Chapter 7: Gender
Gender norms are so pervasive that they are often invisible women and men dont question why men
dont wear dresses and why women are weary of walking alone at night it is just the way it is.
Gendered Order (Macro Level)
- the differential treatment individuals are accorded on the basis of gender.
- Eg: opportunities offered or blocked.
- Supported by a rigid set of gender norms, including behaviors that are appropriate for men and
- Men are authority figures supported by an ideology of decision making and control resources
and women are oppressed by this gender inequality.
- effect institutionally
Gendered Identity (Micro Level)
- How gendered order is transmitted to and internalized by individual members of society.
- Self as it develops in accordance with an individuals gender and social definitions of that
- process of acquiring a gendered identity, and begins at birth.
- Born male or female, but become masculine or feminine through socialization
- is a biological
- physiological differences via hormones and reproductive organs and body size
- ascribed characteristic.
- social category
- Gender roles for men and women are socially created and learned, and people are not born with
- this is an achieved characteristic
I. Structural Functionalism and Gender
-along biological lines male and females are suited for different types of work. Thus role differentiation
occurs to justify the gendered division of labour. Looks to family and head complement arrangement
with father as breadwinner and dominant figure and mother as submissive homemaker. The
instrumental dimension is taken care of the father as this is the public realm of paid labour, whereas the
expressive dimension which is the private realm is taken care of my the mother as this addresses
nurturing and unpaid housework.
Socialization Agents and Institutions such as Media, Education Religion, Law and Policy have a
tendency for men to be portrayed in instrumental roles and women in expressive roles. Criticism: that is justifies an ideology of gender inequality.
II. Symbolic Interactionism and Gender
-Reality is socially constructed and the social world is in a constant state of negotiation and
-SIs see nothing natural about the relationship between sex and gender.
-Focus on ways masculinity and femininity are socially constructed
-the process of becoming gendered is a social one that involves the development of a gendered identity.
-Therefore the impact of gender socialization is great.
-Socialization into rigid roles is often neither consistent nor enduring and a blending of two roles is
common eg: homosexual behavior. (10% of popn).
-gays and lesbians pose a challenge to the gendered order and its heterosexual assumption that the only
natural and appropriate sexual activity is heterosexual.
-SI recognizes the process of becoming gendered is a social one, not a natural one. Therefore the
existing gendered order could change as could gender identities.
III.Conflict Theory and Gender
-sees gender as a source of social inequality.
-Patriarchy or the system of male dominance is seen to be a product of capitalism, and hence a
secondary role. The oppression of women is one manifestation of the class-based society.
-Marx saw biology as destiny thus women were mothers, housekeepers and a weaker sex.
-Engels felt the subjugation of women was due to the introduction of private property because then
came the nuclear family and men as breadwinners and properties and women as propertyless
-Thus, women were like the lower working class and men the capitalist class.
Nature v. Nurture myths of biological determinism
-argues sex is destiny social roles and gender are predetermined by biological sex.
-It is the social construction of gender and the patterning of the gendered order that produces a self-
fulfilling prophecy of male dominance and female submissiveness, and the heterosexual assumption.
This is not natural it is cultural.
-linguistic sexism tendency to communicate sexist messages, such as male superiority or the
assumption that certain roles must be occupied by either men or women through language: nurse and
-we must think gender inclusive so that we can reverse sexism in language. Eg: fireperson.
Gendered Division of Labour in the gendered order, gender differences are manifested in expectations
regarding motherhood, fatherhood and paid and unpaid labour. The idea that women are biologically
more suited for the social role of parenting has led to limitations in possibilities for women and men.
Women role limits womens other roles in the public sphere.
Feminization of Poverty due to the gendered order on the life experience of women in Canadian society, at all stages of the adult life cycle, women are more likely than men to be poor, and they are
more likely than men to be trapped in a life of poverty. Paid less, less upwardly mobile and more
dependent on men. Often left with children in divorce single parents.
-Blaming the Victim until recently domestic violence was a private matter and women must have
deserved it eg; strippers and prostitutes cannot be raped.
Instructions: Test your knowledge! After reading chapter 7 on Gender, use these terms to fill in the
1) Gender, 2) gender identity, 3) gender division of labour, 4) gender order, 5) liberal feminism,
6)objectification, 7) patriarchy, 8) private realm, 9) public realm, 10)radical feminism, 11)sex,
12)socialist feminism, 13) transgendered
1) _____________________________ argues that gender inequality can be remedied by greater
opportunity being given to women, such as pay equity, day care, affirmative action.
2)_____________________________ a social construction based on definitions of masculinity and
femininity, and norms and behavioural expectations for each gender category.
3) _____________________________ the variant with just one goal, the abolition of male supremacy;
the means, women having control over biological reproduction
4) _____________________________ system in which males and females, in both unpaid and paid
labour arenas, take on what are deemed sex appropriate tasks.
5) _____________________________ to view someone as an object, usually a sexual object, and not
fully as a person.
6) _____________________________ the inclusion of aspects of both genders in ones gender identity
7) _____________________________ the home, unpaid domestic labour and expressive tasks,
nurturing and providing emotional support; the domain of women in functionalist thought
8) _____________________________ ones perception of self as male or female, not to be confused
with sexual orientation, and not necessarily consistent with a persons sex.
9) _____________________________ paid labour and the instrumental tasks needed for survival; the
domain of men in functionalist thought
10) _____________________________ a system of gender relations in which traits associated with
men are more valued than traits associated with women and thus gives men greater privilege.
11) _____________________________ a biological ascribed trait 12) _____________________________ the part of social structure that makes social life gendered,
directing how males and females should act, including norms, roles and ideologies.
13)_____________________________ the variant that sees capitalism as leading to patriarchy and then
Chapter 10: The Family
IV. Basic Terminology
A. What is Marriage?
Marriage can be defined as a commitment and an ongoing exchange.
Commitment = fairly explicit contract outlining rights and obligations
Ongoing exchange = interdependence between partners
Expressive exchanges emotional dimension of marriage
Instrumental exchanges task oriented dimension of marriage
B. What is a Family?
A family can be defined as two or more people who are related by blood, adoption, or some
other form of extended commitment and who reside together.