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SOSC 1185 (16)
Midterm

Study Guide SOSC 1185 MIDTERM 1

8 Pages
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Department
Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1185
Professor
Lee Wiggins

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Study Guide Definitions: Dominant ideology: the values, beliefs shared by the majority of the people in a given society. Shows how the majority of the population think about the nature of their society, and therefore it serves the interests of the ruling class. Significance: It is significant because the dominant ideology is created based on how women in our society today are oppressed. It helps to maintain the status quo and to keep/reproduce a particular set of power and status relations such as the binary sex/gender system and it tends to be resistant to change. Example: an example of dominant ideology would be the idea that men are supposed to be strong, aggressive, the “bread winner.” This can be seen in the documentary “tough guise” where men are asked to describe what it means to be a man to them and they all take on the dominant ideology and explain masculinity in the same way. Sex/gender binary system: classification of sex and gender into 2 distinct opposite and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine. It discourages people from crossing/mixing gender roles or indentifying with third forms of gender expression altogether. Some points to talk about: i) When the sexes have little to do with one another, see very distinct & rigid gender roles withlittleflexibility. ii) Where the sexes are mutually dependent & work cooperatively, sex based antagonism & inequality is much lower; strong bonds of solidarity between men & women;personalautonomy,co-operation&co-dependencearehighlyvalued. iii) Women tend to have less status & power, especially formal power, in highly stratified societies. Male dominance has been worsened under colonization, capitalism & industrialization where power is regulated & formalized, and becomeswhatMarilynFrenchcalls “powerover”. iv) Women's control over the economic resources of the society has a direct link to their status and power. So women tend to have higher status in societies where they contribute economically and have control over their labour; tends to be a moredemocraticsociety. v) Whenthereis ascarcityofwomen,maledominanceprevails. Alsotendtoseemale violenceagainstwomen,includingfemaleinfanticide,assaultandrape. vi) Maledominancealsoassociatedwithenvironmentalstressors (unstableor unpredictablefoodsupplies,warfare,chronichunger&famine,recentmigration). Suchsocieties tendtobemorehierarchical,competitivewithformalizedpower relations&structures &formalized,morerigidgenderroles &relations. Norms andvalues resexualityareverydifferentformen&women,kinship&residence patternsareusuallymaledominated. Significance: Sex is biological, whereas gender is socially constructed. The sex gender binary system attaches a gender “role”/ set of traits that apply to each sex. These traits are the complete opposite of each other. This system keeps differences in men and women in tact and always seen. Like the article “Natural men and women,” says, until we treat me and women the same socially, then we gave no way of telling what natural differences there may be between them. Example: Scientific objectivity: the ideal goal that scientists strive to achieve. Objectivity is the idea that scientists must eliminate personal biases, emotional involvement, prior commitments, etc. when uncovering scientific truths. Complete objectivity can never be attained, but the scientific method is used to eliminate as much bias as possible. Significance: in our society, scientists hold a lot of power. This cover of scientific objectivity that lets them get away with anything they say shields them. Like the article by Karen Messing talked about, objectivity in science is never possible; political agenda supports white male dominance, status quo. Research that emphasizes differences between men and women is usually published. Example: an example can be taken from anything from Karen Messing’s article. Man scientists do research only on white males and the results are meant to represent everyone. Normalizing: refers to social processes in which ideas and actions come to seem as normal and become taken granted for in everyday life. Significance: some values become normalized and are not addressed then, as they become the norm. Example: Construction workers: are mostly men. It is normal for a woman to leave their job for family, but not for men. White skin is normalized by the media. Otherizing: certain ideas and actions that do not seem “normal,” therefore they are seen as different and therefore are not accepted. People that share these ideas are seen as the “other” and are placed outside of the circle. Significance: people feel that its safer to be within the norm than it is to stand out and be the “other person” and this can be seen in our education systems where women are seen to be otherised when they apply in programs such as engineering or mathematics because it is not normal for women to pursue a career path in those fields. Whereas it is seen to be completely normal for males to pursue career paths in those specific fields. Example: Minorities are otherized because they may not share and fit into the same ideals of normative ideology. Transhistoricalism: concept/entity that has held out throughout history. It cuts through history and ignores historical change. Significance: it represents many concepts that have stayed throughout history. Example: Women have always been housewives, or have been seen as that being their ideal role; therefore that ideology has survived throughout history. Universalism: concepts with universal application/applicability. Ignores geographical and cultural variations and diversity. Assumes sameness. Significance Example: Androcentrism: placing males/masculine point of view at the centre of ones view of the world and its culture and history. It is the privileging of male experience, physiology, ideas, and conception of the world. Significance: Example: Biological determinism: the determination of humans from purely a biological point of view. The idea that biological factors of a organism completely affect how it will behave and change over time. Significance: it attributes any characteristics of men and women I understood in society today to biology, and disregards the fact that these traits/ideas may just be socially constructed, not biological. Sociobiology is the systematic study of human behavior on the basis of biology and it searches for biological reasons for behavior especially in gender. This is a problem because it just makes reinforces the meaning given to the terms masculine and feminine by backing it up with science, making it seem like it is something that we are born with, that it is internal and inevitable. It does not problematize gender stereotypes and makes them stronger. Example: an example of this is found in sociobiology and evolutionary biology in which male promiscuity is justified by saying that men feel the need to inject their sperm into as many women as possible in order for the survival of their genes. Gender stereotypes: are simplistic generalizations about the gender attributes, differences, and roles of individuals and/or groups. Stereotypes can