Kine 1000 Lecture Midterm Notes
Toward a New Vision
Patricia Hill Collins:
- is a social theorist who research, scholarship, and activism have examined intersecting power
relations of race, gender, social class, sexuality and/or nation.
- was elected in 2007 as the 100 President of The American Sociological Association.
-First African American woman this position in the ASA.
- Who is oppressed in our society and by whom?
- How are power relations identified in today’s world?
Oppression is full of contradictions!
- There is the need for new thoughts and paradigms to make sense of power relations in today’s
“I am more oppressed than you”
- This is an easy mistake confined to narrow definitions of race, class, gender…and not to see that
these categories intersect and obscure the understanding of oppression.
New thinking! New Acting!
- “…new ways of thinking that are not accompanied by new ways of acting offer incomplete
prospects for change.”
- The “easy” understanding of human relations and understanding of each other cuts through
labels that “simplify” the task of truly getting to know each other.
- “…change starts with self and relationships that we have with those around us must always be
the primary site for social change.”
1. How can we reconceptualize race, class, and gender…?
2. How can we transcend the barriers created by our own experiences…?
Pay attention to words/actions!
- So easy to act triggered by emotions (fear, anger, frustration, etc.) - So easy to follow common and long standing beliefs about people (poor/rich/middle class
people; Latin/Asian/black/white/native people.
- It is so easy to blame “the other”!
- Or to blame society- we are society!
Additive analyses of oppression (either/or)
- Based on two assumptions:
1. Dichotomous thinking: either this or that
2. Ranking of the dichotomous thinking (one group is always dominant/ the other
Dimensions of Gender Oppression
1. Institutional Dimension of Oppression
2. The symbolic
3. The individual
1. Institutional Dimension of Oppression
- The institutional (schools, businesses, hospitals, workplace, and government agencies).
Challenge: What was slavery?
- Was it a racist institution?
- Or a class institution?
- Or a gender institution?
2. Symbolic Dimension of Oppression
- These traits are not all inclusive set of traits, perhaps it fits mainly to “Elite White Men”.
- How do these categories of traits apply for certain groups of people? For instance, if a Latin or
black man were to be aggressive, most probably be perceived as dangerous not powerful as the
list may suggest. - One way to dehumanize a group is by denying the reality of their experiences
o If you don’t fit what I think women should look/behave, you are not fully a women.
o The role of dehumanizing in the army in order to kill the enemy.
3. Individual Dimension of Oppression
- Who are you close friends? Do they look like you?
- How have the conditions under which you were born shaped you as a person?
- The creation of our “normalcy” is rooted in our personal experiences. What we consider
“normal” has its foundation in our personal interactions .
- “oppression can only survive through silence”
Towards a New Vision 2- Race, Class, and Gender
New Ideas= Resistance!
- Power and how it is distributed in society. Why does it matter?
- Our main challenge would be your resistance to long standing beliefs that our lives are way
outside our control. Things are the way they are because that’s the way it is.
- We will challenge ideas about health:
o What is the main reason for people’s poor health?
o Who is healthy: big people are unhealthy (and lazy) whereas skinny people are healthy.
Is that so?
- Purpose of the kinesiology course
o To introduce and discuss the concept of socially constructed bodies (healthy, athletic,
and everyday bodies) as negotiate within many powers at play.
o How are our bodies defined and for what purpose?
o Picture of two women kissing at the Olympics
The concept of this picture is controversial. Some will disagree based on
personal experience, religious beliefs, and cultural teachings. We are asked to
ponder the new concepts. Understanding the roots of long standing beliefs. And
analyse facts that are given.
- Antonio Gramsci wrote about how power as ideological ideas that make people (especially
those without power) believe that their interest are the same than those with power
(hegemony). He explained it as a common sensical leadership in which those without power
would not question those without power would not question those with power or at least would
not overthrow them from power.
- Gramsci, Hegemony and titanic
- Power/privilege - In the titanic, the people with more power are located at the top of the ship in which they get to
enjoy the best views given on the ship, while those without power are working at the very
bottom of the ship, with poor views. The people with more power also had a higher chance of
surviving when the titanic sunk, than the people without power at the bottom of the ship.
- Have you been discriminated and not be aware of it?
- Do you think that there is a correlation between income and SAT scores?
- Ideas of discipline and power
- Explained that power is never total.
- Even those two diseases of totalitarian power (Hitler and Stalin) could not occupy and control all
sectors in society. There were pockets of resistance in society that operated during those
- Foucault advanced the idea that power is everywhere.
- Why is this idea important?
Gramsci, Foucault, and power
- This idea that power everywhere is importance because Foucault acknowledged that there are
always holes/spaces for resistance to occur.
Satirical Humour: Progressive or Regressive?
