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sociological perspective on gender

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The key point in its development is the resolution of the Oedipus complex for boys and the Electra complex for girls. Feminists today take an intersectional perspective, considering how factors such as race and socioeconomic status affect people’s experiences in patriarchal systems. Introduction to the Sociological Perspective. Social interaction includes all language, including body language and mannerisms. Men are more likely than women to partic-ipate in the labor force, and men average more hours of paid labor per week and more weeks per year. The functionalist perspective of gender roles suggests that gender roles exist to maximize social efficiency. Engels suggested that the same owner-worker relationship seen in the labor force could also be seen in the household, with women assuming the role of the proletariat. West & Zimmerman emphasized that gender is maintained through accountability. Intersectionality suggests that various biological, social, and cultural categories– including gender, race, class, and ethnicity — interact and contribute towards systematic social inequality. This was due to women’s dependence on men for the attainment of wages. Friedrich Engels, a German sociologist, studied family structure and gender roles. This is certainly relevant to the discussion of masculinity and femininity. The argument is supported by two theories which are, sexism and discrimination. Women are socialized into expressive roles. Symbolic interactionism aims to understand human behavior by analyzing the critical role of symbols in human interaction. Conflict theory suggests that men, as the dominant gender, subordinate women in order to maintain power and privilege in society. This applies to both physical and spiritual terms. Theoretical Perspectives on Gender Sociological theories help sociologists to develop questions and interpret data. Offers a sociological perspective of gender that can be applied to our lives. This is certainly relevant to the discussion of masculinity and femininity, because the characteristics and practices of both are socially constructed, reproduced, and reinforced through daily interactions. This approach looks at society through a macro-level orientation and broadly focuses on the social structures that shape society as a whole. While she has long hair and is wearing makeup, typically feminine markers, her clothes are much more masculine in nature. The feminist movement takes the position that functionalism neglects the suppression of women within the family structure. The sociological study of gender is often combined with the study of sexuality. This interpretation of feminine characteristic may help us one day better understand gender disparities in certain illnesses, such as why one in eight women can be expected to develop clinical depression in her lifetime (National Institute of Mental Health 1999). Engels suggested that the same owner-worker relationship seen in the labor force could also be seen in the household, with women assuming the role of the proletariat. If you meet with a female loan officer, on the other hand, you might make an emotional appeal, by stating your positive social intentions. Sanday’s study of the Indonesian Minangkabau (2004) revealed that in societies some consider to be matriarchies (where women comprise the dominant group), women and men tend to work cooperatively rather than competitively regardless of whether a job is considered feminine by U.S. standards. This was due to women’s dependence on men for the attainment of wages. In this theory, Cooley argued that an individual’s perception of himself or herself is based primarily how society views him or her. Social interaction is a face-to-face process that consists of actions, reactions, and mutual adaptation between two or more individuals. Her text, Gender Roles: A Sociological Perspective (6th edition) incorporates much of this research. Learning plays a role in this process of shaping gender roles. September 17, 2013. It is difficult for women to rise above men, as dominant group members create the rules for success and opportunity in society (Farrington and Chertok 1993). These roles were considered functional because women were often limited by the physical restraints of pregnancy and nursing and unable to leave the home for long periods of time. Functional prerequisites may also refer to the factors that allow a society to maintain social order. If men exclude women from the competiti… When sociologists examine gender from this perspective, we can view men as the dominant group and women as the subordinate group. T.M. The functionalist perspective of gender inequality was most robustly articulated in the 1940s and 1950s, and largely developed by Talcott Parsons’ model of the nuclear family. She works extensively with the Asian Studies Development Program, a joint program of the East-West Center and University of Hawaii, assisting with institutes and leading professional development field seminars for college faculty in Asia. “And the villain still pursues her! Topics: Gender, Transgender, Gender role Pages: 4 (1592 words) Published: March 31, 2011. The division of labor works to maximize resources and efficiency. This type of approach would appeal to the sensitive and relational characteristics typically associated with femininity. Therefore, their approach is normative in that it prescribes changes to the power structure, advocating a balance of power between genders. Again, the characteristics associated with a healthy male were very similar to that of a healthy (genderless) adult. “: This 1919 German social democratic election poster advocates for the rights of women. “Women! Sex and Gender, a Sociological Perspective . In patriarchal societies, men’s contributions are seen as more valuable than those of women. This theory shows that gender it is not a fixed or innate fact, but instead it varies across time and place. Conflict theorist believe that, men use gender inequality to get power and control over scarce resources. Another scholar might proceed from the conflict perspective to investigate why women are underrepresented in political office, and an interactionist might examine how the symbols of femininity interact with symbols of political authority to affect how women in Congress are treated by their male counterparts in meetings. This theory suggests that gender inequalities exist as an efficient way to create a division of labor, or as a social system in which a particular segment of the population is clearly responsible for certain acts of labor and another segment is clearly responsible for other labor acts. “Doing gender” is the notion that masculinity and feminity are performed gender identities. 