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Final Exam Notes for SOC232.docx

, Fall 2013
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Erik Schneiderhan
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Final Exam Notes for SOC232
Lecture 1
Smith, “Knowing a Society from Within: A Woman’s Standpoint,”
De Beauvoir, “Woman as Other,”
King Jr., “The Power of Nonviolent Action,”
Friedan, “The Problem That Has No Name,”
Chodorow, “Gender Personality and the Reproduction of Mothering,”
Foucault, “Power as Knowledge,”
Harstock, “A New Theory of Power for Women?”
Theme: Women oppression
Dorothy Smith “Knowing a Society from Within: A Woman’s Standpoint”
Stuff she is writing about is called: Standpoint theory
A standpoint is a place from which one views and sees the world that determines
both what one focuses on as well as what is obscured.
Depending on one's situation, one's standpoint may vary from that of another
individual who may be of a similar status.
Standpoint feminism makes the case that because women's lives and roles in
almost all societies are significantly different from men's; women hold a different
type of knowledge.
Their location as a subordinated group allows women to see and understand the
world in ways that are different and challenging to the existing male-biased
conventional wisdom
The only way of knowing the socially constructed world is knowing from within
You can never stand outside it and know it
We try to make sense of things based on our knowledge
It not about perspective example: of being on a train
Lets come at it from a different standpoint
She see’s a family out there
She using herself, problematizing herself, The way I understand what I saw, its in
my terms, I’m looking at them
My Terms for understanding them (Indian, Family, Train) These nouns, adjectives
describing what she is seeing and making sense of it, not the people on the
ground at the station
Train example  Smith looks out of the train and sees an Indian First Nations
standing on the side of the tracks holding her children accompanied by a man.
They seem like a family. What is the point of this? She is taking her standpoint
and creating her own terms to refer to them – the terms “family” and “Indian”
could be wrong
Similar to Garfinkel “taken for granted” concept
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Think about what neglected standpoints are being neglected in the GTA e.g.
some homeless people can have homes; “unhoused” – sociologist assumed that
the man selling c.d.’s and sleeping on the sidewalk was homeless
Objectify” – Men look at woman as an object (not okay). Smith is kind of saying
that don’t just look at the hot body because there is more to it; She applies this to
view the world
Simone De Beauvoir “Woman as Other”
What is women
He is the subject, she is other
Men have power over how women are constructed
Global society is not a middle sign
De Beauvoir’s primary thesis is that men fundamentally oppress women by
characterizing them, on every level, as the Other, defined exclusively in
opposition to men.
Man occupies the role of the self, or subject; woman is the object, the other
He is essential, absolute, and transcendent. She is inessential, incomplete, and
He extends out into the world to impose his will on it, whereas woman is doomed
to immanence, or inwardness
He creates, acts, invents; she waits for him to save her
Why are women taking this social construction by men
Subjection of weaker by the stronger
Video: Ellen “Bic for her” Pens made for women, to fit their hands
Beauvoir shows how men have attained their own self-realization through the
othering of women, and in the process, structural formations of human existence
have been solidified in ways that perpetuate the classifying of woman as Other.
These are deep-seated structures, firmly grounded to the extent of biology.
Beauvoir’s claim of Woman as Other is indeed a serious claim. Her claim carries
enough force to shatter our worlds, in which woman has been systematically
positioned as that Other through which men attain self-actualization.
It is a unique position  division of the sexes is a biological fact makes it a distinct
challenge in social terms
E.g. Video of advertisement of Bic “girly” pens on Ellen
“Reciprocal Relations” (For a relationship to balanced it has to be reciprocal
One is not born she wrote but “becomes a women”
It is a unique position  division of the sexes is a biological fact makes it a distinct
challenge in social terms
Quote is a woman is not born a women but becomes a women it is a learned
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Martin King Junior “The Power of Nonviolent Action,”
Gandhi’s campaign on nonviolent resistance
Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral
Non-violent resistance makes it possible for the Negro to remain in the South and
struggle for his rights.
The Negro problem will not be solved by running away
In the end it is not a struggle between the people at all, but a tension between
Justice and Injustice
The Negros, once a helpless child, has now grown up politically, culturally and
He must convince the white man that all he seeks is justice for himself and the
white man
To gain power through resistance, avoid violence
Violence as a away of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral
Through non violent resistance the Negro will be able to rise to the Nobel height
of opposing the unjust system while loving the perpetrators of the system
The Negro must work passionately and unrelenting for full stature as a citizen, he
must not use inferior methods to gain it never use malice hate or destruction
Video: I have a dream
Betty Friedan “ The problem that has no name”
She has a quest
Is Canadian women cooking meals, staying home is that all they can do?
Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for
groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her
children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night
—she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question—“Is this all?”
“The Problem That Has No Name.” There Friedan verbalized what countless
housewives thought and felt but did not know how to say: the American dream
was a disappointment for women
Where women were held captive by a culture that expected them to find
fulfillment in their families while secluding themselves from the ambitions of the
university and the workplace
Video: Step ford Wives, The super Market Scene
The Suburban housewife was the dream image of the young American women
Suburban Wife dream, beautiful, housewife who had everything a women would
dream of
There is a New Step ford wife in the GTA
The woman of Stepford are seen as perfect housewives who never have a stray
hair out of place and are always submitting to their husbands. The main
character Joanna, realizes that this 'perfect' town is not at all what it seems and
that the woman of Stepford are created into robots so their husbands can control
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