top-rated free essay

Examining gender as a social structure

By Travis-Tucker Nov 16, 2014 473 Words


Sociology of Gender

Examining gender as a social structure and applying gender roles poses many challenges when explaining the phenomenon of social stratification. Barbara J. Riseman explores many expanses of gender and theories’ arguing the issues and importances a social structure has on gender outcomes. Riseman discusses the four distinct social scientific theoretical traditions that explain gender: individual sex, whether it be social or biological; social structure creates gendered behavior; social interaction and accountability to others’ expectations; and how gender creates inequality and acts on gender as a socially constructed stratification system. Gender is a major slice of every social process in everyday life within every social situation and I imagine that gender accounts for inequalities society has on the opposite sex and it’s that inequality that is dependent on gender within social hierarchy. One view suggests that as long as there are two genders and those genders see themselves anatomically different, women will be unable to have the same life opportunities as men. Flaws can be found in this particular theory, one of which is if both genders experience indistinguishable fundamental conditions and role expectations then recognizable gender differences would disappear. Giddens’s structuration theory explains how social structure shape individuals and at the same time individuals shape social structure. The research performed to help understand gender equality and gender as a social structure is complex and has many variables. It is this complexity that makes it so difficult to determine the gender specificities that account for the inequality in socially constructed stratification systems and within these systems the social hierarchy. Individuals determine change within these social systems and therefore the individuals who enact change govern them. Individual identities are also molded in distinctive ways and the individual experiences will determine how these social systems will change. Individual identity and social stratification are also dependent on specific social systems. Culture also accounts for an imperative role in gender inequality. One culture may have very high esteem for one sex and others just the opposite. It is these cultural differences that will also determine specific gender identity and cause stratification in rippling effects to the social systems involved as a result of different cultural expectations. All together physical gender, individual identity, culture, and specific social systems are key ingredients that govern the stratification of specific social structures. These structures are dependent on gender specific social hierarchy, which is governed by the social system itself and coordinated by each individual within the system. Individuals are dependent on social structure and gender is deeply embedded in the stratification of those particular structures. Depending on the situation, social stratification can be regarded as having an infinite amount of possible outcomes dependent on individual life experiences. Social hierarchy is likely the underlying component in the social stratification that is gender specific causing the inequality in society.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • How Is Gender Identity Influenced by Social Structures?

    ...personality, mental ability and sex would have an affect on a person's identity. Then there are the external factors such as family, class, religion, culture, occupation and nationality which would influence one's identity. Then, even beyond all these personal and social structures, societal opinions about gender, race, culture, ethnicity and na...

    Read More
  • Social Gender

    ...opportunity to read “Night to his Day: The Construction of Gender”. This narrative informs us on the difference between gender and sex and how it makes us who we are today. The information that is presented in this article is key for students entering into society because it can shed light on many misconceptions that may exist in students. I...

    Read More
  • Social Interaction & Social Structure

    ...Social Interaction and Social Structure SOCIAL INTERACTION is the, social action of two or more people taking each other into account in their action SOCIAL ACTION refers to those actions which people are conscious of doing because of other people. There are some studies about Social Interaction. Those are ETHNOMETHODOLOGY and DRAM...

    Read More
  • Significant Social Structures of Gender in Australia

    ...Which social structure do you think has been significant in Australia in the last twelve months and which social structure do you think will be significant in the next twelve months? Has its importance been consistent historically? – Gender Social structures are what defines us within society, it is the definition of who we are, and the p...

    Read More
  • gender

    ...Carlos Banuelos English 71 Martin 3/20/2014 Gender exercise Sex and gender are different things, Sex defines the differenc...

    Read More
  • Social Structures

    ...Which social processes are more important in shaping individual identity: social structures or culture and socialisation? What is social identity? Social identity is “our understanding of who we are and of who other people are and, reciprocally, other people’s understandings of themselves and of others” (Jenkins 1996, p.38). There are m...

    Read More
  • Gender

    ...Gender: Men vs Women I would like to approach the topic: the superior gender. This topic brings up many heated discussions all around the world. In this presentation I will dig into the myths of gender to find out who the superior race really is. An important point in this battle is intelligence. It is well-known that women are under-represe...

    Read More
  • “Gender” and the Importance of “the Social Construction of Gender.”

    ...“Gender” and the Importance of “The Social Construction of Gender.” Gender is an individual's natural sense of themselves existing as a male or female, which may hold opposing views from their biological sex. I believe sex and gender are two terms used interchangeably. Sex implies the biological characteristics among females and males...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.