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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 notes of Social Problems book.

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University of Toronto St. George

Chapter 4 Gender Relations Introduction Sex the biological distinction between male and female is a universal and ancient battle of social differentiation This social demarcation has some basis in biology and the fact that women alone can bear and nurse offspring Women, on average, are physically smaller and weaker than men -> less suited for hunting and combat and certain types of work These biological realities led to the widespread social practices of mens roles as protectorsbreadwinners and womens roles as procreatorscaregivers However, this varies from one society to another History and anthropology tells us that women can be breadwinners and protectors; men can be caregivers In societies with low fertility, this distinction fades in importance because women spent more time as breadwinners Societies differ in the extent and ways they dramatize this sex-based difference o Some enlarge these differences, while others diminish them There is also much variation in how the rationalize their enactment of these differences o Some invoke religious edicts (bibles), others draw on secular principles (moral commitment to equality), scientific or pseudo-scientific theories (evolutionary selection) Before 1900, gender and gender roles were assumed Middle Ages and Renaissance, a few women were as well-educated as the best-educated men: nun and abbess, QEI, Hildegard of Bingen, Sir Thomas Mores 4 daughters Gouges and Wollstonecraft outstanding women who supported equality for women, including education Women were generally not admitted to university until the late nineteenth century Until recently, women have enjoyed little social standing and almost no institutional support for their intellectual ambition th th In the late 19 and early 20 centuries, women became more visible as thinkers about social matters, especially poverty o Especially obvious among the Fabians in England, where Beatrice worked along with her husband, Sydney Webb o In the US, where church-promoted and social service research delved into problems in the growing cities, led by women like Jane Addams o The growing feminist movement continued to press for gender equality and related social concerns o Early feminist movement was mainly concerned with womens suffrage o Right to vote was achieved in Canada and US in the early decades of the 20 century Until the early 70s, housework was not considered as work of economical value but an outpouring of family affection o Was only in 1974, Oakley published her seminal book which drew needed attention to domestic inequality and its relation to other forms of gender inequality o This coincided with and promoted by, the large-scale entry of women into higher education The third feminist wave embraced racial and class diversity and accommodated differences in nationality and cultural background The failure by major male sociologists and theorists to contribute to gender issues tells us something about the connection between social structure and the propagation of knowledge: only the powerful get noticed, studied, and discussed www.notesolution.com
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