SY101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Femininity, John Stuart Mill, Susan Eng

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20 Apr 2018
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CHAPTER 10 INEQUALITY OF AGE
The Age Quake
- Until 1970 little people studied age
- As the post-war baby-boomers are now in the final years of their lives, the study of age
has gained momentum
- Baby boom born between 1946-1965
- John Griffin wanted to experience what it is like to be black in a racist society, so he
dyed his skin brown and traveled around the southern US
- Media is often not about the elderly it is usually about the young
- In animated Disney Films, some older characters were portrayed positively, but most
were portrayed so that children would develop negative feelings toward them
- Industrialization, urbanization, and modernization created an increase in population
- Improved sanitation, nutrition and medical care ensures that Canadians can live longer
- Effects of industrialization occurred from WW2
o From 1939-1945, birthrates dropped as soldiers were deployed; men and
women made up for lost time when they returned and had lots of children
result was the baby boom
- Post WW2 shift in the age profile of developed countries was so momentous that it is
sometimes referred to as an age-quake
- From 1965-2007 there was a decline in children born because of improved access of
birth control, the oe’s oeet ad delie i fail’s ioe otiuted to a
a ust i 9-1971, children born in this period were called Generation X
- Baby boom began to have kids between 1972-1992 now are 27% of the population
- In the years following there was a decline in births
- Born between 1993-2011 are Generation Z/Internet Generation
o Without immigrants, Canadas population would be at a decline
- The age pyramid has disappeared in Canada and most other industrialized nations
o Half of population is older and half is younger
- As a atio’s eldel populatio ieases, so does bill footed by its younger citizens to
provide for their needs
- Caada has ee deogaphiall ougest of the deeloped outies
- How will scarce resources be allocated when the interests of seniors conflict with those
of the young?
- The Greying of Canada
o The dramatic increase of the number of seniors is a result of improvements in
life expectancy
o Most Canadians live until retirement age
o Women tend to live longer than men
o Term greying of Canada has been coined to refer to the increasing proportion of
older people in the Canadian population
o By 2011 seniors made up most of the population
o Italy, Germany, and Japan have surpassed us in terms of the proportion of
seniors in their population
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o Populations in Atlantic Canada and Quebec are expected to age more rapidly
over the next decade
o Prairies have younger population
o Population in urban areas is generally younger since most leave their
communities for school or work
- Seniors Organize
o The have created their own support groups and organizations
o Outnumber younger people in all educational levels
o Margaret Kuhn helped create the Grey Panthers a group that advocated
seios’ issues
o Grandparents Raising Grandchildren provides support and advocacy for
grandparents who become primary caregivers
o Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse seeks to educate the public
and provide support for victims
o Following the American Association of Retired Persons, Canadians created the
Canadian Association of Retired Persons with a magazine called 50Plus and
poided ifoatio/adoa o ehalf of Caada’s olde itizes
Leadership of Susan Eng
- Aging: Differences by Gender, Social Class, and Ethnicity
o Prior to 1951, men were more likely to live longer because of childbirth deaths
o Since the 1970s, men have been catching up in terms of life expectancy
o Woe’s life epeta is aout 4 eas loge and extreme aging in women is
a large phenomenon
o In old age, wealth improves your prospects for health and personal satisfaction
o Many older people live below the poverty line especially women
o Ethnic and cultural differences intersect with class and gender
Aboriginal people have a lower life expectancy
Issues of Sex and Gender
- Gender inequality: males and females unequal access to power, property, and prestige
on the basis of sex
- Cuts across all aspects of life social life
- Images and expectations of our gender guide our everyday life
- Sex: the biological characteristics that distinguish males and females
o Primary sex characteristics: vagina/penis and other reproductive organs
o Secondary sex characteristics: physical distinctions that are not directly
connected with reproduction more evident at puberty (males develop muscle,
lower voice; females develop broader hips, larger breasts etc)
- Gender: social traits of female and male masculinity and femininity
o The sociological significance of gender is that it is a device in which society
controls its members
- The Dominant Position of Sociology
o Represented by symbolic interactionism
Biological differences do not come with meanings built to them
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Human groups determine what these different things mean
o People learn contrasting expectations of life on the basis of their sex
- Opening the Door to Biology
o Alie Rossi suggests that oe ae ette pepaed iologiall fo otheig
than men and contends that women are more sensitive to stimuli such as an
ifat’s soft ski ad oeal ouiatio
o Nature provides biological predisposition, which are then overlaid with culture
o Argument is supported by the events surrounding a bizarre medical accident in
which a doctor used a heated needle to perform circumcision on a set of twins
ad aidetall ued oe of peis’ off ad the paets deided to hae a se
change and began transitioning the boy to girl. The parents found that as time
went on, the boy developed masculine traits and the girl developed feminine
traits in terms of occupation but dolls were not appealing to her. She peed
standing up and was made fun of by her classmates. When she found out about
the sex change, she began to transition back to male. Eventually, he committed
suicide.
Gender Inequality In A Global Perspective
- Gender is the primary division between people
- Barriers of unequal access always favour men
- The hunter-gatherer and horticulture societies had much more gender equality and may
have contributed to 60% of the groups food
- Gerda Lerner concluded that there is no society where women have decision making
power over men
o Sociologists classify females as a minority group
- Sex Typing of Work
o George Murdock surveyed 324 premodern societies and found that all of them
are sex-typed (associates certain activities with one sex) except for metalwork
o We can conclude that nothing about biology requires men and women to be
assigned different work
o Anatomy does not equal destiny
- Prestige of Work
o Universally, greater prestige is given to male activities regardless of what those
activities are
Gender Inequality In Theoretical Perspective
- Patriarchy is universal
- The Origins of Patriarchy
o Men dominating society points to social consequences of the biology of human
reproduction
o Women bore many children to balance death rate and maintain population
because of this, women were limited into doing only basic activities
o Because males were the ones who left the household, they became more
dominant
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Document Summary

As the post-war baby-boomers are now in the final years of their lives, the study of age has gained momentum. John griffin wanted to experience what it is like to be black in a racist society, so he dyed his skin brown and traveled around the southern us. Media is often not about the elderly it is usually about the young. In animated disney films, some older characters were portrayed positively, but most were portrayed so that children would develop negative feelings toward them. Industrialization, urbanization, and modernization created an increase in population. Improved sanitation, nutrition and medical care ensures that canadians can live longer. Effects of industrialization occurred from ww2: from 1939-1945, birthrates dropped as soldiers were deployed; men and women made up for lost time when they returned and had lots of children result was the baby boom.

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