Sociology ch. 11: Gender

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sex
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biological identity (male or female)
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gender
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the socially learned expectations, identities, and behaviors associated with members of each sex (\”system of social practices\”)
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biological determinism
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explanations that attribute complex social phenomena to physical characteristics (ex. men are more aggressive because of hormonal differences)
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gender socialization
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men and women learn the expectations and identities associated with gender in society through this process
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gender identity
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one’s definition of oneself as a woman or a man
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sources of gender socialization:
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parents, peers, children’s play, schools, religion, and the media
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gender stratification
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the hierarchical distribution of social and economic resources according to gender
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patriarchy
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a society or group in which men have power over women
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sexism
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defines women as different from and inferior to men. it makes gender roles seem natural when they are actually rooted in entrenched systems of power and privilege
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dual labor market theory
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women and men earn different amounts because they tend to work in different segments of the labor market
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occupational segregation
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segregation in the labor market can also be based on factors such as race, class, age, or any combination of those
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human capital theory
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explains gender differences in wages as resulting from the individual characteristics that workers bring to jobs. it assumes that the economic system is fair and competitive and that wage discrepancies reflect differences in the resources (or human capital) that people bring to their jobs
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feminism
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the beliefs and action that seek a more just society for women
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feminist theory
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seeks to understand the position of women in society for the explicit purpose of improving their position in it
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doing gender
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(derived from symbolic interaction theory) interprets gender as something accomplished through the ongoing social interactions people have with one another
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gendered institution
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gender is not only analyzed as interpersonal expectations but also as a characteristic of institutions. the total pattern of gender relations that structure social institutions
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functionalism: gender identity
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gender roles are learned through socialization
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functionalism: status of women
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stems from the social roles of women and men in the family
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functionalism: status of men
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men hold instrumental roles; women expressive roles
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functionalism: social change
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emerges when social institutions become dysfunctional
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conflict theory: gender identity
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focuses on social structures, not individual identities
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conflict theory: status of women
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stems from their position as a cheap (or free) source of labor and their relative lack of power compared to men
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conflict theory: status of men
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men hold economic advantages in the labor market and hold power in social institutions
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conflict theory: social change
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comes from the transformation of economic institutions and change in power structures that advantage men
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symbolic interaction theory: gender identity
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identity constructed through ongoing social interaction and \”doing gender\”
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symbolic interaction theory: status of women
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stems from the enactment of gender in social interaction
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symbolic interaction theory: status of men
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masculinity is a learned identity that is created and sustained through social interaction
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symbolic interaction theory: social change
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comes when men and women disrupt existing gender displays
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feminist theory: gender identity
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is manifested differently also, depending on other social factors such as race, class, and age
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feminist theory: status of women
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the liberal version advocates equal right for women; more radical of these people want to challenge men’s power
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feminist theory: status of men
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men hold power in social institutions and use that power to maintain their advantage
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feminist theory: social change
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will come only when inequalities of race, class, and gender are transformed

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