision BC as a European settlement colony?
How was the forced and systematic confinement of Aboriginal peoples even
possible in light of the liberal values of justice, fairness and civility that were
thought to differentiate Europeans from Natives?
Examining late nineteenth-and early twentieth-century context about
Victoria, British Columbia
"Throughout that the making of Victoria as a white space was asserted
through the racial presence, exclusion and legal containment of Aboriginal
peoples. During this period, Euro-Canadian colonists envisioned their own
subjectivities and their civic imaginings against the bodies and spaces of the
city‟s indigenous inhabitants. But in a period when Native peoples
outnumbered Europeans and when control over land was not yet secure, the
region‟s large Aboriginal presence needed to be contained across a physical
Songhees case shows the conflict was fixed through the law.
Colonial élites relied on equally oppressive legal strategies through which
they forced the Songhees to vacate their land and relocate to a reserve further
away from Victoria.
Authorities aimed to erase the violence of this displacement, insisting that it
was not only consensual but also in the best interests of the Songhees
In the process, colonial officials were able to constitute their own
subjectivities by upholding the ideals of justice and equity that were assumed
to be integral to whiteness.
"But it is important to remember that despite the „civility‟ of this process,
legal geographies of Aboriginal segregation dispossessed peoples like the
Songhees from their ancestral territories, destroyed traditional ways of living,
and forced indigenous communities into an enduring and ongoing condition
of social, economic and political marginality in Canada." F OURTH READING
A XEL, BRIAN K EITH (2006) “DISPLACEMENT , IASPORA ,AND DIFFERENCE
IN THE M AKING OF BHANGRA ,” BETWEEN C OLONIALISM AND D IASPORA:
S IKHC ULTURAL FORMATIONS . DURHAM : DUKE U NIVERSITY PRESS, 121-159.
Summarized by: Lauren Ellis
Identity (specifically Punjabi)
Diaspora—dispersion of people away from their homeland
Bhangra—form of dance originated from Punjabi culture but evolved through the migration
of Punjabi people
At the beginning, Bhangra was a dance representative of the seasons and agriculture
in India however it began to gradually develop into a celebratory dance used as
weddings, parties, etc.
With the influx of Punjabi people to Britain Bhangra began to take a new form
represented a by hybridity of Afro-Caribbean and Punjabi culture entitled “Black
In this article, Brian Keith Axel explores the role cross-cultural integration played in
the development of Bhangra. Bhangra is a form of dance that ties many Punjabi people to
the traditions and history and plays a role in their identity. Specifically with the immigration
to Britain Bhangra greatly shifted to reflect the newfound culture and experiences.
Particularly, Axel investigates how the Afro-Caribbean culture in Britain was instrumental in
the transformation of Bhangra and how it began to represent a “Hybridity” of the two
cultures titled “Black Bhangra”. Music associated with Bhangra often expressed feelings
attraction and love but also greatly focused on feelings of alienation and longing for one‟s
“homeland”. Finally, the main point of this chapter is to understand how Bhangra “played a
key role in the performance of Punjabi identities” (158) and how the encounters between
Punjabi diaspora and afro-Caribbean diaspora has played a crucial role in this understanding.
Summarized By: Melissa Morrison
Bhangra, a traditional form of Punjabi dance that diasporic artists have transformed into a
globally popular music style.
Article was about bringing South Asian & British imperial history together (focused on
transnationalism & postcolonialism)
Construction on Sikh identity (late 18 -early 21 century)
Competing Visions of Sikh identity (from colonialism & diaspora) Sikhism has expanded
from the religious & political texts to the Streets and nightclubs Much of Bhangra‟s recent evolution stems from encounters of the Sikh & Afro-carribbean
communitiessuch cross-cultural encounters are central in defining Sikh identity both in
Sikh & Diaspora.
Diaspora: is the spreading of something that was once traditionally local.
The Sikh Diaspora is the modern Punjabi Sikh migration from the traditional area of the
Punjab region-a place. Sikhism is an ethnic religion. Punjab region being the historic
homeland of Sikhism.
Identify the different areas in the article where the 4 State Models of Ethnic Relations
Appeared (Segregation, Assimilation, Melting Pot, & Multiculturalism)
Melting Pot Example: Jay-Z’s remix of a Punjabi MC’s song “Mundian”
Blended together vocals of Labh Janjua
Club hit and did well on the charts
Did well in Europe & USA= “cross over” hit= a cultural commodity
“Mundian” was an encounter between 2 groups (American Post Modernity and Indian
The song success marked arrival of Bhangra on the global scene
The song was like a metaphor that emphasized how all these cultures are blended together
(Hybrid: take 2 cultures and mix them up)
Multiculturalism Example: Black Bhangra
New form of Bhangra in Britain (late 1980-early 1990)
Interweaving of Bhangra and Black musical traditions (Hybrid Bhangra)
Exchange between Punjabis and Afro-Carribbean
Gives political expression to a “common color”
“Political Blackness”: alignment of young south Asian with blacknessmarked a new
“strategic identity politics” political power of Blackness within Post-colonial
Britainembracing blackness allowed unity action of Asians, Latin Americans, Arabs,
Caribbean‟s & Africans to strengthen their identity and culture.
It was a push back to maintain personal identity form being engulfed in Britain identity.
Segregation Example: Traditional Punjabi folk dance
The traditional dance Bhangra was always gender specific-some female dances but
Bhangra itself specifically make dance form
Bhangra was traditionally practiced/associated with these specific districts of W. Punjab:
Sialkot, Gujrat, Shekhupura, Gujranwala and Gurdaspur
Traditionally celebrated fertility, joys of harvest
Originally a peasants dance
Assimilation Example: “Traditional Bhangra”