Sc2220 lecture 4 2011


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Lecture 4: Masculinity and Femininity (Gender Systems)

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Sc2220 lecture 4 2011

  1. 1. SC2220: Gender StudiesLecture 4: Masculinity and Femininity<br />Eric C. Thompson<br />Semester 2, 2010/2011<br />
  2. 2. Where We Have Been…<br />History of Gender Studies<br />From the study of women to theories of gender<br />Sex/Gender Distinction<br />Gender is built on sex differences but not determined by them.<br />Becoming Male or Female<br />Gender socialization; paths to learning gender.<br />
  3. 3. Where We Are Going…<br />Gender Systems<br />Gender as systems of beliefs and behaviors<br />Gender in Popular Culture<br />Gender in Social Relations<br />Gender and Power<br />Gender and Work<br />Gender, Here and Now<br />Gender in Singapore<br />
  4. 4. Today’s Lecture…<br />Part 1: Where do gender systems come from?<br />Part 2: “Unpacking” the gender system.<br />Part 3: Examples<br />Effects of Gender Systems<br />Changing Gender Systems over Time <br />
  5. 5. PART 1: Where do Gender Systems come from?How do we go about producing Systems of Gender and Sexuality?The Cultural Process . .General Concepts ofMasculinity and Femininity <br />
  6. 6. Dress<br />Clothes<br />Sari<br />Pretty<br />Business<br />
  7. 7. Clothes<br />Sari<br />Business<br />
  8. 8. Clothes<br />Sari<br />Business<br />
  9. 9. Tell that to these guys…<br />
  10. 10. Difference and Distinction are essential to Meaning<br />Mapping things onto a gendered structure gives them meaning.<br />
  11. 11. Dress<br />Sari<br />Pretty<br />
  12. 12. A Three Gender<br />System<br />
  13. 13. Gender versus Sexuality<br />Gender and Sexuality are very closely related, but not the same.<br />“Gay” and “Straight” – refers to sexuality (sexual practices)<br />Pondan, Katoey, Berdache, Man, Woman, etc. are “gender” identities (a broader category that mere sexual practices).<br />Example of “Katoey” gender.<br />See: Oetomo (1995) in Supplemental Readings<br />
  14. 14. Gender Systems at Play<br />Gender systems (cultural beliefs) provide us a basis for knowing how to behave.<br />This enables and empowers us to act (as gendered individuals) in society.<br />It can also be constraining and limiting (for example, Billy Tipton, who had to go to great length to overcome gender constraints).<br />Gender is also a source of pleasure, amusement and play in all cultures.<br />
  15. 15. PART 2: “Unpacking” Gender SystemsHow do we go about understanding gender systems?What are the elements and processes that make up gender systems?<br />
  16. 16. Gender Is Not Primarily Identity<br />Gender is systems of beliefs and practices. It is not something we are but something we think and do.<br />We come to think of gender as identity as a result of regular reinforcement of these beliefs and enacting these practices.<br />Masculinity and Femininity are “Structures of Appropriate Behavior” (see: The Gender Tango); they are socially constructed in relationship to each other.<br />
  17. 17. “Doing Gender”<br />Gender is something we do (a performance) not something we are (an identity).<br />West and Zimmerman 1987 – “Doing Gender”<br />Judith Butler 1990 – Gender Trouble<br />Masculinity and Femininity are beliefs and guidelines for appropriate behavior – they are beliefs that guide us in doing gender.<br />Because gender is something we do all the time, everyday, we experience it as identity – as something we “are” rather than something we “do”.<br />
  18. 18. “Unpacking the Gender System”(Ridgeway and Correll 2004)<br />Gender is a System of:<br />Gender Beliefs<br />Institutionalized Social Practices<br />“Unpacking” the Gender System means Critically* examining these Beliefs and Practices<br />*”Critical” Social and Cultural theory does not mean “criticizing” or bashing; it means carefully and reflectively examining.<br />
  19. 19. Hegemonic Gender Beliefs<br />Cultural Beliefs – beliefs that are shared by two or more people.<br />Hegemonic Gender Beliefs<br />A belief is hegemonic when everyone in society must act in relationship to it – whether they believe it or not.<br />Hegemonic Masculinity (from Connell).<br />Alternative (Nonhegemonic) Gender Beliefs<br />Many alternative beliefs may exist in a society<br />Different beliefs may be hegemonic in different groups or different contexts.<br />
