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Many gender scholars argue that patriarchy is so rooted in our society that it is nearly unnoticeable.
• It is difficult to do anything in our culture without reaffirming patriarchy and/or recreating
Patriarchy is the idea that men and masculinity are valued above women and femininity.
The attitudes and behaviors we commonly associate with males or females. Today we
associate masculinity with males and femininity with females.
• These associations become expectations, those who don’t conform with these expectations
may be the targets of ridicule and/or violence.
• Gender non-conformity is sanctioned by peers, family, etc., but male gender non-conformity
is often more heavily sanctioned and frequently with violence.
the idea that the status of each individual varies across all of the components of their social location. That is, there is no “woman’s experience”. A rich black lesbian woman experiences the world differently than a poor white heterosexual woman.
Feminists like Patricia Hill Collins, bell hooks, and many others criticized the early leaders of the feminist movement for ignoring the role race and class played in the oppression of women. For instance, many people laud praise on the women who entered the workforce during WWII. The symbol of Rosie the Riveter is supposed to signify the turning point when women first entered the work force. However women of color and low income women had been in the workforce long before WWII.
Many jobs today require more education than they did 30 years ago, despite the work
remaining relatively the same.
A person who has access to and accepts the conventional means and uses them to achieve
• Example: Me. I went to college and did well. Went to grad school and now earn a living
A person who does not have access to or rejects the conventional means but still accepts
and achieves cultural goals.
• Examples: College drop out millionaires and drug traffickers.
A person who has access to and accepts the conventional means, but rejects the cultural
• Example: Many clergy take a vow of poverty (i.e. rejecting the cultural goal of being rich), but
don’t reject the conventional means.
• A person who “drops out” of society; rejecting both the conventional means and the cultural
• Example: Drug users and the homeless are the best examples.
• Seeks new goals through new means.
• Tyler Durden in fight club **Spoilers** blows up all the servers that store all the data that
banks used to connect debt to people. Blow it up and the whole world starts anew. New
goals, new means.
Profile of a “Criminal”: What the carnival mirror shows us.
The FBI Crime Index, the main arrest data source, does not include crimes like DUI, business
fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion and many other crimes that are disproportionately
committed by white Americans.
According to sociologist Max Weber power is the ability to make others do your bidding even
if they would prefer not to.
Coercion is a form of power that relies on the use of force, intimidation, and threats to make
people comply with your desires.
Authority that is afforded to people because of the status their role in society has carried
Authority that is given to a person because of their “superhuman appeal” that is their
charisma, likeability, and leadership skills. ex- jesus, justin briber, cult leaders
Authority bestowed upon people based upon a system of impersonal legal rules.
- Examples: The president has powers because of the constitution and I have power over
you because of the student and faculty handbooks.
For instance, when president Obama walks into the House of Representatives for the
State of the Union everyone stands (based on tradition), they will often clap and cheer
(because of the presidents charisma), and the president will discuss laws he intends to
sign into law (using his constitutional powers which stem from his legal rational
how a society is sorted into groups, every documented society has some form of
Davis Moore Thesis
we need inequality because otherwise how would we
motivate people to take crummy socially undesirable jobs?
How do you enter a strata?
Most of the time you are born into a social strata
(born into strata, no mobility)
• An often religious based system of stratification with no social mobility. You are born into your
caste and even if you cure cancer, solve global warming, and make a million dollars you can’t
move up from your caste.
(Born into strata, some mobility)
• Classes are groups of people who share similar characteristics and social locations.
• Everyone in a class system is born into a social class, but unlike caste systems, you can
move up or down the social ladder.
Karl Marx’s Capitalistic 2 Class System (Bourgeoisie vs. Proletariat)
believed that your social location within the economy determined your status. In the early days of capitalism Marx divided people into two classes: those who owned the
factories or means of production (called the Bourgeoisie) (haves)and those who only worked in the
factories (called the Proletariat)(have-not).
Max Weber’s Multiple Class System
class of people was defined by the similar life chances they held.Life chances can be thought of as the chances that you will be able to reach your goals in society. People who have lots of access to opportunities and resources have more life
chances than those who don’t.
