Gender Roles in Society
Professor: Erica Dixon
My note to you:
• I hope you develop or further enhance
your “sociological imagination”
• C. Wright Mills coined this term, and by it
– We are able to see the relationship between
ourselves and society
– We have the ability to see how we are shaped
by the historical time period we live in as well
as how we shape history
In regards to GENDER
• The Sociological Imagination will allow
you to explore the multi-faceted
dimensions of being male or female in our
• Social Construction
• Institutions (Work, School, Family)
• What else do you want to learn? You will have a
term project to complete – consider picking
something new and innovative!
• SEX :
• A social status usually based on genital
• Persons may be
female, male, intersexed, or
hermaphodrite – now referred to as DSD
(Disorders of Sex Development)
• A social status usually based on the
performance of feminine or masculine
• Persons may be women or girls, boys or
men, or transgendered.
• *culturally relative!
• INTERSEXED or HERMAPHRODITE (DSD)
A social status assigned to persons having sex
characteristics of both females and males.
Transgendered persons feel that they do not fit well as
either women or men. They may feel themselves to be
neither gender, to be both genders, or to be a gender
other than what their sex would normally dictate.
Persons may be transgendered on the basis of only their
feelings about themselves, they may appear
ambiguously gendered to others, or they may change
their gender and live unnoticed as another gender.
The centrality of Sex and Gender
• Micro Level = Gender is often a Master
• Macro Level = How social life &
institutions are organized around sex and
The two basic questions your
text asks and seeks to answer:
• Why does virtually every society
differentiate on the basis of gender
• Why is virtually every society based
on male dominance?
Video: Is it a boy or a girl?
Introduce you to:
• Intersexual = Hermaphrodite (DSD)
• Intersection of biology & culture
• Cultural Comparisons
• Personal Stories
• Gender continuum
Due Monday: June 29th, 5pm
• 1. Post a biography.
• 2. Post a sentence or paragraph, with
page reference, that stood out to you
from Chapter 1.
• In one or two paragraphs explain to your
classmates why it is meaningful to you.
• Be prepared and open to further discuss
your and others meaningful sections.