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Canada (158,372)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA01H3 (480)
Chapter 9


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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ivanka Knezevic

SOCA01 SOCIOLOGY 1 CHAPTER 9 – GENDER RELATIONS INTRODUCTION: GENDER RELATIONS AND YOU  What you see yourself as and how you see yourself is shaped by social norms, institutions, culturally defined roles, and dominant ideologies o Social construction of gender  Person versus gendered/racialized/classed person o Someone may see themselves as a person if they have taken-for-granted privileges, while those who are faced with discrimination will see themselves as gendered, racialized, or classed o These qualities are noticed because they stand out as marginal to the norm (male, white, middle- class)  Usually it is men who are privileged and the women who are marginalized  Gender is about how society is structured by gender and how gender works in social institutions  Those in privileged positions rarely interpret their privilege o However, gender inequality is now gaining interest even by men because it is accepted as an important sociological issue  There are continuing gender inequalities that women may not realize exist  Study Gender Issues With At Least Four Benchmark ideas 1. Gender is a vantage point of critique 2. Gender is a social construction 3. Gender is realized in social roles and institutions 4. Gender is a relation of power and inequality THINKING SOCIOLOGICALLY GENDER IS A VANTAGE POINT OF CRITIQUE  Sociology used to be a male-dominated and centred discipline o It was primarily men who studied social life, and those areas of social life were male dominant and women were more or less absent o Women were invisible within the content of sociology (their social lives were not studied) o Women were invisible within the profession of sociology  It was assumed women would fit into the male perspectives   Vantage Point: A place or position affording a good view of something  See ourselves, the social institutions around us and our social worlds in ways that attend to both women’s are men’s experiences  In the past, female sociologists were caught up in a politics that reflected the problems and issues of their time. Now, the issues are salient to the social and cultural agendas of more recent times (Generational divides) o Body Image o Transgressive Sexualities o Eating Disorders o Male Sexual Responsibility  There is a fight over ‘feminism is dead’. Feminists are trying to remind young women that gender inequality still exists. The pop-culture depicts female empowerment, however those images are also demeaning o Raunchy and liberated are not synonymous  There has been growing recognition on the men’s views and struggles with masculinity SOCA01 SOCIOLOGY 1  More and more men are included into feminism and gender relations as a whole  Example of ambivalence o Sexual violence o Sexual violence can sometimes only be seen as a women’s issue and this men are not involved in events to discuss sexual violence. o If sexual violence is understood as a women only problem, this means that men are not called upon to acknowledge or take responsibility for their role  Men do play a strong role in perpetuating sexual violence, they should also be involved in helping to solve the issue of sexual violence  Hegemonic masculinity: Refer to a dominant form of masculinity in society o Strong, assertive, aggressive, self-reliant, and free of traditional feminine characteristics (display emotion and caring) SEXUAL ASSAULT ON CAMPUS  Sexual assault posters always target women as if to say that women are passive and fails to protect themselves -> They’re inviting it  Victim-blaming, and forgetting the men’s role  Also needs to place men as part of the solution and not treat them all as potential rapists GENDER IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION  Challenge the notion that gender identities (masculine, feminine) could be easily mapped onto biological identities (male, female) o Gender identities have a social foundation independent of biological necessity o Sex: Biologically based differences o Gender: Socially produced differences  By taking a gender perspective, we recognize that being masculine or feminine is not a natural occurrence, but rather a socially constructed one. Therefore, the inequality is also socially constructed through the way society is organized.  Gender as a social phenomenon can be distinguished from sex as a biological phenomenon. o Gender identities are fluid and diverse o Released from limited notions of heterosexuality and reproduction -> more varied relationship between sexual orientation and the gendered/sexed body  Social experience of gender and the embodiment POTATOES AND RICE: HOW DESIRABILITY IS RACIALIZED IN THE GAY COMMUNITY \\\\  White, masculine, muscular males are seen as the desirable gays  ‘Rice Queen’: A white male who goes after Asian men, presumably because they are old and no longer attractive and thus can only attract the likes of Asian men.  ‘Potato Queen’: An Asian man who is attracted to white men -> settling GENDER IS REALIZED IN SOCIAL ROLES AND INSITITUTIONS  Issue of how gender relations are socially produced in practice  Feminists used social roles and social institutions to assist them in identifying gender both as an identity and as a property of social structures  Society provides different genders roles or scripts, and boys and girls are socialized into these roles through a process of subtle or explicit sanctions and rewards SOCA01 SOCIOLOGY 1 o Agents of socialization  Gender is identified as a systemic feature of society  Patriarchy: Societies had a gender structure as a defining characteristic  Gender-neutral structures are actually not because they are shaped by assumptions about available and suitable gender identities and social positions o Constraints on individual actions and choices  Social institutions are not only places which produce and reproduce gender relations, but are also places of negotiation, contestation, resistance, and change  Education is a prime example of gender relations o Types of careers o Undergrads vs. Grads GENDER RELATIONS ARE RELATIONS OF DIFFERENCES…AND INEQUALITY  gender relations are marked by inequality  Structural Functionalism o Complementarily of male instrumental and female expressive gender roles  Sex differences are exaggerated, and this is detrimental to women’s opportunities and self-esteem o Hinder women’s abilities and enhanced men’s power and authority  Inequality in women’s and men’s life chances is a consequence of how society is organized and of the particular ways in which gender is created and sustained as a significant feature of social and personal life o Streams of research  Organizational aspect of individuality It is found that males and females both bring and use electronics in class, however, females are more likely to go on social networking sites and email, while males are more likely to play games, Google lecture topic, or work on assignments. Men were also more likely than women to report that they were comfortable with technology. LIVING GENDERED LIVES GENDER RELATIONS IN SCHOOL, WORK, AND FAMILY School  1960s and 1970s concern was that girls were losing out on education o Classroom experiences, curriculum design, and measurements of student success highly favoured boys  1980s: higher enrolment of women in universities than men o Men still dominated the doctorate levels, but that gap continues narrow  Due to gendered occupations, the trend is that the occupations which females tend to pursue require degrees, this reflects gender segregation. Work  In Canada, female students are more likely to have paid employment than males. However, employed males work longer hours.  Within the same occupation, young men start with a higher salary than women  Experience of employment has changed over the past decades o Decline in worker protection o Corresponding shift to individualization of risk and responsibility SOCA01 SOCIOLOGY 1  Personal Safety  Women: Sexual attack and harassment, due to employed in situations where they are expected
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