Sociology 100 Readings

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University of British Columbia
SOCI 100
Richard Sullivan

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 capitalist world. Topic (what is the passage about?) th 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 sex “deviants”. 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. Kinsman‟s Suggestions  For gays and lesbians, heteronormativity and oppressive sexual regulation becomes the problem  For prostitute, criminalization of women‟s sexuality and social and economic inequality  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 justice 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  Thesis: "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." Research Questions:  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? Research Method:  Examining late nineteenth-and early twentieth-century context about Victoria, British Columbia Argument:  "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 boundary. " Results:  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 community.  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  Abstractions  Identity (specifically Punjabi)  Identity formation  Self-representation  Hybridity Key Terms: 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 Bhangra” Summary: 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 communitiessuch 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 tradition)  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 blacknessmarked a new “strategic identity politics” political power of Blackness within Post-colonial Britainembracing 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”
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