chapter 9

  1. Gender roles
    • are socially constructed
    • Gender roles are created by humans to meet the needs of their societies

    Life chances in the stratification system depend upon the combination of age and sex
  2. Sex
    usually thought of as a biological term referring to ascribed genetic, anatomical, and hormonal differences between males and females, but it is actually determined by socially accepted biological criteria
  3. intersexed
    persons with ambiguous genitalia (about 1.7% of babies are born with unusual sex chromosomes, internal procreative organs, and external genitalia)
  4. Heteronormativity
    defines the cultural expectations held in most societies that a “normal” girl or boy will be sexually attracted to and eventually have sex with someone of the other sex
  5. Gender identity
    how individuals construct their gender identity using these categories and negotiating the constraints they entail
  6. Gender roles
    rigidly and/or commonly assigned tasks or expected behaviors of individuals because of their sex category
  7. Sexuality
    how cultures shape the meanings of sexuality and sexual acts and how we experience our own bodies and our bodies in relation to others
  8. Agents of socialization
    • teach us from birth how to display proper gendered behaviors
    • Failure to comply often results in sanctions; therefore we generally learn to conform, at least in our public behavior
    • In adulthood men traditionally have more networks and statuses, as well as greater access to resources outside of the home
    • Some argue that language is powerful in shaping the behavior and perceptions of people; women often end sentences with tag questions which may give impression of insecurity or uncertainty
  9. Rites of passage
    (rituals and formal processes that acknowledge a change of status) differ by age and sex
  10. Institutionalized privilege or disprivilege
    patterns of social action that are imbedded in the entire social system may influence women and men, providing unrecognized privileges or disadvantages
  11. Gender socialization
    is the process by which people learn the cultural norms, attitudes, and behaviors appropriate to their gender through sanctions
  12. Micro-level agents and learning in gender socialization
    • In infancy and childhood parents and family play major role
    • In early childhood, children become aware of their own gender identity
    • At school age they learn their sex is permanent
  13. Meso-level agents include
    • Corporations
    • Mass media
    • Educational systems
    • Religious beliefs
  14. Glass ceiling
    social forces that keep women from reaching the highest levels of corporate and public responsibility
  15. Sticky floor
    social forces that keep the vast majority of the world’s women stuck in low-paid jobs
  16. Glass escalator
    even if men do not seek to climb in the organizational hierarchy, occupational social forces push them up the job ladder into higher echelons, especially in female-dominated occupations
  17. De jure discrimination-
    done deliberately because of cultural images of women as inferior to or fundamentally different from men
  18. De facto discrimination
    unequal treatment that is unintended

    • Side effect discrimination
    • Past-in-present discrimination
  19. Symbolic interactionist perspective
    gender is socially constructed; physical, biological differences come to be regarded as symbols that differentiate rights and rewards in society

    • Gender is not intrinsically related to sex
    • Humans have agency to influence the society around them
    • Doing gender
  20. Structural-functionalist theory
    each sex has a role to play in the interdependent groups and institutions of society

    • As societies organize, roles and relationships change
    • •Mechanical solidarity
    • •Organic solidarity
    • Two types of complimentary roles are necessary for efficiency in society
    • •Expressive (private sphere)
    • •Instrumental (public sphere)
  21. Conflict theory
    by keeping women in subordinate roles, men ensure that they control the means of production and protect their privileges

    Men will not voluntarily give up their current beneficial positions of power
  22. Feminist theory
    patriarchy is the cause of women’s oppression
  23. Patriarchy
    a few men dominate and hold authority over all others, including women, children, and less powerful men
  24. Women are a minority group because:
    • Distinguished by physical, cultural, or social characteristics
    • Share of desired goods is limited by the dominant group
    • Ideological or other justifications are used to deny them equal treatment
    • They have a collective identity used to help insulate them from unequal treatment
    • Minority group status is generally determined by rules of descent, with members born into a status they cannot change
  25. Stratification can lead to
    • Poor educational achievement of female children
    • Loss of human talents and resources of half of the population
    • Lack of health care coverage for women, which impacts both those women and their children
    • Social divisiveness leading to alienation, if not hostility.
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chapter 9