One cannot talk about social interactions in society without talking about gender. Gender is part of According to Macionis (2015), gender is “the personal traits and social positions that members of a society attach to being female or male”. Most societies only view gender as being either male or female. An individual must portray their gender correctly in order to be normal in society. Meaning a woman must act feminine and a man must act masculine. However, what happens when an individual chooses not to “do” gender? How does society respond to those who do not participate in “doing gender”? In order to answer these questions we will have to explore what it means to say that gender is a social construction and what is means to “do” gender. In the process we will define impression management and explain how Lucal (2012) engages in impression management with regards to doing gender and along with identifying which sociological theoretical approach best explains why we do gender. First, when it comes to social interactions, it play a big role on what it means to do gender. “Social interaction is the process by which people act and react in relation to others” (Macionis 2015: 114). As humans we assign meaning to everything that we see, for example when we see nail polish and makeup we automatically categorize them as things that are associated with women. This is also what it means to say gender is a social construct because a social construct is “the process by which we
Throughout this course, we have discussed how the differences in the social construction of gender, race, class, and sexuality have led to discrimination and inequality of those classified under a variety of these categories. Through understanding the significance of these social constructs on society it becomes apparent the intersectionality they have when it comes to understanding why certain groups may face discrimination or inequality. This paper examines gender inequality and how the social construction of gender makes it difficult for the pursuit of equality amongst genders.
In the article, “Doing Gender,” West and Zimmerman (1987) argues the concept of gender as a social activity or interaction, as opposed to an intrinsic individual value. These activities and interactions are socially constructed norms of male and female, masculinity and femininity. To further explain gender, the authors define 3 important concepts: sex, sex category, and gender. Sex refers to biological factors (e.g., hormones, genitalia), sex category refers to visual markers (e.g., dress, hairstyle), and gender is the interactive piece. The authors state that doing gender is always certain and ongoing as it is embedded in everyday life (e.g., the way we dress, walk, sit, and communicate) and it is the individual who holds sole responsibility
Radical changes in modern society have decreased the intense constraints gender stereotypes once had. Stereotypes are generalizations about a group of persons, in this case, gender roles fit under the stereotype branch as they are expectations based off of society’s views of either sex. Thus, forming social constructs; the generalization and expectations held by a group or person due to society. Gender is the traits one picks up based on what sex they are; for example, the social construct of masculinity and femininity are gender roles that are derived from the stereotypes passed down from society. In contrast, sex is the body parts one has that has the primary function of reproduction (Source A).
The word gender can be described as the state of being male or female and is typically used to describe cultural differences as opposed to biological ones. Additionally, the definition of gender has continuously been a controversial issue due to its lack of clarity in regards to battling complicated social injustices. Furthermore, the construction of gender as a social category has recently been criticized for the lack of inclusiveness to women of color and the consistent habit to view both gender and race as restrictive divisions of experience and reasoning. Seeing those criticisms has led to the development of the term intersectionality which deals with various layers of subjection that women live with and addresses more than just the
According to social construction theory, gender is formed by our own beliefs and actions. For instance, many people would believe a farming job would be for a male but it can also be a female job as well. Usually women do house work while men do other duties outside such as landscaping. The definition of gender clearly states ‘“ the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex or one’s sex.”’. (Lecture 3, Page 2). Many people would believe that gender has to do with gonads or reproduction organs but it actually refers how an individual clearly view themselves. A female could be born by sex but then could identify the gender as a male because in their life, there could be masculine acts involved. Other words, socially constructed also means that “society or culture creates an idea, a physical object, a
The way society is taught to be socialized is salient and goes unnoticed, therefore it is valid to claim that gender is socially constructed through our everyday practices, whether we are aware of the construction or not. With socialization beginning the instant a child is born, the process is continuous through out adolescence and varies dramatically across the two genders. With guidance from institutions and arenas such as education, sports, music and the mass media gender seems to be coerced, as it comes with a scripted set of behaviors and attitudes. This essay argues that gender is socially constructed on an everyday basis. To further explain this thesis the essay will draw on early childhood socialization of masculinity and femininity,
The concept of gender has a strong social impact on me. When I was born, I was immediately assigned to a biological sex as a female with two X chromosomes. I was then socially classified as a girl in the society with feminine gender roles. Gender is defined as a social principle which attribute to the roles and expectations of males and females through the years of different societies (Phillips, 2005). Gender can be considered as behavioural, cultural and psychological traits
I am a strong believer that gender roles are a social construct. However, gender identity is not. Therefore, it is very important to know the difference. Gender roles are defined as “theoretical constructs involving of social and behavioral norms that are widely considered to be socially appropriate for individuals of a specific sex. The perception of gender roles includes attitudes, actions, and personality traits associated with a particular gender within that culture. Gender roles are predominantly considered within a family context as well as within society in general”. I believe that gender roles and gender expression are social constructs. There is almost nothing that is intrinsically male or female and merely things that are coded as male or female by the culture we live
Through a symbolic interactionist perspective, the social construction of gender will be analyzed by examining differences between the sexes and the expectation to follow the social norms of how people are supposed to dress, socialize with, and behave taught by common institutions of socialization.
