1. In a country prided by its own sense of individualism, it would seem that new and personal fashion statements
should be encouraged; however, that hasn’t been the case for the hip-hop-inspired “sagging pants”.
The political backlash seen throughout the nation may very well be because, whether conscious or not, clothing style
is a form of working class resistance. Many authorities have shown such outrage due to the fact that this hip-hop
“subculture” is underhandedly challenging the self-interested standards placed by the cultural hegemony of the ruling-
class. What was once an inescapable consequence of the lowest class (ie: prison life of criminals), has now become a
symbol of pride against the suits of those living the “better” life (according to the billboards).
The very fact that this has come to involve state legislation is only testimony to the effectiveness of such a form of resistance.
The pants’power arises from a subtle calling of attention to the assumptions made of America’s hip-hop youth. If the
stereotyped markers of class can be literally marketed in such an arbitrary way, varying in size, color, and cloth, then there
must also exist the possibility that class itself, like the pants, can be put on and taken off.
=This of course, would result in a de-naturalization of the social norms in place, & threaten the position of power
that the “non-saggy” pants onwers have in today’s society.
The appeal of this “defiance” to the younger generations comes from its ability to construct an alternative living,
where social order is irrelevant, and the right hem line can make you cool. On a deeper level, style of dress is increasingly
adopted as a weapon of the weak, because it has proven itself as a creative, yet effectual, pathway to addressing political
Pants are not picket signs; while this semiotic approach might be the most appropriate way of understanding how a
silent comment on social, economic, and possibly even racial oppression has caused such political unease, it is crucial to
not forget that cultural practices are in fact polysemic.
= Not every individual that puts on sagging pants means to change the dominant political norms, particularly now a
days when this once meaningful emblem of resistance has been subjected to the capitalist dream of brand
Yet, whether the sagging pants are truly a weapon right out of Marx’s closet, stemmed from the idea that hegemony is
culture(always fragile and incomplete), there is no doubt from these campaigns, that style of dress has become a very real
response to those anthropological approaches once focused on social reproduction and conformity.
2. 2 wave socialization & enculturation
- Sex is biological/ gender is socially constructed
- Feminism/ Masculinity aren’t in-born, but taught according to local standards
- Arbitrariness evinced in cross-cultural comparisons (Arapesh, Mundugmor, & Tchambuli)
= Distinction of Universal sex & culturally specific gender
3 wave Gender produces sex
- Like performance theory, the “performances” we make people do (in accordance w/ gender roles) make
them feel deeply sexed.
- Binary gender roles INCULCATE a binary sex concept.
- Exploration of sex as artifacts of culturally constructed gender differences.
= Thinking about this is a way to explain the present AND acknowledge the possibility of a different way.
“the Egg and the Sperm”
Challenges distinction btwn sex and gender by creating cause and effect (of 3 wave) rd
-Problm=“science is mediated by the gender roles (soc norms/expectations) that we have from soc.” In other
words, we are projecting social concepts onto biological components that shouldn’t correlate to any one “felt” sex.
Suggestion for understanding relationship btwn sex/gender
- While the Cybernetic Model has been proposed as a fix to this problem of mediation, explaining the
reproductive system as just that, a system, where no component is neither “degenerative” nor “progressive”, but
rather just fulfilling its task for a mutual end, Martin would argue that even this isn’t enough.
1. Using more neutral wording to create a sense of gender equality is still acknowledging that these
components have social characteristics.
2. Also, this model still thinks of science as a “self-contained enterprise”; science as objective & contained
(separate from the socio-cultural), not realizing that the system is always interacting with the social world.
= For Martin, this “sleeping metaphor” inside of a socially constructed science, if not addressed, could both 1)
reinforce the concept of male dominance & 2) perpetuate a view of these corporal components as humanized
“entities”, that would then lead to very real consequences for the medical and legal treatment of the unborn.
3. “Both kinds of programs fail to recognize that racism is structural, and always a part of the system. In truth, the
categories of race are built around racism itself.”
-Approaching race as a social construction (vs. a 1-factor category) to understand the assumptions
Race is: A} biologically determined = reified
B} legible easily read off skin = “outside reflects nature”
C} about a deeper, internal truth (should be respected, not betra= hereditary
ACTUALLY-a] Race is not determined either by genes or by their environmental expression; it is
arbitrary and soc. Determined.
-b] Certain physical differentiations become markers of important soc. Differs in some