- Some people “never get a break” while others can waste one opportunity after another
because their social position will always be there to catch them and provide them another
Status Hierarchy System
social honor and prestige we give to certain occupations, amount of education an occupation required was the key factor
Problems with class systems
don’t all fit into a single class location.
- A child of wealthy parents may leave family money and live a life of poverty.
- Oseola McCarty worked as a washwoman her entire life, but she donated $150,000 to the
University of Southern Mississippi.
Contradictory Class Locations
People may hold multiple class locations at the same time whose interests contradict one
• For example: middle managers are sort of part of the capitalist class (i.e. Bourgeoisie)
while at the same time they are often treated similar to workers (i.e. Proletariat).
• This is illustrated well in the stories from the corporate world about middle managers
firing their entire team one by one and then after doing that excruciating task they are
called into the main office and fired themselves.
The Elite-Mass Dichotomy Stratification Systems
small elite group of people rule over the masses. Paretos- 20%
C. Wright Mills- Power elite
20% of the population was more talented, smarter, and more able
to assume positions of power.
- In his vision the talented 20% would rise up through a Meritocracy (i.e. a system that
rewards and punishes based on your merit, talent, and achievement).
- From this point of view, a ruling elite is okay as long as people rise and fall according to
their personal attributes.
and armies and corporations shape it; and, as they do so, they turn these lesser
institutions into means for their ends.”
small group of Power Elite controlled
society and bent it to their wishes without concern for the masses.
- The Power Elite focused on controlling just 3 institutions:
1. Economic Order • few mega-corporations controlling almost the entire economy.
2. Political Order • few parties who are remarkably similar on almost every issue. • Controls the legal justice system allowing the powerful to define their behaviors as legal and others behaviors as illegal.
3. Military Order • The largest and most expensive feature of government and one that has a
monopoly on violence and death.
Socioeconomic Status (SES
an individual’s position in a stratified social order. Typically based on income, education,
Money received by a person for work or from returns on investments.
Wealth (a.k.a. Net Worth)
a family’s or individuals net worth (i.e. total assets - total debts = wealth).
Supply-Side Economics (a.k.a. trickle down economics)
Supply-Side Economics (a.k.a. trickle down economics)
- The idea that if you cut the tax rate and provide incentives for the richest among us they
will create jobs. In a sense, if you invest in those at the top it will trickle down to the lowest
- This political philosophy has been popular from the days of President Reagan up until
today. When the media talk about the wealthy we often call them “job creators”.
The fastest growing sector in the U.S. economy is
The mobility that happens between generations. So if we compare a child’s social class
against their parents, that’s an analysis of intergenerational mobility.
The mobility that occurs during a single life time. Many rags to riches stories champion
the possibility to have a great deal of social mobility in your lifetime.
When you move up or down the social ladder
When you move from one life situation to another that is at a similar social class.
- Example: You leave your job at one company to do the same job at another company.
Movement up or down the social ladder that stems from changes in the economy.
• Example: The job losses that happened in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
“you get what you deserve and deserve what you get”.
When the government spends money to support the non-poor sociologists call this wealthfare.
A group of people who share similar social and, sometimes, physical characteristics.
Arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
Avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to
mistrust my kind or me., Go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed., Turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented., Easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race., Take a job without being called an “Affirmative Action hire”., Be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race., Worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.
“Situations defined as real are real in their consequences”.
- If we believe race is real and important, we will behave accordingly.
• Race has a profound impact on all of our life chances, it affects how people treat you, and a
person’s race is often central to their identity as a person.
- “You speak so well for a ______.”
- “You know, I usually don’t like ____ people, but you are nothing like the ____ people I grew
- Hand extending toward an African American while saying, “Can I touch your hair?”
- “Where are you from?”... “No, where are you from originally?”... “What I mean is, where
are your parents from.”... “No, Originally?”
You are either a racist or you’re not
Institutional Discrimination is the unequal treatment of minority groups that results from the
normal operations of society. This is discrimination that happens when people do what they are supposed to and follow the rules. Many policies and laws have unequal effects on the different racial ethnic groups.
requires education and previous work in the formal
economy. It provides benefits, retirement, and access to the middle class. WHITE
open to everyone, but provides little compensation,
no benefits, and will not bring you closer to a middle class lifestyle.