  20. 20. Hegemonic Masculinity(Connell and Messerschmidt 2005)<br />Not necessarily “normal” (in the statistical sense)… but “normative” (it sets the standard – it is the way a man should be).<br />Not a fixed idea; differs over time and from place to place.<br />Plurality and Hierarchy of Masculinities.<br />The power of Hegemonic Masculinity requires men (and women) to act in relation to the set of beliefs that are “hegemonic”<br />Adoption, complicity, privilege, defense of status-quo<br />Resistance, alternative masculinities, “passing”<br />
  21. 21. Hegemonic Femininity?<br />Hegemonic Femininity vs. “Emphasized Femininity”<br />Debate over whether forms of femininity can be called “hegemonic” (because femininity is more often than not culturally devalued compared to masculinity).<br />Can we assume that masculinity is always hegemonic (powerful) and femininity “emphasized” (subordinate)?<br />As with Hegemonic Masculinity; “Emphasized” or “Hegemonic” Femininity is normative – it sets standards in relation to which everyone in society must act.<br />
  22. 22. Cultural Operations<br />Sex Categorization<br />Categorization by sex/gender is a First Order Cultural Operation; before any interaction with other people we place them in abstract gendered categories (man, woman; boy, girl).<br />Gender as Background Identity<br />Gender is something “always there” but often implicit (and taken-for-granted)<br />Effective Salience<br />Gender comes into effect in certain social contexts (but not always, in all situations).<br />
  23. 23. Rules for Acting in Society<br />Gender systems guide our behavior; they give us a blueprint for:<br />How we ourselves should act.<br />How we should act toward others.<br />How we evaluate others.<br />How we evaluate ourselves.<br />
  24. 24. Beliefs and their Effects<br />Will changes in Gender Beliefs change Social Practices (inequality, discrimination)?<br />Do changes in Gender Beliefs follow rather than lead Social Change (changes in practice)?<br />Answer: We don’t know… (but we have some ideas; and the answer is probably both, in different cases.)<br />
  25. 25. PART 3: Examples (Case Studies) of Gender Systems…A. Effects of Gender SystemsB. Changing Gender Systems over Time<br />
  26. 26. Gender Beliefs and Evaluation<br />One example where there seems to be good evidence for the effect of Gender Beliefs…<br />Peoples skills are evaluated differently, based on whether they are men or women.<br />Many studies have shown that resumes (e.g. in applying for jobs or schools) with a MALE NAME are judged more favorably than the same resume with a FEMALE NAME.<br />There is also evidence that men are negatively evaluated when performing traditionally female tasks (e.g. domestic work, childcare).<br />
  27. 27. Product Evaluation<br />Products are evaluated more highly when portrayed as produced by men than when portrayed as produced by women.<br />If the products are “masculine” (engineering, military) then the effect is very strong.<br />If the products are “feminine” (domestic and childcare products) then the effect disappears or slightly favors women.<br />
  28. 28. Men in Crisis in Russia<br />In the 1990s, Russia experienced severe economic crisis.<br />Unemployment among men was high.<br />Although men were available to help with domestic work, women actively excluded them from housework by controlling the domestic sphere.<br />Men were doubly marginalized: in the economy outside the home (through unemployment) and in the domestic sphere.<br />S. Ashwin “Men in Crisis in Russia: The Role of Domestic Marginalization,” Gender and Society (2004)<br />
  29. 29. Transitions Through Time and Space<br />Masculinity and Femininity are constructed differently in different times and places.<br />“Where Have all the Trans-Gender Ritual Specialist Gone?” (Peletz 2006)<br />Hollywood Images of Masculinity in the Late 20th Century (More on this in Lecture 6)<br />
  30. 30. Examples of Transgender Ritual Specialists (Peletz 2006)<br />Pre-Colonial Southeast Asia: Widespread Evidence of “Trans-Gender” Ritual Specialists<br />Sida-Sida (Peninsular Malay)<br />Bissu (Bugis)<br />Basir and Balian (Ngaju Dayak)<br />Hau Bralin (Khmer Initiation Ritual)<br />Acault (Burma)<br />As well as others…<br />
  31. 31. “Where Have All the Trans-Gender Ritual Specialist Gone?”<br />Contemporary Southeast Asia: Apparently less “Tolerant” Attitudes; Marginalization of Trans-Gender Individuals (But still many examples)<br />Pondan, Mak Andam (Malaysia)<br />Banci (Indonesia)<br />Khateoy (Thailand)<br />Bakla, Bantut (Philippines)<br />Why? Modernity? Bureaucratic Rationality? Religion (esp. Spread of Islam and Christianity)? Capitalism? Westernization?<br />Transition from “Gender Pluralism” to “Gender Dualism”<br />