gender inequality In today’s society people are more and more trying to achieve more, higher positions on the work place, to double income, to enroll to the schools. It’s all about competition in today’s society, all about better living standards with new technologies, new treats for diseases, yet we still have such issue as gender inequality. I’m with my group students examined this issue and tried to find out what people have done and do now in order to blow this assumption away.
Many analysts of gender attribute gender differences to the fact that girls and boys are raised differently and thus develop different personalities. Either they are consciously taught different things or they have different early childhood experiences (for example, the girl’s experience of similarity and connection to her nurturing mother, as emphasized by psychoanalytic theories).
Theories of socialization and personality development are not enough to account for gender differences. For one thing, they underestimate how much behavior can vary over time and in different situations.
Gender is a taken-for-granted social structure that organizes all areas of social life. This book develops a theory to account for both the continuity of that structure and the efforts of feminists to change it. The book focuses on the heterosexual family, where “doing gender” is especially accepted, but it challenges personality theories of gender by examining how unusual family situations lead people to change their behavior.
Nearly 2000 years ago ‘Persona’ word was used for personality. The word ‘Persona’ means mask or dress up. The meaning of personality by ‘Persona’ word is an outer or external quality of personality. There are thousands of definitions related to personality which are described by Allport (1937). Allport classified these definitions in six groups, but provided an overall definition of personality as ...
The book’s thesis is that “gender structure on the interaction level bears heavy responsibility for continuing gender inequality in American family life” (p. 185).
Gender Inequality Gender structure is inherently unequal because it ascribes social positions on the basis of sex and thereby violates meritocratic principles. Gender structure can account for the persistence of gender polarization even in societies with considerable institutional equality, such as Sweden. The book recommends that people violate gender rules to the point of entering a state of “gender vertigo” (Robert Connell’s term), which will make it possible to construct a more equal society. Although the book’s focus is on gender, the theory can also apply to other structures of inequality to which gender is connected.
The book attempts to integrate three different theoretical traditions in the study of gender.
The first tradition studies “gendered selves” as products of biological development and socialization; it includes sociobiological theories of how sex differences may have evolved through natural selection, biosocial theories of how biological predispositions interact with environmental influences, social learning theories of how behavior is shaped by gender-differentiated reinforcement, and psychoanalytic theories of how children experience their early family environments (especially the experience of being nurtured by a woman).
The weaknesses of these theories is that they expect too much continuity in individual behavior regardless of later circumstances, they portray people as “over socialized,” and they stress gender inequality by seeing behavior as conformity to internalized norms rather than to economic and political conditions.( p.182) The second tradition shifts the focus from personality to social structure. Females and males act differently because they occupy different positions in organizations and groups.
Classical Theory Structure Introduction By way of illustration, in this document we will describe and explain the classical structural theory as presented by Max Weber. To highlight the advantages and disadvantages of this classical structure as used in a realistic modern organization we will apply this the roy as used today in our public police department. Classical Structural Theory In the ...
Gender Inequality But they are placed in those different positions so routinely that people easily mistake the resulting behavioral differences for personality differences. Sex differences, in Epstein’s words, are “deceptive distinctions.” Author has argued that men and women would act the same if they were placed in the same organizational positions that men can nurture children if called upon to do so. A problem with this approach is that gender remains an important predictor of behavior even after other structural variables have been taken into account.
The third tradition originated with West and Zimmerman’s concept of “doing gender,” which sees gender as “not what we are but something that we do” (p. 83).
People place one another in gender categories and interact on the assumption that others will conform to gender expectations. Since the categories are stratified, doing gender legitimates inequality. The strength of this perspective is its focus on interaction, but its weakness is overlooking gender at other levels of reality, institutional and individual.
Gender is itself a social structure, and one that operates at every level, individual, interactional and institutional. By continually creating gender difference at all these levels, people perpetuate gender inequality. At the institutional level, for example, gender affects the distribution of material rewards, the organization of work, and the formation of ideologies. Gender theories have focused too heavily on individual motives, overlooking the interactional expectations and institutional conditions that constrain choices. Today, many people want more equal relationships but have trouble achieving them, especially because of the “cognitive images to which we must respond during Gender Inequality interaction” (p. 187).
People have learned these images from other people and from the media, even if they don’t deeply internalize them. As common gender assumptions become weaker, however, negotiation and conflict within relationships become more frequent.(p.187) Even strong supporters of feminism may find themselves living out a highly gendered and gender-stratified reality. Gender norms still define marriage by attaching different expectations to the marital categories of husband and wife. People praise the career-oriented husband and criticize the career-oriented wife, even if they are equally involved in childcare. When wives adapt by “choosing” part-time employment, they perpetuate gender inequality at home and at work.
Hayes and Cunningham's conclusions are similar to Wood's (2007) position that examined gender differences in the educational expectations of African American youth and their parents. Wood (2007) concludes that male youth would hold lower expectations for their future educational attainment than females, and that parents would hold lower expectation for the future attainment of sons than for that ...
In conclusion, deconstructing gender will throw people into a temporary state of gender vertigo, “the dizziness that we would feel without gendered selves and interactional expectations to give meaning to our lives” (p. 151), but that is a necessary step toward liberation. Existing gender structures constrain, but they don’t determine. The research reported in this book shows that people can contest and modify gender structure at the interactional level if new institutional or personal realities lead them to do so.
For the sake of social equity, people should try to make gender irrelevant to their lives. That would require major social reorganization. For example, care giving would no longer be confined to women and families, but integrated into all areas of life, including workplaces. Gender vertigo would be especially challenging on the psychological level, Gender Inequality because people enjoy expressing themselves by doing gender, for example by dressing attractively according to gender norms. This poses a dilemma, since it is desirable both to work for change and to respect existing forms of creativity and play.
We can concentrate first on changing the things that most directly create inequality, such as the expectation that women nurture while men make money. But eventually, we will have to de-gender self-expression and find new ways for people to enjoy themselves. Because the gender structures supporting inequality exist on the institutional, interactional and individual levels, we must attack them ultimately on all those levels. We must “dare a moment of gender vertigo” (p. 162) in order to take a step toward justice.