- “Humour has always been an incredibly useful and powerful took for discussing/critiquing
oppression. But it’s always tricky navigating between the kinds of humor that rises to the level
of satire. This is humor that rises to critique stereotypes /abuses of power etc.), and the kind of
humor that is a satire is just an excuse to reinforce the stereotypes that is supposedly critiqued.
Socialization- Children and parents constructing “gender”- “Barbie Girls vs. Sea Monsters”
- Active process of leaning and social development as we interact with others.
- Interactive process through which we actively connect with others… and make decisions that
shape our lives and the social world around us.
Social relations + cultural context= meaning and importance:
- Since learn as we get in contact with other people, he meaning and importance of those
experiences will be given by those interactions and the cultural context in which they happen. Other valuable experiences:
- People who choose not to play sports may have different perhaps, better socialization
opportunities in other pursuits (e.g. chess, painting, music, poetry, debate team, etc.)
Sport and socialization
- Sports are sites for socialization experiences, rather than the cause of specific socialization
- Different sports involve different experiences and therefore, consequences. For instance, power
and performance sports versus pleasure and participation sports.
Gender, structure, and culture:
1. How children “do gender” when they interact or perform.
2. How the structured gender regime constrains and enables the actions of children and parents.
3. How popular culture provides of images to be used by children and parents to magnify
Performance of gender:
- Girls dancing around Barbie is a representation of femininity. Boys disrupting the activity
represents male traits.
- Is it natural this acting and doing gender?
- Boys will be boys and girls will be girls.
The structure of gender:
- The value of what it is said (they look so different) and the value of what is ignored (look at
them, they are so similar).
- The instances in which they do similar things and boys and girls, are by far outnumbered by the
things that makes them different.
- It was in the rare case of polarized cultural messages that the parents reaffirmed their beliefs of
gender roles as they understand them. ‘’believing is seeing’’.
Hegemony at play!
- ‘’…organizations, even while appearing ‘gender neutral,’ tend to reflect, re-create, and
naturalize a hierarchical ordering of gender.’’ Not surprisingly, their method becomes the
common sensical norm.
Adult division of labour and power:
- There are more women team manager than men and there are more head coaches than men.
Women are given the role of caring and the men are giving the role of teaching and enforcing,
within kids soccer teams.
- ‘’…the institutional structure of sports has differentially constrained and enabled women’s and
men’s previous options and experiences.’’ In other words, their choices reflect their past
experiences vis-à-vis gender roles. Children: Formal Sex Segregation:
- The League in question has rules that segregate boys and girls because ‘’… the boys and girls
tend to separate into groups… even during half-times and practices…’’
Barbie as a ‘’symbol’’:
- What Mattel has in mind in 1959 was money. Since then they have developed black Barbie,
professional Barbie, Athlete Barbie, even soldier Barbie. Moving with times to continue selling
images and share images.
- Messner, and other social scientists, ‘’warn us against simplistic readings of Barbie as simply
conveying hegemonic messages about gender to unwitting children’’ and those around them
(parents, coaches, teachers, and other popular culture mediums).
- Thus, Barbie’s ideological content should be assessed in a context in which different ideas about
Barbie could be developed after being exposed to her.
- Note: we are not just puppets, even when we are five years old- although at times we might be
tempted to believe so.
… So, Barbie as a feminist!?!?
- … or cleaver marketing strategies?
- Barbie (girls) can be anything they want (veterinarian, dentist, astronaut).. as long as they are
beautiful, skinny, with long legs, and big breasts.
- These Barbie are sending the message that in order to be happy and successful, you have to look
and act like them.
Kindergarten vs. Sport:
- ‘’ (W) omen leaders enforcing rules that are aggressive to masculinity fantasy play and
physicality’’ versus the sport and environment where those masculine attitudes are ‘’celebrated
by mostly male coaches.’’
- Messner clarifies that without a multiple level of analysis, the ‘’reading’’ of his story could not be
o How do social agents go gender (interactionist).
o How do the institution(s) foster o disrupt certain behaviours (structural)
o How the meanings of certain cultural symbols impact us- reproduce, disrupt, or contest
Update: AYSO’s National Rules and Regulations 2010:
- ‘’Boys and girls may play on the same teams where there is an insufficient number of registrants
to establish separate teams with reasonable application. It is strongly recommended, however,
that separate boys and girls teams be instituted and maintained wherever possible.’’ Social Class and Social Determinants of Health
Review: Power and Privilege
- Power is
- Power circulates (Foucault)
- Power and privilege are personal
- Hegemony- accepting to our own oppression because we are afraid of those with power.
