soc101-gender_032210

soc101-gender_032210 - Gender Soc 101: Introduction to...

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Gender Soc 101: Introduction to Sociology Monday March 22, 2010
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Key Concepts Sex Biological identity of male or female Gender Socially learned expectations and behaviors associated with members of each sex. Gender is something we “do” (West & Zimmerman) Gender identity One’s definition of self as male or female
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Gender Differences: Biological? Biological determinism: attribute complex social phenomena to physical characteristics (e.g., testosterone, chromosomes) Scientific evidence of biological differences? Chromosomes: XY=male, XX=female Boys have higher infant mortality rates Men have greater physical strength Anecdotal evidence Sex reassignment surgery controversy
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Potential Misuse of Biological Theories? 19 th c. belief that academic work and stress would damage women’s reproductive organs. Used to exclude women from college, work. Belief that specialization in family vs. work is “natural” and thus immutable. Belief that men’s poorer life expectancy is biological and thus cannot be improved?
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Gender Differences: Socialization Men and women learn the expectations associated with their sex via socialization. Violations of gender-based norms are subtly sanctioned. Norms and sanctions are perpetuated by family, peer group, media, educational and religious groups.
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Zimmerman) Belief that gender is fluid, and is accomplished through on-going social interaction. Physical signs of gender like hair, clothing, vocal pitch, are interpreted and responded to by others in the course of social interaction. e.g. “Boys Don’t Cry”
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This note was uploaded on 10/16/2011 for the course SOCIOLOGY 101 taught by Professor Clarke during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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soc101-gender_032210 - Gender Soc 101: Introduction to...

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