The idea of “gender” arose out of social construction theory.
In GWSS gender is distinguished from sex. Sex is a category that is assigned at birth based on a doctor’s assessment of our genetalia. In modern Western society there are only two categories assigned (male and female) This is not always true in all parts of the world or at all times! GENDER is how we learn to behave based on the sex category into which we were placed. So if we were categorized as female we are gendered feminine and raised to be a woman. It is important to note that these three words (female, feminine, woman) in GWSS likewise (male, masculine, man) …
Day 13 Stuart Hall and Ideology
Grammar of Race
Dr. Sara Diaz
WGST 280: Gender, Sex, & Popular Culture
Social Constructions So Far
• Gender as a social construct
• Constructed and normalized through codes of gender
• Ritualized Subordination
• Feminine Touch
• Licensed Withdrawl
• Class as a social construct
• Structural Economic Inequalities
• Media structured around middle class consumers
• Codes of class obscure realities of modern America
• Working class as “buffoons”
Social Construction of Race
• How is race socially constructed?
• Think both about “whiteness” and
people of color
• How does Hall define ideology?
• Constituted by chains of meanings
• Unconscious and Environmental rather
than Intentional and Individual
• Construct “common” knowledge/sense
• What is the relationship between media
Overt vs Inferential Racism
• How does Hall distinguish between
“Overt” and “Inferential” racisms?
• “By inferential racism I mean those
apparently naturalized representations of
events and situations relating to race,
whether ‘factual’ or ‘fictional,’ which have
racist premises and proposition inscribed
in them as a set of unquestioned
assumptions.” -Hall, p. 83
• Inferential racism is a form of ideology.
• On the persistence of ideologies of racial
“We can grasp their recurring resonance better if
we identify some of the base images of the
‘grammar of race.’” - Hall, p. 83
• What does Hall mean by “grammar”?
• Chains of meaning
• Understanding how social groups are
represented (the images used to signify their
social position) helps us better understand the
persistence of ideologies of dominance.
• Grammar of Race?
• Sambo/Black Rapist
• Noble Savage/Uncivilized Savage
Other Inferential *-isms
• Other ideologies that fuel Inferential –isms
• When we think about “grammars” of
ideology, we must think about how
they work together to structure social
categories and reinforce hierarchies.
• Bringing all of the grammars/codes discussed so
far (of gender, class, and race) to think about
grammars of sexuality.
• IF you haven’t already watched the ***Flawless
video and the VMA performance do so before
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