SOAN 2290 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Domestic Worker, Forced Abortion, Androcentrism

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Chapter 6: Fleras
Chapter 6: Gender Difference/Gendered Inequality
-3 dimensions account for gendered society
Societies make a distinction between male and female (some societies are more fluid in this, including
intersexed and transgendered persons)
Division of labour exists; men work within the public domain of politics; women work within the private
realm (maternal and domestic)
Male activities within the public domain are valued as superior whereas womens works is devalued as
inferior or irrelevant
-sociologists would discuss there is nothing natural, inevitable or normal about masculinity and femininity
Socially constructed nature of gender and gender relations
-patterns of gender stratification are established that perpetuates prevailing male dominated power and
privilege over females and children while reinforcing a gendered and racialized social order.
-gender relation becomes unequal relations because gender remains a key variable in shaping negative
This inequality could be the result of androcentric (see the world from a male normative standard)
Or society governed by principles of patriarchy (system designed by, prioritized for, and organized around
male interests)
-women continue to be denied equality in the workplace
Canadian labour congress indicated that 2005 women working full time earned just 70.5% of what men
earned-despite the fact that women are more educated, working in greater numbers, longer hours and
having less children
Pay-gap is greater for University educated women; 68% of what men earned in 2005.
-this gap may be deliberate (systematic): occupational segregation, undervaluing womens work,
outsourcing, or lack of adequate child care
-others cases of the gender gap may be due to systemic system designed to promote male interests.
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-Minority women continue to be denied and exploited
Women of colour, immigrant, refugee women and Aboriginal women confront denial and exclusion with
respect to power, privilege and property
-in the past Academics and literature have approached the inequality of minority women as a
homogeneous group-regardless of age, socioeconomic status, origins or gender.
This further lumped them into one discriminated against category reinforcing the invisibility of minority
-Minority women tend to be lumped into one category, however, they all experience reality differently and
thus cannot be thought of as one unit that experiences everything exactly the same. For example Muslim
women confront dilemmas that other minority women would not.
-see case study on pg 144.
Gender Differences as Gendered Inequality
Minority women and mens concerns often converge. Both are looking to move past their cultural past;
desiring an end to discrimination, employment and education.
With pressure resting on them to try and find a place within society, some individuals see little option
except to reject the system by withdrawing into their ethnicity or resorting to criminal activity.
Both minority men and women suffer exclusion and exploitation because of race, ethnicity or class.
Minority women experience additional disadvantage due to gender discrimination.
White Women, Minority Women
-although women as a group may share common experiences due to male dominance, minority women to
indeed experience more disadvantages.
They confront their issues differently. For minority women their realities are filtered through the lens of
racism and ethnocentrism.
-white women are largely concerned with private sphere issues, such as, accessible daycare, while
minority women tend to focus on bread and butter issues (daily survival and discrimination)
-in contrast with white women, minority women are rarely able to divide themselves from their male
partners since neither can exist without the other; they both need to confront their discrimination together
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