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Sociology of Gender - Essay Example

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The first article to be reviewed for the purpose of this paper is by Janet S. Chafetz. This article critically looks at varied feminist theories that have evolved in the last two decades within sociology…
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Sociology of Gender
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Download file to see previous pages The next summary is of the film, Two Spirits, directed by Lydia Nibley and produced and written by Russell Martin and Lydia Nibley. It traces the real life story of Fred Martinez, a Navajo teen, whose life came to an abrupt halt at 16 years, when he was brutally murdered by another young man named Murphy. The film interestingly follows a historical timeline as it explores Fred’s carefree and brave life as a nadleehi (a male-bodied individual with a female personality) and at the same time investigates traditions that were once extensively prevalent among the indigenous people of North America. With the looming threat of an entire tradition being wiped out from among the natives, the film slowly returns to the brutal crime that took place on 16th June, 2001 in Cortez. It explores the murder site where Murphy, viciously bludgeoned Fred to death with a rock, just for being different and later bragged about it to his friends saying he, “bug-smashed a fag”. Following narratives by Paula Mitchell, Fred’s mother, Richard La Fortune, activist of the Yupik tribe, and Cathy Renna, a leader in the LGBT community, the viewer gets a very clear picture of the vile nature of the hate crime that was meted out to young Fred. This film is created so that people can understand, accept and be compassionate about issues of gender diversity and at the same time recognize and celebrate it, in view with the wiser, traditional American cultures. The director’s attempt through this film seems to be – ‘to transform through sharing’.
The last article for review is the introduction chapter of the book titled, ‘The Lenses of Gender: Transforming the Debate on Sexual Inequality’ written by Sandra Lipsitz Bem. ...
This chapter reviews the historical transformation of America’s social consciousness with regard to philosophy and treatment of women. It traces historical beliefs regarding women in religious light and how it later took biological leanings. It depicts how these beliefs were further challenged by the women’s rights movement in the mid-nineteenth century and later by feminist advocacy in the early 1960s. However, the author believes that even within these changing times there exist “lenses of gender” which seek to infuse male power into social institutions and social reality, methodically and invisibly. Identifying the three lenses of gender as being – androcentrism, gender polarization and biological essentialism, the author considers them to be ways by which culture is reproducing male power. If a path can be devised to stop these discourses and enculturation, the author trusts that the feminist agenda in America can finally be achieved. Why do men hold the most powerful economic and political positions across the globe? Functionalist theorists believe that society is made up of interdependent parts, each of which plays their part in maintaining the smooth functioning of society. Their inherent belief in stability and social control is further enhanced by the common values and belief systems that the people share. This conviction in the idea of social equilibrium is asserted by values regarding family, marriage and gender roles. The conflict theorists are often viewed as being complete opposite to functional theorists because of their view that consensus is only achieved in society through exercise of power and control. They view patriarchal systems as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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