- How is my privilege connected to some else’s oppression? (P.Hill Collins)
- How does power and privilege manifest in our interaction? In our social structure? In our
Social Determinants of Health:
o ‘’…the economic and social conditions that shape the health of individuals,
communities, and jurisdictions as a whole.’’
o ‘’…the primary determinants of whether individuals stay healthy or become ill’’
o ‘’… the quantity and quality of a variety of resources that society makes available to its
Social determinants of health:
- Aboriginal status
- Early life
- Income and income distribution
- Employment and working conditions
- Social exclusion
- Food insecurity
- Social safety net
- Health services
- Unemployment and job security.
Social determinants of physical activity:
- Aboriginal status
- Income and income distribution
- Education - Race
- Employment and working conditions
- Social segregation
- Food insecurity
o Categories of people who share a position in society that is based on a combination of
Social connections or networks
- Socioeconomic status (SES)
- Layers as determined by:
o Contribution to economic production
o Command over resources
o Lifestyle and life chances
Social class and our bodies:
- Class is Corporeal
o Definition: relating to a person’s body, especially as opposed to their spirit.
o We make judgements and assumptions about people, by seeing how they look.
Social Class and our Bodies (P. Bourdieu)
- Social world= array of fields
- Habitus: set of
- Habitus refers to lifestyle, values, the personalities and expectations of particular social groups
that are acquired through the activities and experiences of everyday life.
o Cultural Social class and social determinants of health B
Capital and sport or PA:
- Increase economic capital = increase sport or PA opportunities (some sports require a lot of
equipment and money)
- Increase cultural capital= increase comfort in more sport or PA environments (knowledge or
how to play certain sports or how to use certain machines and equipment in the fitness and
weight rooms, the more you know about them, the more comfortable.
- Social capital= increase networks to access sport or PA Or
= increase in opportunities through sport or PA to access social networks ( if you
have people who you go to the gym with or people who can teach you with gym equipment, you
will feel more comfortable going to the gym and thus you are using your capital to access these
Capital and sport or PA- Evidence:
- 2005 general social survey:
o Household income of less than $40,000: 43% of children were active in sport.
o Household income of over $80,000: 63% of children were active in sport.
o Parents not involved in sports- 24% of children participated in sport.
o Parents involved in sports- 62% of children participated in sports.
- Income influences the amount of people who play sports. The more money you have, the more
likely you would be able to play sports.
- Whether or not parents play sports is a determinant in whether or not their children will play
sports. Parents who do plays sports, most likely their children will play sports.
Bourdieu, sport and social class:
- What activities are more common among people of certain social classes?
- What is the relationship between these activities and these social classes?
- What do these practices mean?
- People who are on top of the social class would play sports that are higher in cost of either
facilities or equipment used.
Social class and relationship to our bodies:
- Upper class:
o Activity for ‘no purpose’
o Disinterested in and distance from material gain.
- Middle class:
o Goal or purpose oriented activity i.e., for development for self-improvement- delayed
- Working class:
o Functional, instrumental relationship with the body.
o The body is a tool. Class Matters
- There is a tendency to
o Ignore social class;
o Assume there is no class hierarchy
o Assume we are all middle class.
- Consequences of these tendencies…
Dangers of Middle Class Assumptions:
- We emphasize agency (the individual) and neglect of structure (society)
- We do not see or we dismiss:
o The power and privilege that some individuals or groups have in relation to others:
o The obstacles and barriers that some individual or groups experience.
Agency vs. Structure:
- In other words, blame the individual.
- Don’t acknowledge the social conditions that constrain individual’s ability to choose.
Toronto star article:
- On some level I agree with the comments about making ridiculous decisions about what career
to pursue. Actually, I would go one step further than most of the critics, and say that, if one has
to depend on assistance (student loans, scholarships) to get through post-secondary school, one
must accept that one is not really middle class, and so does not have the option to take the
middle class path of choosing any area of study.
- It seems the underlying message behind this data is to be careful your choice in profession. The
'99 percenter' here is younger and has a partial career in Social Work, 23k in student loans and
not yet finished her under graduate degree. At 27 years old her career can go in any direction
The 1 percenter is an entrepreneur running a company a mid sized company. He actually is
taking a lot more risk doing what he is doing. Who knows where wind energy will be in 5 years.
- Finish school or whatever it is you are doing, and do not choose a low income field like social
work where most of your employers are relying on community outreach government grant
programs, unless you are fine making a little less than average. You don't get into Social Work
for the money.
- Recall image of Rob Ford: he has created an Everyman persona, that he is like the common man
- We dismiss the fact that his family is quite wealthy
- We dismiss the privileged life that he has had
- Maybe that doesn’t matter…
- Is he able to understand the obstacles and barriers that some individuals and groups
experience? What do we do about poverty in Toronto? In Ontario? In Canada:
Poverty line – statistics Canada
- Definition is varied
- The Low-Income Cut-off After-Tax which looks at a family who spends more than 60% of
their income on basic needs after taxes and transfers are considered
- Market Basket Measure, which takes into consideration actual costs of a basket of
goods in a given area.
