Reading for Week 3. Book: Sense of Sociability, Chapter: 3
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SS3: Women and Men
All ancient cultures have differentiated work and status along the lines of gender. Due to biological and
reproductory causes women have performed to role of caregivers/procreators where as men, stronger and
taller, the role of protector and breadwinner. There exists variation to the degree with which a society
exhibits the gap in sexual differentiation according to diff societies (ei; low-fertile societies; very little
diff, diff societies diff cultural and religious believes).
Sociology never paid attention to gender inequality up until mid 20thCent. Women emerged as sociologists
focused on social issues, like poverty.
Ann Oakley (1970s)’s book on the housework as a real job, raised the concept of domestic inequality. The
emergence of gender issues and inequality as a topic coincided with the broader access women had to
education. The fact that notable sociologies never raised the issues speaks about the control they had over
what was on the table; thus the subject of sociology itself is a measure of the inequality.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR COOPERATION (interaction) ACROSS THE LINE
Couples as Cooperative Ventures: Spouses
What we learn about the opposite sex will often come from first hand experiences, through dating, mating
and marriage. Still this process starts very early, as we are expected to learn from our same-sex relatives
about the expectations and secrets of gender knowledge, we also learn through cross-sex cooperation with
cousins, sister, brothers, parents, etc.
Our ideas about genders are also from seeing our own parents act, and we perceive what the roles of the
genders are/will be like. However where we learn more about the opposite sex and who to behave around
the opposite sex comes from the usual same-sex peer groups. Especially sexual conduct and sexuality.
The beliefs they have about men and women and the social roles wo/men should occupy, this is the
“Double standard”. The most important feature of this ‘D.S’ is the role of wo/men when it comes to
sexuality, men seen as sexual beasts while women as nearly asexual.
Romanticism and love are at odds w/ this standard because it promotes equality between wo/men. The
economic independence and better birth control gives (sexual liberation) promotes equality as well,
however, this double standard is present throughout society. This disappearing double standard suggest the
growth of broader gender equality.
Adult Experiences of Gendering
In adulthood, most ppl perform and witness gender-play in workplaces. They learn workplace etiquette,
especially when dealing with the opposite sex. In the workplace, gender is just as very visible in positions,
salary, status, etc. Cross sex relations in the workplace allows us to cooperate, compete, relate to the
opposite sex. The media also has a great influence over what we learn and we see how diff relationships
are played on TV, etc.
Forces pushing people apart
Evidence of conflict