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Gender Inequality Essay

1212 words - 5 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

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.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...

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