Gender derives its formative meaning from culture and societal values, it is not a universal entity as there are various cultures, societal values, beliefs, and preferred ways of organizing collective life across the globe and even within a single culture the meaning of gender varies over time. Chapters three and four of Gendered Lives by Julia T. Wood helps to insightfully look at those views, and rhetorical movements (women and men’s movements) that have overtime influenced, defined and given various meanings to gender (masculinity and femininity).
Gender can be defined as “sex roles” which are conditions that one considers to be for men or women. People tends to mistake it with sex or thinks that they are both the same. We discussed about the patterns of gender which how the authors of The Kaleidoscope of Gender describes it as “regularized, prepackaged ways of thinking, feeling, and acting” (Spade and Valentino,2017). It becomes an identity for us. We believe that there is and can only be two genders, being masculine for men and feminine for women. These roles has been forced onto us since birth: blue for boys, and pink for girls. You can see the roles being push onto a person throughout one’s life, but we don’t notice it since it’s “normal” to us.
Through my experiences with people of many backgrounds, as well as my education, I have learned to separate the idea of sex and gender. I still maintain certain traditional views regarding gender, however I’ve come to the realization that the social constructs of men and women are not, and should not, be as rigid. In my opinion, I have acknowledged that there are differences between ‘men’ and ‘women’, however these differences should be used to uplift one another, rather than to tear the other gender apart. For example, a family unit in which the man decides to take on the responsibilities of the
The sociology of gender is one of the largest subfields within sociology; sociological gender studies look at the social construction of gender and how gender interacts with other social structures within society (Crossman, 2016). It Is important that one understands the difference between sex and gender to understand the sociology of gender; unlike gender, sex is biologically determined and relates to the reproductive organs a person has. In order to separate gender and sex sociologists use different pronouns; when discussing gender, sociologists use the terms man/woman and when discussing sex sociologists will use the terms male/female (Crossman, 2016). Although most people fall into wither the category of male or female, some people are born with ‘sex organs’ that do not clearly fit into either of the two specific sex categories, these people are known as intersex (Ashley Crossman, 2016). Gender is described as a social classification based on one’s identity and how one presents themselves to the world; this identity relates to the way one behaves and interacts within society. Many sociologists view gender as a learned behaviour and look at gendered identities as being culturally produced which makes gendered identities socially constructed (Crossman,
Whether we consciously notice or not, doing gender is occurring everyday within our society. Every interaction we have with another individual is doing gender. Doing gender has become a part of our every day lives the same way without realizing it the same way we breathe air without really paying attention that we are breathing. The meaning behind this is that it is occurring unconsciously. Candace West and Don Zimmerman coined the term doing gender in an article they composed. West and Zimmerman argued that gender is something that humans created. As humans, we have the urge to categorize and define everything. If someone was not in favor of their gender role or did something that was not deemed correct for that gender, this person would be committing an act of social deviance. This paper will discuss what doing gender means along with other attributes of doing gender. These attributes includes what pushes us to do gender, why we do gender, the results of doing gender along with discussing what the boys in C.J. Pascoe’s article of Dude you’re a fag accomplished. This essay will discuss what doing gender is along with what causes us to do it and finally what doing it accomplishes.
Society has conditioned us to believe categorizing genders into “gender boxes” is the norm. We have all heard the classic trite sayings, “Men are the head of the house” or “Women should always cook dinner for their families.” Author, Aaron Devor tackle issues like male and female stereotypes in her article, “Gender Roles Behaviors and Attitudes”; and discusses in depth how gender roles and behaviors are not “natural” and more on the lines of “cultural constructs.” Qualities as such are also identified in Deborah Blum’s article, “The Gender Blur” which reinforces the idea that humans are not born with the stereotypical idea of masculinity and femininity but taught. By highlighting how society has a substantial impact on gender identify, Devor
“Doing Gender” is a phrase popularized by West and Zimmerman. It illustrates the theory that men and women perform actions that are in accordance with the gender norm. In some cases, people do act against the gender norm but it does not diminish the theory of “doing gender.” Our society has formed a rigid understanding of characteristics that are ascribed to the gender binary, which are masculinity and femininity. This social construct of gender dictates the behavior of the individual.
The gender describes how our understandings and perception of differences between masculinity (what society deems appropriate behaviour a “man” and femininity (what society deems appropriate behaviour for a “woman”) are influenced.
West and Zimmerman’s theory of “Doing Gender” defines sex and gender as two separate entities within this binary society. Sex refers to the biological characteristics that are typically attributed to males and females. Gender is the status of the individual performing the activities that are commonly associated with masculinity and femininity. These traits are rigid in dictating the individual’s consistent performance of them. A gendered individual must execute the appropriate acts that are linked to masculinity or femininity respectively. It is a learned behavior that is taught at an early age through observation of society. Therefore, it is society that decides whether an action is attributed to masculinity or femininity. Gender is a socially constructed idea of thought that people unconsciously follow. The acts that constitute a particular gender can change based on the views of society within a generation. Certain activities and forms of appearance have shifted between males and females. As society evolves throughout history, the interactions between individuals and their gendered actions have changed. West and Zimmerman state, “When we view gender as an accomplishment, an achieved property of situated conduct, our attention shifts from matters internal to the individual and focuses on interactional and, ultimately, institutional arenas” (West and Zimmerman, 1987, page 126). Thus the performance of gender has developed passed the individual and is engrained within the
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
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
Because bodies are gendered, or encouraged to participate in gender conformity, the bodies that we see and interact with on an everyday basis are not natural or innate but, rather, are a product of a lifetime of gendered practices, relations, and ideologies (Berkowitz, 2017, p. 13).” Berkowitz’s statement relates to ideas that are found in chapter 2 of Gender: Ideas, interactions, institutions (Wade & Ferree, 2015) such as the term, binary, that refers to a system that has two, and only two parts to it. Therefore, the phrase gender binary, is the idea that there are only two types of people. These two types of people are male-bodied and female-bodied. These ideas would be considered an ideology, which is a set of ideas that are shared by members in a certain group that guides identities, behaviors, and institutions. Gender binaries or gender conformity are set by ideologies. In other words, the idea that a
The term gender refers to the characteristics of a person despite the person’s biological sex. Gender role, which is the focus of sociologists, is the anticipated attitude and behavior that a certain society connects with each sex. With this definition, gender is placed evenly in the sociocultural context. Events that previously occurred had a vital impact on gender roles. Due to this, the study of gender emerged as one of the significant disciplines in the field of sociology in the twentieth century. The gender issues were studied using various research and theory. The research on gender issues provided a testament that all social interactions that occur, and the institutions where they occur, are gendered in one way or the other. Sociologists explain gender roles with respect to various theoretical perspectives. The perspectives are the ways of perceiving social reality that guide the process of research and provide a method for understanding the data. The sociological perspectives on gender roles include functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interaction, and feminist sociological theory (pearsonhighered.com).
“Gender” is a social construct that is developed solely by our society and the early developmental stages of an adolescent’s life. By introducing youths to the roles, behaviors, expectations and activities that correspond with males or females we give a clear guideline of what is accepted from a young male or female. An individual however can identify his or her gender based on their own system of beliefs without corresponding to their natural biological sex. Our lives are shaped by our true biological identities but the influence of the world and society is enough to define what a male and what a female truly is to an individual.
The term ‘gender’ was coined by John Money in 1955: “Gender is used to signify all those things that a person says or does to disclose himself/herself as having the status of a boy or man, girl or woman, respectively” (Coleman and Money, 1991, 13). In