Structure of the Seminar This class will run as a seminar, with one or two people assigned to facilitate discussion on each topic, and the rest of us participating about equally.
Gender is so much the routine ground of everyday activities that questioning its taken-for-granted assumptions and presuppositions is like wondering about whether the sun will come up.
Yesterday, on a bus, I saw a man with a tiny baby in a carrier on his chest. Seeing men taking care of small children in public is increasingly common-at least in New York City.
But both men were quite obviously stared at — and smiled at, approvingly. Everyone was doing gender — the men who were changing the role of fathers and the other passengers, who were applauding them silently. But there was more gendering going on that probably fewer people noticed.
The baby was wearing a white crocheted cap and white clothes. The child in the stroller was wearing a dark blue T-shirt and dark print pants. Ah, a boy, I thought. Not a boy after all. Gender signs and signals are so ubiquitous that we usually fail to note them — unless they are missing or ambiguous.
Then we are uncomfortable until we have successfully placed the other person in a gender status; otherwise, we feel socially dislocated. In our society, in addition to man and woman, the status can be transvestite a person who dresses in opposite-gender clothes and transsexual a Judith lorber night to his day who has had sex-change surgery.
As soon as they can talk, they start to refer to themselves as members of their gender. Adolescent boys and girls approach and avoid each other in an elaborately scripted and gendered mating dance. Although many traditional social groups are quite strict about maintaining gender differences, in other social groups they seem to be blurring.
Why is it still so important to mark a child as a girl or a boy, to make sure she is not taken for a boy or he for a girl? What would happen if they were? They would, quite literally, have changed places in their social world.
As a social institution, gender is one of the major ways that human beings organize their lives. Human society depends on a predictable division of labor, a designated allocation of scarce goods, assigned responsibility for children and others who cannot care for themselves, common values and their systematic transmission to new members, legitimate leadership, music, art, stories, games, and other symbolic productions.
One way of choosing people for the different tasks of society is on the basis of their talents, motivations, and competence — their demonstrated achievements. The other way is on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity — ascribed membership in a category of people.
Although societies vary in the extent to which they use one or the other of these ways of allocating people to work and to carry out other responsibilities, every society uses gender and age grades.
Personality characteristics, feelings, motivations, and ambitions flow from these different life experiences so that the members of these different groups become different kinds of people.
But gender and sex are not equivalent, and gender as a social construction does not flow automatically from genitalia and reproductive organs, the main physiological differences of females and males.
In the construction of ascribed social statuses, physiological differences such as sex, stage of development, color of skin, and size are crude markers. They are not the source of the social statuses of gender, age grade, and race. Social statuses are carefully constructed through prescribed processes of teaching, learning, emulation, and enforcement.
Whatever genes, hormones, and biological evolution contribute to human social institutions is materially as well as qualitatively transformed by social practices.
Every social institution has a material base, but culture and social practices transform that base into something with qualitatively different patterns and constraints. The economy is much more than producing food and goods and distributing them to eaters and users; family and kinship are not the equivalent of having sex and procreating; morals and religions cannot be equated with the fears and ecstasies of the brain; language goes far beyond the sounds produced by tongue and larynx.
The building blocks of gender are socially constructed statuses. They do not have to behave or dress as men to have the social responsibilities and prerogatives of husbands and fathers; what makes them men is enough wealth to buy a wife.
Transsexuals are biological males and females who have sex-change operations to alter their genitalia. They do so in order to bring their physical anatomy in congruence with the way they want to live and with their own sense of gender identity.
They do not become a third gender; they change genders. Transvestites are males who live as women and females who live as men but do not intend to have sex-change surgery. Transvestite women have fought in wars as men soldiers as recently as the nineteenth century; some married women, and others went back to being women and married men once the war was over.
These odd or deviant or third genders show us what we ordinarily take for granted — that people have to learn to be women and men. Individuals are born sexed but not gendered, and they have to be taught to be masculine or feminine. “Night to his day” The Social Construction of Gender By Judith Lorber Afterreading Judith Lorber article” Night to his day” the social construction of gender, I realized that we have been “doing gender” every day without us noticing.
“Night to his Day”: The Social Construction of Gender Judith Lorber Excerpts from: Paradoxes of Gender (Chapter 1) by Judith Lorber, © Yale University Press. In “Night to His Day”: The Social Construction of Gender, written by Judith Lorber, and “Becoming Members of Society: The Social Meanings of Gender”, written by Aaron Devor, discusses how sex and gender have been influenced by society’s human interaction.
Study 32 WMST - Concept Quiz 1 flashcards from Jasmine Q. on StudyBlue. Study 32 WMST - Concept Quiz 1 flashcards from Jasmine Q.
on StudyBlue. Judith Lorber "Night to His Day" What are Lorber's key arguments about gender? Gender is learned. Gender structures society. Gender is a stratified system, ranking men above women.
Judith Lorber ("Night to His Day") argues that the purpose of gender as a social institution is to construct women as a group to be the subordinates of men as a group Judith Lorber ("Night to His Day") asserts that most people conform to gender norms because of.
**Lorber, Judith. (). “Night to his day: The social construction of gender.” In Judith Lorber, Paradoxes of Gender (pp. ).
New Haven: Yale. family structure, and social structure: Racial ethnic families in the United States.” In Myra Marx Ferree, Judith Lorber, & Beth B. Hess (Eds.), Revisioning Gender (pp.
). New York.