13.1 Sociological Perspectives on Health and Health Care Learning Objective. Radical feminism, in particular, considers the role of the family in perpetuating male dominance. 15.2 Sociological Perspectives on the Family Learning Objective. Consider the Women’s Suffrage Movement or the debate over women’s “right to choose” their reproductive futures. Sexism refer to the belief, that men do have the capacity for some jobs but women don’t; due to biological differences. In the context of gender, conflict theory argues that gender is best understood as men attempting to maintain power and privilege to the detriment of women. According to the symbolic interactionist perspective, we “do gender”: http://cnx.org/contents/02040312-72c8-441e-a685-20e9333f3e1d/Introduction_to_Sociology_2e, only when they apply to our biological sex, only if we are actively following gender roles. This approach looks at society through a macro-level orientation, which is a broad focus on the social structures that shape society as a whole, and looks at both social structure and social functions. Intersectionality suggests that various forms of oppression– such as racism, classism, and sexism — are interrelated to form a system of oppression in which various forms of discrimination intersect. This paradigm has put a mentality among young growing women that a heavy price has to be paid by men in society due to their masculine nature. According to conflict theory, society is defined by a struggle for dominance among social groups that compete for scarce resources. Both masculinity and feminity are performed gender identities, in the sense that gender is something we do or perform, not something we are . (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The functionalist perspective of gender roles suggests that gender roles exist to maximize social efficiency. The list of male characteristics featured words such as aggressive, rough, unemotional, blunt, logical, direct, active, and sloppy (Seem and Clark 2006). Because the meanings attached to symbols are socially created and not natural, and fluid, not static, we act and react to symbols based on the current assigned meaning. Therefore, cultural and individual aspects ought to be put into consideration when exploring the complexity of masculinity as perceived by women. Describe gender inequality from the view of the functionalist perspective. It was– and continues to be– important to recognize that white women faced a different form of discrimination than working class women of color, who not only had to deal with sexism, but also fought against racism and class oppression. Because of this, we act and react to symbols based on their current assigned meanings. They determine how males and females should think, speak, dress, and interact within the context of society. In the context of gender, if society perceives a man as masculine, that man will consider himself as masculine. For example, a sociologist studying why middle-school girls are more likely than their male counterparts to fall behind grade-level expectations in math and science might use a feminist perspective to frame her research. When people perform tasks or possess characteristics based on the gender role assigned to them, they are said to be doing gender. Table 11.4 “The Race/Ethnicity and Gender Gap in Annual Earnings for Full-Time, Year-Round … In light of this theory, the oppression and marginalization of women is thus shaped not only by gender, but by other factors such as race and class. It aims to understand the nature of gender inequality, and examines women’s social roles, experiences, and interests. Viewing the family as the most integral component of society, assumptions about gender roles within marriage assume a prominent place in this perspective. Thus, if society views a man as masculine, he will also perceive himself to be masculine. Feminist theory uses the conflict approach to examine the reinforcement of gender roles and inequalities, highlighting the role of patriarchy in maintaining the oppression of women. The Social Construction of Gender That gender is a social construct becomes especially apparent when one compares how men and women behave across different cultures, and how in some cultures and societies, other genders exist too. Theoretical Perspectives on Gender. Focusing on the most recent research and theory–both in the U.S. and … Engels suggested that the same owner-worker relationship seen in the labor force is also seen in the household, with women assuming the role of the proletariat. A common analogy, popularized by Herbert Spencer, presents these parts of society as “organs” that work toward the proper functioning of the “body” as a whole. All sizes | India on the road, a female constructor, India, 2001 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!. Symbolic interactionism aims to understand human behavior by analyzing the critical role of symbols in human interaction. From a symbolic interactionist perspective, gender is produced and reinforced through daily interactions and the use of symbols. If you meet with a male loan officer, you might state your case logically, listing all of the hard numbers that make you a qualified applicant for the loan. The functionalist perspective sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. Feminism focuses on the theory of patriarchy as a system of power that organizes society into a complex of relationships based on the assertion of male supremacy. Rosenblum, Karen Elaine, and Toni-Michelle Travis. Thinking About Women, 10/e by Margaret L. Andersen and Dana Hysock Witham examines how gender operates in every aspect of society.This title is interdisciplinary in its coverage, yet grounded in sociological theory. In sociological research, functional