white, single lesbian in Chicago o More fundamentally, she argues, black women experience motherhood in ways that differ from the white masculinist ideal of the family as “bloodmothers,” “othermothers,” and “community othermothers,” thus revealing that white masculine notions of the world are sometimes irrelevant to the daily lives of black women R V CHAPTER 8: GENDER
Making universal comparisons of men to women misses these nuances and implicitly excludes marginally positioned people from the discussion Postmodern Theories As perspectives have expanded and previously rigid categories have begun to crumble, the validity of the “woman question” is itself now in question Bio-logic runs deep in our cultural experiences and understandings of gender o It acts as a sort of filter through which all knowledge of the world runs, though there may be different ways of knowing outside such a paradigm Feminists must have some sturdy ground on which to unite, build coalitions, and tackle injustice The postmodern emphasis on fragmented identity, blurring of sex and gender boundaries, and gender skepticism won’t get gender theory anywhere when it comes to addressing issues such as the wage gap, eating disorders, or rape Sociology in the Bedroom Connections may be found between the sheets and history, desire and science, how we do it and how it in turn organizes what we do, as well with whom and what meanings As expected, an excavation into the social construction of sexuality divulges a surprising amount of variation in what is considered normal bedroom behavior By exposing different social patterns of sexuality, throughout history and across cultures, the sociologist can trace unequal power relations and show how sexuality expresses, represses, and elucidates those relations Sexuality in Other Times and Places Among the ancient Greeks for example, homosexual relationships were accepted and supposed to be patterned on an active-passive distinction (although historians have shown that many exceptions existed) o The active partner was supposed to be older or higher in status than the passive partner A more extreme and brutal example of sexual relations founded on power relations can be found today in the social orders in U.S. prisons, where rape is about power: who is in charge, who is being penetrated, and who is normal versus deviant In prison, the homosexual act is often seen as something altogether distinct from homosexual identity Both the Siwans of Norrth Africa and the Keraki in New Guinea, prefer homosexuality to heterosexuality, for fairly straightforward, practical reasons In these cultures with scant resources, homosexuality makes practical sense to limit the chances of teen pregnancy and overpopulation There is enormous variation in how humans have sex and what it means to them The Social Construction of Sexuality R V CHAPTER 8: GENDER
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- Spring '08
- Paradoxes of Gender