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SOCIO-LEGAL
DIMENSIONS
OF GENDER
The Social
Construction
What is Social Construction
• Social construction is a social process in which both
individual and other social processes are intrinsically
related. Every construction or image of the world is
influenced by the individual’s experience of the society and
his/her interaction with various social processes.
• Therefore, many often it is argued that the social construction
itself carries subjective biases as it is shaped by individual
experience.
• Social construction is also influenced and dominated by the
interests of a particular group or class of people.
• Sex- biological category
• Gender-Sociological category
• Gender is a social construct that is
determined by culture and society and
defines man-woman relationship that is
changeable.
Sex and Gender
Sex
• Sex refers to the biological characteristics with which we are born.
• In a very broad way ‘‘sex’’refers to the biological and
physiological differences between male and female sex.
Gender
• Gender is the analytical category that is socially constructed to
differentiate the biological difference between men and women.
• The term gender is also used to describe the differences in
behavior between men and women, which are described as
masculine and feminine.
The emergence of gender issues
• Gender has been a central ‘issue’ in India since the colonial period.
An overwhelming woman’s question arose from the 19th century
social reform movement, crucially informed and remains a point of
crisis in India’ s cultural, social, and political space.
• The recognition of gender as an issue forms the basis for India’s
women’s movement.
• One important gender concern was a status that is, the rewards and
benefits to women on India’ s journey to self determination,
statehood, democracy, progress, modernity, and development.
Manifestation of gender differences can be
found in Construction of:
• Roles-What women and Men do
• Relations- How women and men relate
to each other
• Identity-how women and men perceive
themselves
Ideology of Gender
• Contains norms and rules regarding appropriate behavior
• Determines attributes
• Reproduces range of beliefs and customs to support these
norms and social rules
• Norms and rules determine material reality of relative
access of men and women to and claims over different
resources. E.g. food, health, education, property, job,
opportunities & entitlements, so on & so forth
Gender and Socialization
• Socialization is the process, through which the child becomes an
individual respecting his or her environment, laws, norms and
customs.
• Gender socialization as the learning of behavior and attitudes
considered appropriate for a given sex.
• The Gender Socialization process occurs in multiple social
institutions, including the family, religious and educational
institutions, mass media and peer networks.
• Gender socialization is a more focused form of socialization, it is
how children of different sexes are socialized into their gender
roles and taught what it means to be male or female.
Agents of gender socialization
Family
• The family is considered as the institution that has the
greatest impact on gender socialization. The parents
usually hold a number of gender stereotypes, which are
ideas about how a girl and a boy should ideally act and
think.
• The choice of toys for the children seem to an image of
what is expected of them in their future.
• Talking and communication pattern.
• Sitting expectations.
• Providing opportunities.
Schools
• The next environment that children are entering is the
school, where a conscious socialization is happening.
Schools are major contexts for gender socialization.
• In elementary and middle school, boys usually get more
time to talk, are called on more often, and receive more
positive feedback.
Agents of gender socialization
Theoretical Approaches to Gender
Socialization
• Several theories that attempt to explain gender socialization – social
learning theory, and gender schema theory, Such theorists
understand the processes by which children learn gender appropriate
behavior in the same way children learn in general.
• Other theories focus on gender and sexuality exclusively.
Psychoanalytic theory, for example, emphasizes the unconscious
processes involved in developing gender identity.
• Stockard (1999) suggests that all three theories help explain the
process of gender socialization.
Social Learning Theory
• This theory suggests that learning occurs
through reinforcement or imitation and
modeling.
• People learn attitudes, beliefs, and
behaviors through social interaction.
Psychoanalytic theory
• It isn’t a learning theory, it suggests that
some aspects of gender identity result
from unconscious psychological
processes, rather than more conscious
processes.
Cognitive Development theory
• Cognitive theories of gender socialization
offer a different perspective,
emphasizing the developmental nature of
the socialization process, as well as the
active role the child plays in the
construction of his or her gender identity.
Gender schema theory
• Gender schema theory suggests people
have mental organization systems
(schemas)
to help them identify as male or female.
Social Constructionist Approach
• A social construct is something that does not exist
independently in natural world but is instead an
invention of society
• Cultural practices and norms give rise to the
existence of social constructs and govern the
practices ,customs, and rules governing the way we
use/view/understand them.
• In other words, we all act as if they exist, and
because of our inter subjective agreement, they do.
• To conclude, gender and gender roles are neither
only innate nor only socially constructed.
• The notions “gender” is both biological and
cultural, so gender roles are resulted from both of
the two factors.
• People’s daily life family life, parental
guidance, parental selection of toys and
clothes, role modeling creates a constructed
perception of gender.
Social Constructionist Approach
• However, culture and society are not the only;
people’s biology, genes, hormones, brain and the
way their brain functions have a huge influence
on people’s gender as well as their sex.
• To understand the secrets of gender and gender
roles attached to both men and women, it is
necessary to focus on both biological and social
factors. We cannot understand one without
understanding the other.
• Gender and gender roles are socially constructed
as well as they are innate.