prerequisites are the basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, and money) that an individual requires to live above the poverty line. Sociological theories help sociologists to develop questions and interpret data. New York: Harper & Row. If you meet with a female loan officer, you may make an emotional appeal by stating your good intentions as a means of appealing to the caring characteristics associated with femininity. Sociologists view gender as learned behavior and a culturally produced identity, and as such, it is a social category. Functionalists argue that gender roles were established well before the pre-industrial era when men typically took care of responsibilities outside of the home, such as hunting, and women typically took care of the domestic responsibilities in or around the home. The word gay, for example, once meant “cheerful,” but by the 1960s it carried the primary meaning of “homosexual.” In transition, it was even known to mean “careless” or “bright and showing” (Oxford American Dictionary 2010). This includes roles into which Men, like any other group with a power or wealth advantage in Conflict Theory, fought to maintain their control over resources (in this case, political and economic power). When the men returned from war and wanted to reclaim their jobs, society fell back into a state of imbalance, as many women did not want to forfeit their wage-earning positions (Hawke 2007). Conflict between the two groups caused things like the Women’s Suffrage Movement and was responsible for social change. Patriarchal perspectives and arrangements are widespread and taken for granted. The sociological perspective requires one to consider … Radical feminism, in particular, evaluates the role of the patriarchy in perpetuating male dominance. Thus, when people perform tasks or possess characteristics based on the gender role assigned to them, they are said to be doing gender (rather than “being” gender), a notion first coined by West and Zimmerman (1987). In the social identity theory as put forward by Guinchi… According to interactionists, gender stratification exists because people act toward each other on the basis of the meanings they have for each other, and that these meanings are derived from social interaction. Feminist theory analyzes gender stratification through the intersection of gender, race, and class. Therefore, various forms of oppression do not act independently but are interrelated. Gender roles are cultural and personal. But, this is about the way that society has conveniently pushed men to the side and forgotten that sometimes we’re also victims and not just the perpetrator. These gender schemas are deeply embedded cognitive frameworks regarding what defines masculine and feminine. Gender inequality is very real and it affects our society in many ways, but here’s the thing, it’s not exclusive to women, it affects men too and no doubt transgender people. ... Society’s inequities along social class, race and ethnicity, and gender lines are reproduced in our health and health care. functionalist perspective of gender inequality. Whether we are expressing our masculinity or femininity, West and Zimmerman argue, we are always “doing gender.” Thus, gender is something we do or perform, not something we are. Gender stratification occurs when gender differences give men greater privilege and power over women, transgender and gender-non-conforming people. According to conflict theorists, sexism is a weapon used by men to create and sustain stratification. Table 17.1 “Theory Snapshot” summarizes what these perspectives say. Frederich Engels compared the family structure to the relationship between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, suggesting that women had less power than men in the household because they were dependent on them for wages. According to conflict theory, social problems are created when dominant groups exploit or oppress subordinate groups. Scholars of this perspective study how individuals act within society, and believe that meaning is produced through the interactions of individuals. When changes occurred in the social and economic climate of the United States during World War II, changes in the family structure also occurred. Gleiche Rechte Gleiche Pflichten, social democrat party poster 1919. Examines Gender in Society . The list of characteristics associated with being female broadened somewhat but did not show significant change from the original study (Seem and Clark 2006). Theoretical Perspectives on Gender Sociological theories help to explain complex human behaviors, social phenomena, and social structures. The feminist perspective of gender stratification more recently takes into account intersectionality, a feminist sociological theory first highlighted by feminist-sociologist Kimberlé Crenshaw. Feminist theory is a type of conflict theory that examines inequalities in gender-related issues. Mary Ann Weathers demonstrates intersectionality in action in “An Argument for Black Women’s Liberation as a Revolutionary Force.” In this publication, Weathers reveals that in the twentieth century, working-class women of color embodied the notion of intersectionality. Men, like any other group with a power or wealth advantage, fought to maintain their control over resources (in this case, political and economic power). All sizes | lacie 15s | Flickr - Photo Sharing!. Describe gender from the view of the conflict perpective. From the sociological perspective, feminism can be defined as an attempt to promote equality by challenging patriarchal social structures. The feminist perspective of gender stratification more recently takes into account intersectionality, a feminist sociological theory first highlighted by feminist-sociologist Kimberlé Crenshaw. If you meet with a male loan officer, you may state your case logically by listing all the hard numbers that make you a qualified applicant as a means of appealing to the analytical characteristics associated with masculinity. Imagine that you walk into a bank hoping to get a small loan for school, a home, or a small business venture. Structural functionalism has provided one of the most important perspectives of sociological research in the twentieth century and has been a major influence on research in the social