Gender Inequality Lecture

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University of Toronto St. George

th January 25 2010 Gender Inequality: Lecture 3 Gender relations are often unequal Any relationship with inequality is troubled Sex vs. Gender: Difference between sex and gender, sex is the biological characteristics that make a person biologically female or male. By gender, we mean the social expectations that people describe masculine and feminine. Social construction is the process that makes sex differences seem large or small, important and unimportant Northern European countries have low fertility; notion of romantic of men and women is much played down compared to societies with women who are having 5 or more children. Decline in birth rate, improvement of contraceptives is an important factor, and with these contraceptives you have choices and men and women both have choices rather than just the men. What is domination? Why have women been dominated? Max Weber defines domination as the probability that certain specific commands or all command will be obeyed by a given group of persons Examples of such dominances can be seen on parent-child relationships, employer- employee relationship, student-teacher relationships You see women deferring to men, with no gun held to their head Where are these patterns of dominance coming from? Domination is a power relationship that implies voluntary compliance or obedience People obey because they have an interest in doing so, or at least think they have such an interest Weber: says if we want to understand dominance we have to understand different between authority and power is precisely that people are obeying because there is some legit right to obedience. He says what creates this legitimacy? Usually there is a belief in the legitimacy of the actions of the dominant individual or group
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