Ch 10 inequalities_of_gender_and_age
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Ch 10 inequalities_of_gender_and_age






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Ch 10 inequalities_of_gender_and_age Ch 10 inequalities_of_gender_and_age Presentation Transcript

  • Ch. 10 Inequalities of Gender and Age
  • Sex and Gender Identity • Sex – classification of people as male or female based on biological characteristics • Biological Determinism – principle that behavioral differences are the result of inherited physical characteristics – This lacks scientific proof – What few tendencies that are biological are easily overruled by society and culture • Gender Identity – a sense of being male or female based on learned cultural values
  • Biology, culture, and behavior • Research indicates that the brains of men and women are slightly different • The majority of sociologists argue that gender-related behavior is not primarily the result of biology • Margaret Mead’s research (1950) on New Guinean peoples – The Arapesh – Men and women were raised to be cooperative, unaggressive, and empathetic. Traditional concept of the female gender role – Mundugumor – Men and women were raised to be aggressive, ruthless, and unresponsive to the needs of others – Tchambuli – gender roles were opposite of those in Western culture
  • Theoretical Perspectives on Gender • Functionalism and Gender – Any pattern of behavior that does not benefit society will become unimportant • Therefore the division of responsibilities b/w male and female benefited human living
  • Theoretical Perspectives on Gender• Conflict Theory and Gender – It is to the advantage of men to prevent women from gaining access to political, economic, and social resources • “Gender Apartheid” in Afghanistan – Conflict theorists see traditional gender roles as outdated – Women who prefer careers in fields formerly reserved for men have every right to
  • Theoretical Perspectives on Gender• Symbolic Interactionism and Gender – Focuses on how boy and girls learn to act the way they are “supposed to act” • Gender socialization – the social process of learning how to act as a boy or girl – The effect of the media is very powerful – Parents are vitally important in gender socialization • Blue or pink clothes • Trucks vs. dolls • Mowing the grass vs. doing
  • Theoretical Perspectives on Gender– Schools also aid gender socialization • Teachers encourage different behaviors • Clothing styles, school functions, after-school activities – Peers contribution to gender socialization • Kids who most closely resemble the traditional roles are typically given the most respect – Football players, cheerleaders • Feminine boys and masculine
  • Gender Inequality • Sexism – a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values used to justify sexual inequality • Occupational and Economic inequality – In 1999 65% of women worked outside the home compared to 77% of men – Occupational sex segregation – the concentration of women in lower-status positions • Ex. – only about 11% of engineer positions are held by women, and about 29% of attorney jobs • When women are in high-status occupational groups, they are concentrated in lower-prestige, lower-paid jobs – In 1999 women who worked full-time earned only 72 cents for every dollar earned by men – In virtually every occupational category, men’s earning power is greater than women’s – Compared globally U.S. women are closer to the bottom of the equality list than the top
  • Legal and political Inequality – – – Women are participating in elective politics at an increasing rate – 1988, Geraldine Ferraro became the 1st female vice-presidential candidate in the history of the U.S. – 1996, Madeleine Albright was named the first female Secretary of State – Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed the 1st female Supreme Court Justice in 1981 by Pres. Reagan
  • Ageism • Age stratification – the unequal distribution of scarce resources based on age • Ageism – a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values used to justify age-based prejudice and discrimination
  • 11 Functionalism and Ageism • Elderly people in a given society are treated according to the role the aged play in that society • In many cultures the elderly are treated with great respect and honor • Attitudes about aging changed greatly as industrialization changed the nature of work
  • 12 Conflict Theory and Ageism • Competition over scarce resources is the heart of ageism for the Conflict Perspective
  • • Symbolic Interactionism and Ageism – Children learn negative images of older people just as they learn other aspects of culture, through socialization – Stereotypes of the elderly • Senile, forgetful, or “daft” • Sexless • Incapable of learning new things
  • Inequality in America’s Elderly Population • Sociologists believe that elderly should be viewed as a minority group • Economics of the Elderly – The Federal Government assumes that elderly need less money to live – About 16% of those over the age of 65 are poor – Most elderly in America do not have sources of income beyond Social Security – Poverty rates for minority elderly are higher than that of white elderly • Political Power and the Elderly – Voting turn out increase w/ age in the U.S. – Interest groups – a group organized to influence political decision making • AARP