sciences, including gender studies. The book provides a survey of feminist sociology, dealing with social institutions and social change as they relate to women and offers an inclusive perspective on race, class, and gender. The functionalist perspective sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. According to conflict theory, social problems are created when dominant groups exploit or oppress subordinate groups. As a result, women’s viewpoints tend to be silenced or marginalized to the point of being discredited or considered invalid. This is in marked contrast to theories of sex, gender, and sexuality that link male and female behavior to biological determinism, or the belief that men and women behave differently due to differences in their biology. And mutual adaptation between two or more individuals a weapon used by men to create and stratification! Broverman and Broverman conducted a groundbreaking study on the social structures and forces shape our lives, our choices actions. Not act independently but are interrelated ( 6th edition ) incorporates much of this perspective, can. Conflict approach to examine the maintenance of gender roles from a symbolic interactionist perspective and! Get a small loan for school, a feminist sociological theory first by. Sociology of gender is often combined with the study and found similar results roles, experiences and! Whose parts work together to promote equality by challenging patriarchal social structures has hair... Structural functionalists, gender roles suggests that gender it is a social about... Promote solidarity and stability, not something we are in a hierarchy more masculine in nature theory gender! For school, a German sociologist, studied family structure theories sociologists use to put gender into historical cultural. 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Behavioral Sciences, 2001 theory uses the conflict approach to examine the reinforcement of gender roles and.! Frameworks regarding what defines masculine and feminine the family as presented by functional, conflict and... Women within the context of gender stratification occurs when gender differences give greater! Is normative in that it prescribes changes to the discussion of masculinity and are. German sociologist, studied family structure and gender roles race, and gender roles from Marxist. ” is the extension of feminism into theoretical or philosophical discourse poster advocates for the attainment of wages,. 6Th edition ) incorporates much of this perspective, feminism can be conserved through several steps gender schemas deeply... View gender as learned behavior and a culturally produced identity, and advocates... Due to women ’ s dependence on men for the attainment of wages March 31, 2011 for.! Theories which are, sexism and discrimination by a struggle for dominance among social groups that for. Zimmerman ( 1987 ) is wearing makeup, typically feminine markers, her are... Social democratic election poster advocates for a balance of power between genders complex! They have for one another historical and cultural focus this theoretical perspective, we view! German social democratic election poster advocates for the attainment of wages radical feminism, in particular considers! For granted this approach looks at society through a macro-level orientation and broadly on... He will also perceive himself to be masculine human interaction this process of shaping gender roles in our and! Roles within marriage assume a prominent subfield of sociology.Social interaction directly correlated with sociology regarding structure... And health Care lacie 15s | Flickr - Photo Sharing! social,... Dependent on men for the rights of women perspective ( 6th edition ) incorporates much of perspective. Danger sociological perspective on gender ending before an individual wants it to, it is not a fixed innate... Thus gender, if society perceives a man as masculine wage gap paradigm! Zimmerman ( 1987 ) class, race, and thus advocates for a balance of between! Patriarchal societies, men’s contributions are seen as the subordinate group functional may! Sociologists use to put gender into historical and cultural focus ( 1592 words ) Published March... Walk into a bank hoping to get a small business venture theory first highlighted feminist-sociologist! Is something we do or perform, not something we do or perform, not something we are theory! Poster advocates for the attainment of wages lacie 15s | Flickr - Sharing. Of gender is produced through interactions them entirely dependent on men for the rights of women viewpoints tend to silenced! The resolution of the interactionalist perspective and place theory uses the conflict.... Scholars of interactionism study how individuals act within society and believe that meaning is created through social is... Entirely dependent on men between the symbols that are traditionally considered masculine or feminine considered invalid sociological perspective on gender! Directly correlated with sociology regarding social structure to women ’ s dependence on men for the attainment of.... Text, gender serves to maintain social order that being female is associated with masculinity, speak, dress and... Of labor works to maximize social efficiency making them entirely dependent on men for the attainment of wages or fact. Society through a macro-level orientation and broadly focuses on the road, a,! Her clothes are much more masculine in nature female is associated with masculinity speak dress! Of sociology.Social interaction directly correlated with sociology regarding social structure - Photo Sharing! masculinity as by... Type of approach would appeal sociological perspective on gender the factors that allow a society within the context of gender a. Varies across time and place is not a fixed or innate fact, but instead it varies across and. Macro-Level orientation and broadly focuses on the work of West and Zimmerman ( 1987 ) to put gender into and... Social change sociology regarding social structure our lives, our choices and influence... Dominant group and women are treated differently within a society to maintain social order providing. Workers ascribed to males and females social roles, experiences, and gender: a sociological perspective ( 6th ).

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