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Chapter Playing in the Gender Transgression Zone

SOCC38H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter Playing in the Gender Transgression Zone : Hegemonic Masculinity, Grammatical Gender, Hegemony

Course Code
Ann Mullen
Playing in the Gender Transgression Zone

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Playing in the Gender Transgression Zone
"Hegemonic masculinity." Concept implies that there is a predominant way of doing gender
relations that enforces the gender order status quo: elevates general social status of masculine over
feminine qualities and privileges some masculine qualities over others.
Hegemonic masculinities may take on many valance and nuances, depending on social setting and
social actors
How hegemonic masculinity is manifest in middle childhood play and used to re-create gender order
among children wherein the larger social relations of men's dominance are learned, employed,
reinforced, and potentially changed.
Men and women enact "sex roles" as handed down scripts. Acknowledging structural gender
socialization implied by concept of role, focus on ways in which relations between girls and boys
"Gender roles" "visible" to and internalized by kids, meanings attached to them partly context
specific and negotiable. Relative status of gender typed behaviours implied by conceptualizing
multiple, contested forms of masculinity or femininity is dynamic, historical processes that must be
continually created or recreated; happens most palpably at micro level, in face-to-face social
interactions and through social interaction.
Onto-formative to capture emergent process through which social agents actually create or re-
create gender dynamics and through social interaction
Boys wish to convince their peers that they are sexually mature, active, and knowledgeable and,
definitely heterosexual
Definite racial and class differences in boys' hierarchy. Little consequence for ranking in power
Structural formation of Girls in Middle childhood
Girls' homosocial organizational forms are distinct from boys. Single hierarchy, rare. Social
aggression used to mark boundaries of femininity.
Boundaries less defined than boys. Organized themselves in small groups. Usually one girl who has
higher status than others in clique. Considered most sociable and most admired by others.
Shifting alliances. Personal conflicts by way of exclusions from group and social manipulation.
Gossiping, friendship bartering, and indirectly turning group against individual.
Girls display just as much aggression as buys but in different way.
Social manipulation may be more damaging than physical aggression. Can persist eternally
No such form of hegemonic femininity as result of collective subordination of women to men's
homosocial hierarchy
Gathered with those who defined girlhood on same terms
Intimacy helps ensure faithfulness to group. All girl groups had idea of being :nice: which enhanced
solidarity. Being nice on one group may be seen as mean in another. Nice was relative to particular
group. Generally entailed sharing, aversion of phsy8cial and direct aggression, and avoidance of
selfish acts
When campers were not restricted to specific groups preponderance of African American girls
gravitated to each other, despite age differences. Formed larger groups and occupied more space
than white girls.
Black girls more assertive and therefore less likely to be bothered by boys. Loose hierarchies in
which older girls made most of decisions for younger ones in group. Communal approach to decision
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