8 Gender - 2/8Power,Status,andInequality:Gender Overview...

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2/8 Power, Status, and Inequality: Gender Overview Sociology of gender Children, childhood, and gender Socio-developmental view Parent socialization Schools and peers Sociological perspectives on gender Gender is socially constructed. Gender is not biological. Gender differences are few and are socially constructed. Research consistently find that there are actually more differences among  girls and among boys than there are between girls and boys (ex. height). Traditional view Sex: biology of male/female; XX or XY Gender: the social, cultural meanings given to sex o Masculine, feminine, man, woman Critique of traditional view o The idea of two sexes is also socially constructed. Nature offers more than two categories. XXX, XXY, XYY
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By saying there are two sexes, we are ruling out these other options  as “not normal”.  Genetics, genitals, chromosomes doesn’t always line up When inconsistent bodies are “fixed”, the medical specialty of the  tending doctor determines the “real” sex of the baby (Kessler). Endocrinologists make girls o Adding more estrogen Urologists make boys  o Surgery, reconstruction “Doing Gender” (West and Zimmerman 1989) Gender is an accomplishment, activity, something we do. o Not something we have, but something we do Gender performances vary by interaction, situation, context o Social contexts effect the way genders act  Ex. in class, at a party, at a wedding, etc. all act/dress differently Ex. if a woman were in an office with her feet up on the desk smoking a  cigar, it would not be socially acceptable If we do it “wrong”, we are held accountable and sanctioned. o Ex. the woman who is kicked back with her feet on the desk is more likely  to be reprimanded than a man o Ex. if we show up to a job interview wearing the opposite sex clothes, you  are less likely to get the job We all do gender everyday, all the time, often unconsciously, because we’ve  gotten good at it. o Doesn’t mean it is natural, we’ve just learned to do it so its become natural How do we do gender?
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o We know rules of interaction. Ex. on Thanksgiving, women are in the kitchen while men are sitting on  couch watching football Ex. the way we act towards officials o We know gender norms. Hegemonic masculinity Talk about the ideal masculinity, hyper masculinity many strive to be  that few actually are, but everyone views this is as the ideal  masculinity…ex. Arnold Schwarzenegger, being an income  provider, athletic, facial hair Ideal femininity Ex. caregiver, sensitive, emotional, dainty, subordinate, thin
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