Chapter_10

Chapter_10 - CHAPTER 10 How is gender a creation of...

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CHAPTER 10
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How is gender a creation of society? What differences does gender make in people’s lives? Why is gender an important dimension of social stratification?
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GENDER Refers to the personal traits and social positions that members of a society attach to being female or male Gender is a dimension of social organization Gender involves a hierarchy GENDER STRATIFICATION The unequal distribution of wealth, power, and privilege between men and women
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Male-Female Differences People think gender distinctions are “natural” Biology makes one sex different from the other 1848 People assumed women did not have intelligence or interests in politics Reflected cultural patterns of that time and place Most of the differences between men and women are socially created Women outperform men in the game of life Men’s life expectancy – 75.2 years Women’s life expectancy – 80.4 years
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Gender in Global Perspective Three important studies highlighted “masculine” and “feminine” differences The Israeli Kibbutz Gender equality is one of its stated goals Achieved remarkable social equality Evidence that culture defines what is feminine and what is masculine
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Margaret Mead’s Research If gender is based on biological differences, people everywhere should define “feminine” and “masculine” the same Studied three societies in New Guinea Arapesh, Mundugumor, and Tchambuli Concluded that culture is the key to gender distinction What one society defines as masculine another may see as feminine Mead’s findings described as “too neat” Saw the patterns she was looking for “Reversal Hypothesis”
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George Murdock’s Research Broad study of 200 preindustrial societies Found global agreement feminine and masculine tasks Simple technology Assigned roles reflecting the physical characteristics of men and women
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CRITICAL REVIEW Global comparisons show that societies do not consistently define tasks as feminine and masculine Industrialization Muscle power declines Reduces gender differences Gender is too variable to be a simple expression of biology What it means to be female and male is mostly a creation of society
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Patriarchy and Sexism MATRIARCHY (“Rule of Mothers”) A form of social organization in which females dominate males Rarely documented in human history PATRIARCHY (“Rule of Fathers”) A form of social organization in which males dominate females Pattern found almost everywhere in the world SEXISM The belief that one sex is innately superior to the other Justification for patriarchy
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The Costs of Sexism Limits the talents and ambitions of half the human population – women Masculinity in U.S. culture encourages men to engage in high-risk behaviors Masculinity is linked to: Accidents, suicide, violence, and stress related
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2012 for the course SOC 1301 taught by Professor Emekaohagi during the Fall '11 term at Collins.

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Chapter_10 - CHAPTER 10 How is gender a creation of...

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