What is theory and its effects?
Theorizing is a form of informed speculation; it is not specific but defines general patterns. Theory
explains why and how things happen. It finds relationships among social patterns explaining (ex.
something causes other things/correlation). Theory consists of arguments and explanations it is not just
a statement but a set of abstract principles which is the outcome of given facts in relation to one
another. Theory is not a guess but provides reasons and analysis of things and involves complexity. A
theory doesn’t have to be the true description of reality but most times it just interprets reality and
open grounds for other explanations- opens new horizons
The effects of theory include:
• Challenges 'common sense’
• Offers an alternative explanation
• Questions assumptions
• Unsettles that which is taken for granted
Examples of Theory
1. Why some men are violent against women in general- men abuse women b/c they have
problem struggling with their temper conscious decision to abuse women (target of abuse),
Hegemonic masculinity encourages men to be violent against women
Thus theory here is providing complex explanations for men’s violence against women with
reasons and analysis.
2. Men have more accidents than women thus concluded that men are worst drivers than women.
theory gives reasonsmen take risks and are aggressive. Men don’t just get from A to B but
other factors are involved that cause accidents. Also when checked for variables of kilometers
gave reasons that men drive more & more often that results in more accidents. There is no
scientific evidence why men are worst drivers.
3. Why did Amina stop talking to Susan
What is Feminism and what is feminist theory
The six features of feminism include:
1. Feminism is studying and understanding gender as a system of cultural signs. (body is a sign
women who have big bodies and less muscular men read them in different way- Pop culture
portrays less muscular men as less attractive and weak)
2. These cultural signs have direct effect on how we live. (judges other people/ discriminates/
3. The present gender system is structured by a binary opposition--masculine/feminine.
4. This binary privileges men more often than women.
5. Qualification: other binary oppositions are always at work. (rich/poor, hetero/queer,
6. Feminism thinks these facts are wrong and need to be changed (critic of sexual hierarchy,
misogyny, racism) Feminist Theory
Is concerned with women’s inequality
Is concerned with gender asymmetry
Examines the conditions in which men are more powerful (Economic, global, psychological,
legal, social, political etc.)
Challenge all structures of domination
Explains the construction of masculinity and femininity
What is Hegemonic Masculinity? What are the ten Formal and informal norms of hegemonic
Hegemonic masculinity consists of idealized norms acted out by the most powerful men (White, middle
class, and heterosexual). Other masculine styles are rendered inadequate and inferior. It harms men of
color, poor men, “third world” men, and non-heterosexual men. It Harms women.
It consists of culturally normative ideals of masculinity within a structure of social ordinance where
some men are subordinated. It is something that is achieved and has to be acted out. These norms are
institutionalized formally and informally both.
Hegemonic Masculinity: Patriarchal sex-gender regime values certain aspects of masculinity above all in
society. It is a set of arrangements by which a society transforms biological sexuality into a product of
human activities. Ideal man:
1): A real man is aggressive and violent
2) : A real Man settles things physically
3): A real man confronts his adversaries
4) : A real man is not a whiner
5) : A real man is a winner
6) A real man is hypersexual
7) A real man is heterosexual
Negative effects on men and women
Formal/Informal Norms of Hegemonic Masculinity
1. Anti-feminine Norm (discourages intimacy, friendship etc)
2. Norms of Interpersonal Relations (tells men emotional attachment drives others away not close)
3. Success Norm (status norm: success associated with moneyfinance first)
4. Gendered Occupations Norm (work prioritystress when the