Gender, Politics, Power

Topics: Gender, Feminism, Sociology Pages: 23 (5269 words) Published: April 16, 2012
Gender, Politics and Power

For feminism-separate gender from sex. Refers to the socio-cultural definition. Societies assign men and women social roles. Used as an analytical tool to understand social realities. Every culture has its ways of valuing girls and boys and assigning them different roles, responses and attributes. Has an identity. "Each person is a distinctive body". Iris Marion Young, political philosopher, found gender a useful social structure in policy analysis. SOcial organization, categorizing things as masculine and feminine, suitable and expected

SEX-natural, biological. It refers to visible differences in genitalia and related differences in procreative function. Sex is constant. It cannot be changed.

STRUCTURE-system that imposes roles, attributes, expectations and perspectives on people who live here. Social structures manifest in wider social outcomes/patterns.

THREE axes of Gender Structuring
Sexual Division of Labor-"pink collar" work. Separation brings privilege and disadvantage Normative Heterosexuality- heterosexual relations are the standard and ideal Institutionalized Violence or Gendered Hierarchies of Power-assymetrical power disadvantages women and privileges men --Third axis focuses on "institutionalized and organized violence" associated with masculinity --Power is associated with masculinity and victimization with femininity --"gendered hierarchies of power reproduce a sense of entitlement of men to women's service.

----Essentialism: attributing a basic foundations or core to a category. When power obscures difference ---Gender essentialism: a unitary monolithic women's experience can be isolated and described of race class and sexual orientation western feminism: privileged upper/middle class white women asserting that their theory or experience speaks for all women without acknowledging differences

Private (women)- Reproductive labor:raising kids, cooking, cleaning Public (men)- $$$

Confluence of institutional rules and interactive routines, mobilizations of resources, and physical structures, which constitute the historical givens in relation to which individuals act and which are relatively stable over time Structures also connote the wider social outcomes that result from the confluence of many individual actions

2 kinda os structure
How do structures affect human beings?

Position individuals in relations of
-labor and production
-power and subordination
-desire and sexuality
-prestige and status

The way a person is positioned in structures is as much a function of how other people treat him or her within various institutional settings as it is the attitude a person takes to himself or herself.

GIves an account of the constitution and causes of social inequality -Some people encounter relative constraints in their freedom and material well being as the cumulative effect of the possibilities of their social positions as compared with other who in ther social positions have more option or easier access to benefits.

Social groups are defined by
-Structural accounts offer a way of understanding inequality of opportunity, oppression and domination, that does not seek individualized perpetrators Strucures of constraints
-sets of asset distributions-time and money
-norms-cultural norms, stereotypes

Gender-particular form of the social positioning of lived bodies in relation to one another within historically and socially specific institutions and processes that have material effects on the environment

2 Basic Axes of Gender Structure
-Sexual division of labor:structuring of work and occupations by gender ----private and public work
----people collectively do not wish to organize broadly funded public services that take more collective responsibility for acre work ----women work longer hours
-----women arrange...
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