The kitchen is arguably the last battle – ground for reproduction of gender relations in the western world. Discuss.

Topics: Gender role, Gender, Sociology Pages: 8 (2171 words) Published: April 22, 2014

The gender division in the food preparation has an atavistic stigma. Men hunted and acquired meat; women were preparing meat at home and served it to the family. All primitive communities are characterised by the subordinate role of woman. Food in Douglas’ classification theory has been linked with rituals which adherence prevents the chaos and the social destruction. Deep divide between gender roles in the patriarchal model of society, became a precondition of social order. Douglas (1971) This rule still applies to the present society and “the kitchen” becomes probably the last battlefield of gender in the western world.

In this essay I will present arguments that patriarchal reproduction of gender affiliation still exists in the contemporary society and is strongly correlated with the food and the kitchen zone. I will also present arguments that some significant changes have been recorded in the society which violate the old social order and have changed the understanding of male and female roles in the present society.

Patriarchate on Sardinia
Douglas argued that the meal and rituals created around it reinforced the gender division and hierarchisation of gender in the world dominated by men. (1971) Counihan described the process of baking bread in a small, isolated community on Sardinia where inhabitants kept the traditional distribution of masculine and feminine jobs. Women and men were assigned to their roles by gender by many generations that determine the hierarchy of their society with the leading role of man. Counihan (2008:288)

Swenson according to Weedon states that the patriarchal model still exists in the veiled form in the modern, urban culture and it is recorded in the social consciousness by new media and state authorities who referred to social, cultural and structural tradition. Weedon (1997) also describes gender as a socially produced and historically changing aspect of identity that is shaped by cultural and institutional discourse within a society. She writes: “As children we learn what girls and boys should be and later, what women and men should be” from social institutions, such as “the family schools, colleges, teenage fashion, pop culture, the church and worlds of work and leisure” (Weedon, 1997:3 cited Swenson 2008:138, 139).

Man’s Position in the Contemporary Society
The contemporary man is standing on the top of the social order. The media and the state help him to attain this position... His dominant position is linked with his role in the corporation. Holden (2013:119), Forson (20013:115) He takes the privileged place at the family table served by a woman where “the best piece of chicken” is reserved only for him as for a “breadwinner”, a “salary man” or a “house holder”. Forson (2013: 114) The kitchen is not his natural place; however, if he comes in to the kitchen by his own choice, he plays a dominant role of professional chef or women’s teacher. Holden (2013: 121,122, 127) Swenson (2013:145)

The man is guided by own taste and dictate his culinary preference other people and he uses only manly food in the cookery (wild game or other sort of meat) Swenson (2008:141,144) Many TV’s programmes and newspapers ( “Playboy Adventure”, “Road Tasted” or “Have Fork Will Travel”) are linked masculinity cooking with travelling what referred to atavistic hunting. Swenson (2013: 148) He sees affiliate between sex and food served by women. The woman is playing inferior role of the person providing him pleasure. Swenson (2013: 144)

Woman’s Position in the Contemporary Society
The woman still remains in the lower position in society and in the family and her home job is undervalued. Couhain (2013:175, 177). Althusser (1971) argued that masculinity ideology of power reproduced by state and media to maintain the patriarchal status quo (the existing state of affairs, especially regarding social or political issues) between gender , reserved for her a role of a babysitter...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Gender Relations Essay
  • Gender Relations Essay
  • Gender in International Relation Essay
  • Gender and Power Relations Essay
  • Gender Relations Notes Essay
  • Gender and politics Essay
  • Gender Essay
  • Gender Relations and Roles Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free