• Working “under the table” doesn’t build your resume.
PEOPLE OF COLOR
Advocates of a “Colorblind” society suggest that if we all individually stopped discriminating,
then we would have equality.
• However, institutional discrimination exists and does not require any individual to actively
- Meaning even if we eliminated all individual racism, racial inequality and discrimination
had to be behaving as masculine and feminine in the exact same ways from the dawn of time.
• This is obviously not the case, despite the popularity of these ideas.
We perform gender. That is, we use costumes, lines, and stages to project our gender.
- Costumes (manners of dress).
- Lines (manner of speech).
- Stage (places we go to be seen).
- Roles (i.e. who you are in the script).
• From this point of view no one is a gender. Each of us constantly recreates our gender
through our interactions with one another.
• At this point in your life you have internalized the rules of gender to the point that you do them
without conscious thought.
- Being a supporter
- Dependence on others
- Being a leader
- Independence from others
Both masculinity and femininity are parts of what it means to be human. Each of us has
masculine and feminine qualities (Bem 1993).
• For example, if femininity is defined as weakness, emotional sensitivity, and being dependent
on others, then every single one of us experiences these aspects of life at one point or
Kimmel argues that masculinity is a mask, a front, or a ruse that men play on the world. Men
are pressured by other men and women to pretend that half of their identity (the feminine half)
doesn’t exist. (women report that men in their life are only feminine around women)
Kimmel argues that men live in constant fear of being found out as a fraud.
- Men who do not conform to this narrow form of masculinity face ridicule, shame, and/or
violence from other men.
- When asked what they are most afraid of:
• Women reported fearing being raped or murdered.
• Men reported they were most afraid of being laughed at.
To prove their manliness men engage in far more risk taking behaviors than their female
Men represent 80% of the arrests for violent crimes (including murder, robbery, and
- Similarly men are 77% of the murder victims each year (FBI 2011).
- Men commit suicide at a rate 4 times greater than women (Xu et al 2010).
- Despite having access to more money and many other social privileges men have a lower
life expectancy than women do. Largely because of their risk taking behaviors.
Conflict theorist point out that the “neutral language” often refers to the dominant group.
- Many NCAA teams call their basketball teams the “Lady (insert school name)” and their
male basketball team just the school name. For instance at Georgia Southern University
the men’s basketball team are called the Eagles, but the women’s team is the “Lady
Eagles” Similarly at the professional level we have the NBA and the WNBA.
• Also, the dominant group is also considered the default group in society as reflected by
common sayings like, “come on you guys”, “mankind”, “manpower”, “manmade”, etc.
• We see this play out in stores where you can buy deodorant and “women’s deodorant” and
many similar examples.
Parent interactions with their children vary by gender. - Baby girls are more likely to carried gently while baby boys are more likely to be bounced
on the knee or tossed in the air.- While girls play with dolls, boys play with dolls action figures. • Fathers, more than mothers, discourage their boys from playing with “girls toys” - Children’s books are more likely to depict boys as the main character and/or the character doing the action that progresses the story forward
Gender scholars argue that peers act as the “Gender Police” constantly pushing nonconforming
individuals back into the narrow box that defines masculinity and femininity. Pascoe’s “Dude, You’re A Fag” - researched high school boys and found that the single most common phrase used to reprimand a boy was, “Dude, you’re a fag.” • She found that many of the boys did not identify as homophobic and many said something to the effect of, “I would never use the word fag toward a gay person”.• Gay boys were ostracized by the high school boys despite their not being homophobic.
Feminists draw attention to powerful role gender plays in our daily lives, our social institutions,
and society as a whole.
• Modern mainstream feminism is inclusive of men and supportive of a broad range of choices, lifestyles.
Despite be over represented in higher education, men are compensated more for the same education. In studies, boys were favored over girls by teachers.
_______ leads many people to believe that the only acceptable, good, or moral
orientation is heterosexual.
Public policy makers need to move from being “planners” to being “searchers”. Find whats
working, using sociological methods, and then replicate the successes as much as possible.
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