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Lecture 5 culture and diversity 5

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Counseling Psychology and Pedagogy Master Program
PSD 437

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Lecture 5 culture and diversity 5

  1. 1. SOCIETY, CULTURE and GENDER
  2. 2. DEFINITIONS  Culture: Those qualities and attributes that seem to be characteristic of all humankind.  Humans evolve and adapt primarily through culture rather than changes in anatomy or genetics.  Culture survives if it can accommodate to changing conditions.  Culture is viewed as a macrosystem.  Binds a particular society together, and includes its manners, morals, tools, and techniques.
  3. 3. NATURE OF CULTURE  Culture is a group phenomenon.  Cultures evolve from the interaction of person with others, and a person’s belief or behavior becomes part of the culture when it is externalized and objectified.
  4. 4.  A culture evolves as each person encounters four “poles”.  One’s own body or somatic process. Biological constitution Genetic endowment  Other persons or society. Feedback cycle  The material world of nonhuman objects.  The universe of social constructed meanings.
  5. 5.  According to Erikson, cultures change through the action of persons whose ideas and behavior “fit” the culture.  Change can also occur as a result of cataclysm, either physical as in famine, war, epidemic, or disaster.  It can also change as a result of a “paradigm shift” in fundamental understandings by those in the culture.
  6. 6.  Society:  A group of people who have learned to live and work together.  Society is a holon and within the society, culture refers to the way of life is followed by the group (society).
  7. 7. QUALITIES OF A SOCIETY  Culture is that complex whole that includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by a human being as a member of society.  Culture is viewed as the ways of doing, being, and explaining, as they exist in each particular system.
  8. 8. SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS: SOCIETY AND ROLES  All cultures, being social systems, have organization.  Three aspects operating to define social class: Economic status Social status Political power  Social class suggests a group consciousness on the part of members.  Emergence of a permanent “underclass” in American society.
  9. 9.  Role relates to and derives from status.  Total of the cultural expectations associated with a particular status, including: Attitudes Values Behavior  Role expectation are defined by the culture and its components and incorporated by the persons filling the role.
  10. 10.  All persons occupy a complex set of roles:  Parent  Child  Worker  Voter  Worshipper  The total number of roles is influenced by the quantity of networks they are involved in.
  11. 11. SOCIETY-CULTURE  Culture – meaningful (action)  Society – bundle of institutions  Institution -- institutions in society work together to produce social order  behavior patterns important to a society  structures and mechanisms of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals  transcending individual human lives and intentions  Culture presupposes society -- something shared & supra-individual  Society presupposes persons -- assemblage of individuals
  12. 12. SOCIAL STRUCTURE  Social relationships – ongoing network of social relations  Relationships among and between definite entities or groups to each other  enduring patterns of behaviour by participants in a social system in relation to each other  institutionalised norms or cognitive frameworks that structure the actions in the social system  systems of relationships, organization, forms of associations - standardized modes of behavior
  13. 13. SOCIAL STRATIFICATION  inequality in society  the unequal distribution of goods and services, rights and obligations, power and prestige  all attributes of positions in society, not attributes of individuals  Stratified society is: when a society exhibits stratification it means that there are significant breaks in the distribution of goods services, rights obligations power prestige  as a result of which are formed collectivities or groups we call strata
  14. 14. STATUS & SOCIAL DIFFERENCE  status - ascribed & achieved  ascribed status - social positions that people hold by virtue of birth  sex, age, family relationships, birth into class or caste  achieved status - social positions attained as a result of individual action  shift from homogeneous kin based societies (mechanic) to heterogeneous societies of associations (organic) involves growth in importance of achieved
  15. 15. GENDER ROLES, STEREOTYPES, STRATIFICATION  gender roles - tasks & activities that a culture assigns to sexes  gender stereotypes - oversimplified strongly held ideas about the characteristics of men & women & third sex-third gender  gender stratification - unequal distribution of rewards (socially valued resources, power, prestige, personal freedom) between men & women reflecting their position in the social hierarchy
  16. 16.  unequal distribution of wealth, power and privilege between men and women unequal distribution of wealth, power and privilege between any embodied orientation cultures everywhere give man, as a category opposed to women, higher social value and moral worth.  Is the secondary status of women one of the true cultural universals? Gender Stratification
  17. 17. How does one measure gender stratification? economic power prestige Autonomy ideology Legal rights Freedom to choose marriage partner, profession, and conception. Etc. look at the roles played by women and the value society places on those roles
  18. 18. STRUCTURE & AGENCY  Agency = action  Agency as praxis/practice  Praxis – activity/action oriented towards a historically relevant change  Practice -- Practical sense (practice) -- adjustment (anticipatory) to demands of structure
  19. 19. SEX, SEXUALITY, GENDER  not the same thing  all societies distinguish between males and females  a very few societies recognize a third, sexually intermediate category  Gender-sexuality – fixed and fluid identities  Embodiments of history – human bodily experience  Corporeal experience and social structure/organization
  20. 20. GENDER  GENDER - the cultural construction of male & female characteristics  vs. the biological nature of men & women  SEX differences are biological - GENDER differences are cultural/historical  behavioral & attitudinal differences from social & cultural rather than biological point of view