be positive or negative, but they rarely communicate accurate information about others. When people automatically apply gender assumptions to others regardless of evidence to the contrary, they are perpetuating gender stereotyping. Many people recognize the dangers of gender stereotyping; yet continue to make these types of generalizations. Significance: Example: Intersectionality: a feminist sociological theory that suggests and examines various biological, social and cultural categories such as gender, race, class, ability, sexual orientation, and other axes of identity interact on multiple and often simultaneous levels, contributing to systematic social inequality Significance: Reminds us that ‘gender’ is not a homogenous category o In particular, need to consider: class, race/ethnicity, religion, abilities (disAbilities), sexual orientation & sexualities, age. o Note: criteria used to determine & characterize these categories as well as the meaning attached to the category are historically, socially constructed so change. Example: Intersectionality oppression: The language of intersectionality recognizes that “intersectional oppression arises out of the combination of various oppressions which, together, produce something unique and distinct from any one form of discrimination standing alone”  Understand that the resulting hierarchy or social stratification is complex and interlocking, as both McIntosh & Bishop note. An individual may experience both privilege & oppression due to membership in both majority& minority groups. Significance: Example: Social construction: idea that is constructed through social or cultural practice Significance: many aspects that affect women in today are socially constructed. Many dominant ideologies that are practiced are due to social construction. Gender is a socially constructed concept (masculinity and feminity), Example: the idea of masculinity and femininity is socially constructed, thus gender is a socially constructed concept. The meaning of what it is like to be a man or a woman is the meaning we give it. Material conditions: the concrete variables or factors that enable a society to survives and even thrive off the available resources, environment, level of technology, production of economy, and scientific knowledge. Significance: Example: Ethnocentrism: is judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one's own culture Significance: Example: Racialization: it’s the process of making social and political perceptions of racial markers seen to be different from the dominant group. The group of visible minorities is also called a racialized group to show that race is socially constructed. In a fact sheet in the course kit, racialized referred to anyone who experiences racism because of their race, color, etcSignificance: has the power to put those beliefs into practices and to therefore deny and exclude those who belong to the devalued category. Racism has nothing to do with the target group but everything to do with how dominant groups in society identify non- dominant groups for discrimination. “Racism”=perjudice+discrimination=power Example: InaWhitedominantsociety,“white”iscommonlynormalizedorusedas thenorm, notperceivedas ‘visible’whereasblacks&otherracializedgroups becomethe‘visible minority’andotherized. Anotherexampleishowracism andsexismcombinetoproducemore economicinequalitiesforracializedwomenthanexperiencesbyeitherwhitewomenor racializedmen.. Racialization may also sexualize women of certain races for example, Asian women are stereotyped as exotic and obedient, black women are stereotyped as highly sexual and available. Another example is school curriculum. The curriculum erases contributions of racialized women in building Canada. Meritocracy: putting ones achievements of personal abilities, talents, etc. A belief that individuals can/should succeed or fail based on their own individual merits, abilites, and efforts. This assumes that an individual is in control of their own destiny and that is a “just world” where individuals get what they deserve. Significance: this thinking exists especially in an individualist society Example: saying that you achieved something based on your own merits and no one elses. Or by saying that someone is unsuccessful because they deserved it or because they didn’t try hard. People like this usually overlook any privileges they may receive based on their gender, race, etc. The doctrine of two spheres: 2 spheres: 1. Public sphere- associated with men, the development of the breadwinner when that role came into play in society. Basically breadwinner had to earn the family wage. 2. Private sphere- associated with women, meaning that women had to be good housewives/nurturers and had to take on the role of being a “good woman.” 19 century is when transition happened towards an expansion economy. Characteristics of “ideal” women: 1.Purity: the ideal woman was not interested in sex, had to do it for her husband. 2.Piety: the true woman was religious and moral 3.Submissiveness: weak, dependant, and timid 4.Domesticity: the "natural" place of a woman is at home. (Really operating as an example of dominant ideology) Significance: It created segregation of labor amongst men and women. Still to this day, the beliefs from these spheres still exists amongst many families. Even if a women does work in today’s society, she is still expected to do all the domestic work in addition to having a job. Example: The good wife of the 1950s after WWII, the women were requires to go back to being housewives which ended the reserve army of labor that women had when the men were gone to war. Webber article. The Cult of True Womanhood: developed in the 1860s. It was an ideal about sexuality and class. The ideal was primarily higher middle class white individuals. Characteristics of “ideal” women: 1.Purity: the ideal woman was not interested in sex, had to do it for her husband. 2.Piety: the true woman was religious and moral 3.Submissiveness: weak, dependant, and timid 4.Domesticity: the "natural" place of a woman is at home. (Really operating as an example of dominant ideology) Significance: Those same values and ideology of what the ideal should be like has been passed down from generations and still plays a role in our society today. Example: A magazine read in lecture by the professor, which instructed women on how to be “the perfect wife.” Hegemonic masculinity: refers to the culturally normative ideal of male behavior. Significance: it shows that there is a hierarchy of masculine behavior. Most societies encourage men to embody a dominant version of masculinity. Hegemonic masculinity is competitive and reflects a tendency for males to seek to dominate other males and subordinate females. Example: Tough guise documentary begins off by showing what males think the characteristics of a male should be and they say traits such as “powerful, scary, in control” to describe what they think is masculine. Women and Society-Study Guide Questions Short Answer: question 5 What Bishop means in the statement “to begin an analysis of ourselves as oppressor and oppressed…” is that we need to look at how our different identities cause us to belong in different social groups. For example, a white woman will be belong in the oppressor group, which is also the majority group, however she will also be oppressed against (mino
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