The construction of gender has always been a controversial issue. We tend to think that gender is developed through a natural process as we experience it everyday, while it shapes us unconsciously into who we are, to how we think and why we do certain things in a considered gender-appropriate manner. From a sociological point of view, according to Macionis and Plummer’s study, cultural meanings about what is considered masculine and feminine varies from one society to another and from one historical period to another (2012). According to their study, this is all part of a gender order, which are the ways in which societies shape notions of masculinity and femininity into power relationships, this enhances the differences between both genders and our expectations of them in society. This categorisation involves various factors including gender identity, gender role, gender stratification, patriarchy and feminism, all of the above aspects contribute to the social construction of gender.
The first type of analysis portrays gender as socially constructed, and violence as the means to enforce such construct. Men are associated with violence, and comprise armies more than women do. Confortini argues that associating femininity with peace supports hegemonic masculinity, which considers women (and other excluded men), as subordinate to the shared expectations of masculinity. Conflict is totally influenced by this hegemony, as soldiers, peacemakers, and others involved in conflict, are predominantly male (Rehn and Sirleaf 61). Silence on homosexuality (by the hegemonic masculinity) disempowers “other” masculinities and legitimizes their subjugation. Gendered language, which depicts women as soft and men as strong, reinforces these
The debate whether the idea of gender differences is a social construct or not plays a significant role in many sociological theories. In North American society, it is evident that there are certain roles imposed on boys and girls according to their gender. These gender roles are forced upon children from their birth until they eventually accept and follow the social standards. This socialization of gender roles can have several effects on the child as these ideologies are intensified through the most significant agents of socialization: family, educational institution, and media. Despite several research indicating egalitarian societies to evade societal norms relating to gender roles and expectations, this concept is still prevalent worldwide
When we speak about gender being socially constructed it means just because a person is conformed to what society thinks he or she should be involved in or surrounded by doesn’t depict their future. Children are taught when they are little that there are distinct expectations that have to fulfill based on what gender they are. Just because a parent gives their daughter nothing but dolls and sons trucks does not mean they will only play with those toys or even like them in the long run. When being feminine a woman is known to ‘act like a lady”. Be classy, respectful of yourself, seen not heard and all words that defines being nurturing and loving and maybe even whiny. The expectations of masculinity is someone who is strong, confident, status
Thinking within the sociological discipline, I reflected upon how I participated in a gendered society. As a masculine male, I demonstrate the social construction of gender by intersecting my performance with sex and uphold “normative” gender expectations by using pop culture as a way to reflect the idea of being a masculine male during social discourses. I verify the accountability of my performance specifically when participating in interactions with females.
I personally feel as if even though gender is socially constructed, it is binary because these are the beliefs that a majority of the population has been raised to accept as normal for ages now. With a majority of the population identifying as either male or female and accepting the genders placed upon them, it will be hard to break this construction that has been imbedded in our mindset. When you have individuals that are different from the majority, they get ridiculed for not being like everyone else. This behavior has been going on since our young adolescents years, whether individuals point out others flaws, bully individuals for being different, etc. Therefore, since those who are transgender are seen as different to the majority this