  21. 21. Sex Versus Gender  Sex refers to biological differences  Gender refers to the ways members of the two sexes are perceived, evaluated and expected to behave. The cultural construction of male and female characteristics.
  22. 22. SEX  differences in biology  Socially & culturally marked  the body is "simultaneously a physical and symbolic artifact, both naturally and culturally produced, anchored in a particular historical moment" (Scheper- Hughes & Lock)
  23. 23. SEXUALITY (REPRODUCTION)  all societies regulate sexuality  lots of variation cross-culturally  degree of restrictiveness not always consistent through life span  adolescence vs. adulthood  Varieties of “normative” sexual orientation  Heterosexual, homosexual, transexual  Sexuality in societies change over time
  24. 24. THE “FOUR BODIES”  Individual body  The social body  The body politic  The mindful body
  25. 25. THE INDIVIDUAL BODY  lived experience of the body-self, body, mind, matter, psyche, soul
  26. 26. THE SOCIAL BODY  representational uses of the body as a natural symbol with which to think about nature, society, culture
  27. 27. THE BODY POLITIC  regulation, surveillance, & control of bodies (individual & collective) in reproduction & sexuality, in work & leisure, in sickness & other forms of deviance
  28. 28. THE MINDFUL BODY  the most immediate, the proximate terrain where social truths and social contradictions are played out  a locus of personal and social resistance, creativity, and struggle  emotions form the mediatrix between the individual, social and political body, unified through the concept of the 'mindful body.'
  29. 29. UNIVERSALS VERSUS PARTICULARS  universal subordination of women is often cited as one of the true cross-cultural universals, a pan-cultural fact  Engels called it the “world historical defeat of women”  even so the particulars of women’s roles, statuses, power, and value differ tremendously by culture
  30. 30. FRIEDL AND LEACOCK ARGUMENT  variation among foragers  male dominance is based on exchange, public exchange  versus that exchanged privately by women  Exchange of scarce resources in egalitarian societies, gender stratification, and universal subordination of women
  31. 31. DOMESTIC - PUBLIC DICHOTOMY (M. ROSALDO)  opposition between domestic (reproduction) & public (production) provides the basis of a framework necessary to identify and explore the place of male & female in psycho, cultural, social and economic aspects of life  degree to which the contrast between public domestic (private) sphere is drawn promotes gender stratification-rewards, prestige, power
  32. 32. PERSISTENCE OF DUALISMS IN IDEOLOGIES OF GENDER  a particular view of men and women as opposite kinds of creatures both biologically and culturally  nature/culture  domestic/public  reproduction/production
  33. 33. PRODUCTION, REPRODUCTION AND SOCIAL ROLES  roles - those minimal institutions and modes of activity that are organized immediately around one or more mothers and their children  women everywhere lactate & give birth to children  likely to be associated with child rearing & responsibilities of the home
  34. 34. A LONG RUNNING CONTROVERSY IN ANTHROPOLOGY  Sherry Ortner’s famous article “Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture”  argument is that across cultures, women are more often associated with nature and the natural and are therefore denigrated  Ortner - in reality women are no further nor closer to nature than men - cultural valuations make women appear closer to nature than men
  35. 35. We (North Americans in general) demand that the categories of male and female be discrete since gender is culturally constructed the boundaries are conceptual rather than physical Boundaries require markers to indicate gender the boundaries are dynamic, eg. now it is acceptable for men to wear earrings.  Voice  Physique  Dress  Behaviour Hair style  Kinetics  Language use Is this a man or a woman? How do you know? Gender Boundaries
  36. 36. THEORIES OF GENDER INEQUALITY
  37. 37. F. ENGELS  theory of the origin of female subordination  tied to the male control of wealth  built on 19th cent. assumption of communal societies as matrilineal  men overthrew matrilineality & formed patriarchal family leading to monogamous family  differential ownership of wealth led to inequality within the family & thus between the sexes  gender differences arose from technological developments that led to changes in relations of production
  38. 38. E. LEACOCK - (EXPANDS ON ENGELS)  subjugation of women due to breakdown of communal ownership of property & isolation of individual family as economic unit  transformation of relations of production Association of female labor with domestic unit or private sphere  male production directed towards distribution outside the domestic group (public sphere)  occurs with development of private property & class society
  39. 39. K. SACKS  political power that results from the ability to give & receive goods in exchange (redistribution)  allows for sexual stratification in non- class societies
  40. 40. SANDAY REEVES  female status dependent on degree to which men & women participate in activities of reproduction, warfare, subsistence
  41. 41. FRIEDL AND LEACOCK  not rights & control over production but rights of distribution & control over channels of distribution critical for gender stratification
  42. 42. RETHINKING SUBORDINATION  Ardener - muted models that underlie male discourse  diversity of one life or many lives  gender roles, stereotypes, stratification  changes over time  changes with position in lifecycle  status of men & women i.e. in male dominant societies  decision making roles belong to men but as women reach menopause; change with marriage status, virgins, wives, widows (and men)
  43. 43. RETHINKING SUBORDINATION  women, like men, are social actors who work in structured ways to achieve desired ends  formal authority structure of a society may declare that women are impotent & irrelevant  but attention to women's strategies & motives, sorts of choices, relationships established, ends achieved indicates women have good deal of power  strategies appear deviant & disruptive actual components of how social life proceeds

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