Social Constructionist Approach
Production of Masculinity and femininity
• The conceptions of masculinity and femininity
emerge from broader ways of thinking about
gender. From, the very beginning of his/her
identity formation, an individual has to be
involved in the polyphonic discourse of the
society where he/ she is compelled to accept or
discard some elements
Social construction of masculinity
• Masculinity consists of those behaviors,
languages and practices, existing in specific
cultural and organizational locations, which are
commonly associated with males and thus
culturally defined as not feminine.
• As socially constructed identities, boys and men
learn “appropriate” gender roles in accordance to
the masculine expectations of their given society.
Social construction of masculinity
• Another way to explain masculine is construction
through what is known as the Inside the box is a
list of socially valued roles and expectations that
constitute conventional masculinity.
• All men are influenced by their upbringing,
experience, and social environment which play
a big role in determining one’s view of
masculinity and manhood
Social construction of femininity
• Simone de Beauvoir's quote, one is not
born a woman, but becomes one is applicable here.
• The notion of womanhood or femininity is accomplished
through an active process of creating gender through
interacting with others in a particular social context.
• given a choice to decide their own identity through toys,
dresses etc.
• build characteristics and expectations.
• Based on the characteristics of physical, emotional etc
which are particularly appropriate with femininity.
• Femininity and masculinity are behavioural construct
which are powerful regulators of human socio-cultural
affairs.
• Femininity is the abstract quality of being feminine and
masculinity is the abstract quality of being masculine.
Social construction of femininity
• In the frenetic search for masculinity and femininity in our
society, both sexes project some qualities that they admire
and desire on the opposite sex. In denying themselves the
qualities which are said to belong to the opposite sex, people
glorify these qualities in the opposite sex out of proportion.
• For example, it is observed that men deny themselves
sensitivity and gentleness in certain occasions, but desire
these qualities in their women. Similarly women are fond of
assertive and authoritative behaviour and demand these
qualities of their men. If the partners can conform to these
stereotypes, then it is a good thing.
• But if they cannot sustain these ideals, then there will be
conflict, confusions and disappointment.
Social construction of femininity
• The socialization of woman performs her an individual
with certain apparently inherent qualities such as
weakness, fickle-mindedness, patience etc. All these help
the patriarchal males to argue that women need to
confined to the home and be protected and controlled.
"Her sexuality and desires are made and treated as
subservient to that of the male's.
• Thus the feminists suggest that inequality of sexes does
not have a biological basis of origin, it originates in the
cultural constructions of gender differences. Gendering is
a practice of power, where masculinity is always
associated with authority"
Social construction of femininity
• Social Construction
• Factors that shaped the subjective biases
in both sexes
• Manifestation of gender differences
• Ideology of gender
• Gender socialization in different social
institutions
• Social construction of masculinity
• Social construction of femininity

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Socio-legal dimensions of gender (part 1).pptx

  • 3. What is Social Construction • Social construction is a social process in which both individual and other social processes are intrinsically related. Every construction or image of the world is influenced by the individual’s experience of the society and his/her interaction with various social processes. • Therefore, many often it is argued that the social construction itself carries subjective biases as it is shaped by individual experience. • Social construction is also influenced and dominated by the interests of a particular group or class of people.
  • 4. • Sex- biological category • Gender-Sociological category • Gender is a social construct that is determined by culture and society and defines man-woman relationship that is changeable.
  • 5. Sex and Gender Sex • Sex refers to the biological characteristics with which we are born. • In a very broad way ‘‘sex’’refers to the biological and physiological differences between male and female sex. Gender • Gender is the analytical category that is socially constructed to differentiate the biological difference between men and women. • The term gender is also used to describe the differences in behavior between men and women, which are described as masculine and feminine.
  • 6. The emergence of gender issues • Gender has been a central ‘issue’ in India since the colonial period. An overwhelming woman’s question arose from the 19th century social reform movement, crucially informed and remains a point of crisis in India’ s cultural, social, and political space. • The recognition of gender as an issue forms the basis for India’s women’s movement. • One important gender concern was a status that is, the rewards and benefits to women on India’ s journey to self determination, statehood, democracy, progress, modernity, and development.
  • 7. Manifestation of gender differences can be found in Construction of: • Roles-What women and Men do • Relations- How women and men relate to each other • Identity-how women and men perceive themselves
  • 8. Ideology of Gender • Contains norms and rules regarding appropriate behavior • Determines attributes • Reproduces range of beliefs and customs to support these norms and social rules • Norms and rules determine material reality of relative access of men and women to and claims over different resources. E.g. food, health, education, property, job, opportunities & entitlements, so on & so forth
  • 9. Gender and Socialization • Socialization is the process, through which the child becomes an individual respecting his or her environment, laws, norms and customs. • Gender socialization as the learning of behavior and attitudes considered appropriate for a given sex. • The Gender Socialization process occurs in multiple social institutions, including the family, religious and educational institutions, mass media and peer networks. • Gender socialization is a more focused form of socialization, it is how children of different sexes are socialized into their gender roles and taught what it means to be male or female.
