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Gender....Socially Constructed?

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Gender....Socially Constructed?

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  • March 2009
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In today’s society, maintain gender order is something that seems to come naturally to all, even though some people may not be aware that is does. This order is how we put people in their place and maintain order in society. We are products of our social culture which shapes our gendered order or the way we associate characteristics to our gender. Not by biological orientations but from “exigencies of the social order” can we fully process the social construction of gender. We uphold our gendered order and others help us to do so. Carmen helps to establish and uphold the gendered order in the movie Real Women Have Curves by her objection to Ana’s leaving home. Because this is such a good example of gendered order, the choice of making it the focus of my essay is essential and brings up many points to the theory of gendered order that Judith Lorber speaks of in “The Social Construction of Gender.”

Ana is an Hispanic teenager from a predominately Latino community in Los Angelos. Upon graduating from high school she wants to further her education in college but the traditional views that her parents hold try to keep her home working in her sister’s “sweatshop” sewing dresses. It seems that Ana’s mother, Carmen, is the voice of the family as an institution. Instead of competing opinions about Ana’s potential future, Carmen’s opinions shapes the decision of the family in which they then band together as an institution to uphold this gendered order. They are family and they should want to support Ana in her decision even though it is of rebellion from the gendered order. Why does the family uphold this order and what helps them to do so? As a social institution, gender is one of the major ways we organize our lives. Being as it is, human society depends on a predictable division of labor assigning tasks for different people. “Choosing people for the different tasks of society is on the basis of their gender, race, and ethnicity.” Because of her ethnicity, gender,...

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