- Low Income Measure (the poverty level is set at half the median income),
- Q1. 50,000 household income (note: median income $76,000 according to national household
survey from 2010) – median income (just as many families making $76.000 as there are families
- Q3. not doing enough to help themselves – agency over structure, blaming individual
- Q re rate of child poverty in Canada – more than 1 in 7 children in Canada live in poverty
(Conference Board of Canada)
- In Ontario, 1 in 6 Ontario children live in poverty today; the rate of poverty is 50% higher for
Aboriginal children, children or colour, and children of female single-parents.
Class Matters (cont’d):
- Health consequences
- Class is the strongest determinant of health
- Health status increased with each step up the income and social hierarchy
- Canadians with low socioeconomic status are more likely:
- To die early
- To suffer from chronic health problems, low levels of self-esteem and higher
levels of depression.
- Higher socioeconomic status affords greater sense of control in life.
Social Class and Social Determinants of Health Part C
- The lower your SES, the higher your health hazards are.
- Between developed countries…
- High National income, GDP, economic growth in developed countries: no difference in
- Within developed countries…
- High income: greater life expectancy.
- Relative income
- Social position, social status- class!!!!
- Size of the gaps between us. - There is a gap between the rich and the poor. What happens when this gap gets bigger?
- Effects of high income inequality:
- Social and health problems
- High percentage of mental illness
- Proportion of the population in prison
- Higher percentage of children dropping out of high school
- Decreases social mobility
- Decreases a child well-being
- Decreased trust in others
- Decrease in in social capital- trust in people in the communities around you.
- Greater income inequality makes the most difference for people at the bottom, but has some
benefits to the people at the top.
- Psychological effects of inequality.
Income inequality in Canada:
- There is an increasing gap between the rich and the poor.
- Canada has the fourth largest income gap increase in study period among 17 countries
- There is a shrinking middle class.
- The 1% in Canada…
- Control 14% of the nation’s income
- 275,000 people in this 1%.
- 83% of people in this 1% are men.
- To be a member of the 1%, you need to have an income of at least $230,000.
- Average income $450,000 (2012), vs. ($31,400 of Canadians in 2011).
- Why is this gap increasing
- Neoliberal political shift- approach to governess.
- Emphasize on free market, get rid of government regulations, and allow
enterprise, free trade agreement.
- Less social services- government not involved in education and healthcare,
social safety net gets pushed back. Government no longer involved in the life of
- Government owned things get owned by private enterprise.
- More emphasize on the individual
- Decline in welfare state- government no longer helping out those with low income, they
want those people to have a sense of agency and take care of themselves to prevent
them from being too independent and lazy. Income inequality: Taking Action
- How to narrow the gap?
- Increase company democracy (e.g., employee ownership-co-ops)
- Stop tax avoidance
- End tax havens
- Progressive taxation
Space, place, and health: Food Deserts Part A
Food for thought…
- Not just carbs, proteins, calories, or nutrients.
- Has a deep personal, cultural, and political meanings.
Food as personal
- Food and out bodies
- Food and identity
- Healthy or unhealthy
- Educated or uneducated
- Responsible or irresponsible
- Food and memory
What we eat- a political statement
- Food and judgement
- ‘Guilty pleasure’
What we eat- have cultural meanings
- Holidays, celebrations
- We are wasting too much food!
- Consumption- both literal food consumption and also consumerism.
Space, place, and health: Food Deserts Part B
- Neighbourhood in which healthy food is expensive and or difficult to find. Urban food deserts:
- Definition: areas of cities with relatively poor access to healthy and affordable food.
- Cause: suburbanization of food outlets- food places moving into the busy cities.
- Queen and Sherbourne- worst food desert in Toronto
What is it?
- When all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy
- Both physical and economic access to food that meets people’s dietary needs as well as their
- Food insecurity: absence of food security.
Three pillars of food security:
- Sufficient quantities of food, consistently available.
- Sufficient resources to obtain appropriate food.
- Appropriate use of food, based on knowledge of nutrition and care; adequate water and
Different levels of analysis:
Different levels of intervention
- Food access
- Food system
Global Hunger (2010)
- 925 million people do not have enough food to eat.
- 98% of the world’s hungry lie in developing countries.
- Half of the world’s population survive on less than $2 per day.
- About 20% of the population live on less than $1 a day. -Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia accounted for the largest share of food insecure
households in Canada: 85% of the food insecure population.
- 1.6 million Canadian households experienced food insecurity. (Mitchell and Dachner 2011)
- 3.9 million individuals