  • 10. Agents of gender socialization Family • The family is considered as the institution that has the greatest impact on gender socialization. The parents usually hold a number of gender stereotypes, which are ideas about how a girl and a boy should ideally act and think. • The choice of toys for the children seem to an image of what is expected of them in their future. • Talking and communication pattern. • Sitting expectations. • Providing opportunities.
  • 11. Schools • The next environment that children are entering is the school, where a conscious socialization is happening. Schools are major contexts for gender socialization. • In elementary and middle school, boys usually get more time to talk, are called on more often, and receive more positive feedback. Agents of gender socialization
  • 12. Theoretical Approaches to Gender Socialization • Several theories that attempt to explain gender socialization – social learning theory, and gender schema theory, Such theorists understand the processes by which children learn gender appropriate behavior in the same way children learn in general. • Other theories focus on gender and sexuality exclusively. Psychoanalytic theory, for example, emphasizes the unconscious processes involved in developing gender identity. • Stockard (1999) suggests that all three theories help explain the process of gender socialization.
  • 13. Social Learning Theory • This theory suggests that learning occurs through reinforcement or imitation and modeling. • People learn attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors through social interaction.
  • 14. Psychoanalytic theory • It isn’t a learning theory, it suggests that some aspects of gender identity result from unconscious psychological processes, rather than more conscious processes.
  • 15. Cognitive Development theory • Cognitive theories of gender socialization offer a different perspective, emphasizing the developmental nature of the socialization process, as well as the active role the child plays in the construction of his or her gender identity.
  • 16. Gender schema theory • Gender schema theory suggests people have mental organization systems (schemas) to help them identify as male or female.
  • 17. Social Constructionist Approach • A social construct is something that does not exist independently in natural world but is instead an invention of society • Cultural practices and norms give rise to the existence of social constructs and govern the practices ,customs, and rules governing the way we use/view/understand them. • In other words, we all act as if they exist, and because of our inter subjective agreement, they do.
  • 18. • To conclude, gender and gender roles are neither only innate nor only socially constructed. • The notions “gender” is both biological and cultural, so gender roles are resulted from both of the two factors. • People’s daily life family life, parental guidance, parental selection of toys and clothes, role modeling creates a constructed perception of gender. Social Constructionist Approach
  • 19. • However, culture and society are not the only; people’s biology, genes, hormones, brain and the way their brain functions have a huge influence on people’s gender as well as their sex. • To understand the secrets of gender and gender roles attached to both men and women, it is necessary to focus on both biological and social factors. We cannot understand one without understanding the other. • Gender and gender roles are socially constructed as well as they are innate. Social Constructionist Approach
  • 20. Production of Masculinity and femininity • The conceptions of masculinity and femininity emerge from broader ways of thinking about gender. From, the very beginning of his/her identity formation, an individual has to be involved in the polyphonic discourse of the society where he/ she is compelled to accept or discard some elements
  • 21. Social construction of masculinity • Masculinity consists of those behaviors, languages and practices, existing in specific cultural and organizational locations, which are commonly associated with males and thus culturally defined as not feminine. • As socially constructed identities, boys and men learn “appropriate” gender roles in accordance to the masculine expectations of their given society.
  • 22. Social construction of masculinity • Another way to explain masculine is construction through what is known as the Inside the box is a list of socially valued roles and expectations that constitute conventional masculinity. • All men are influenced by their upbringing, experience, and social environment which play a big role in determining one’s view of masculinity and manhood
  • 23. Social construction of femininity • Simone de Beauvoir's quote, one is not born a woman, but becomes one is applicable here. • The notion of womanhood or femininity is accomplished through an active process of creating gender through interacting with others in a particular social context. • given a choice to decide their own identity through toys, dresses etc. • build characteristics and expectations.
  • 24. • Based on the characteristics of physical, emotional etc which are particularly appropriate with femininity. • Femininity and masculinity are behavioural construct which are powerful regulators of human socio-cultural affairs. • Femininity is the abstract quality of being feminine and masculinity is the abstract quality of being masculine. Social construction of femininity
  • 25. • In the frenetic search for masculinity and femininity in our society, both sexes project some qualities that they admire and desire on the opposite sex. In denying themselves the qualities which are said to belong to the opposite sex, people glorify these qualities in the opposite sex out of proportion. • For example, it is observed that men deny themselves sensitivity and gentleness in certain occasions, but desire these qualities in their women. Similarly women are fond of assertive and authoritative behaviour and demand these qualities of their men. If the partners can conform to these stereotypes, then it is a good thing. • But if they cannot sustain these ideals, then there will be conflict, confusions and disappointment. Social construction of femininity
  • 26. • The socialization of woman performs her an individual with certain apparently inherent qualities such as weakness, fickle-mindedness, patience etc. All these help the patriarchal males to argue that women need to confined to the home and be protected and controlled. "Her sexuality and desires are made and treated as subservient to that of the male's. • Thus the feminists suggest that inequality of sexes does not have a biological basis of origin, it originates in the cultural constructions of gender differences. Gendering is a practice of power, where masculinity is always associated with authority" Social construction of femininity
  • 27. • Social Construction • Factors that shaped the subjective biases in both sexes • Manifestation of gender differences • Ideology of gender • Gender socialization in different social institutions • Social construction of masculinity • Social construction of femininity