SOC204 – The Spectrum: An Introduction to Sex and Gender

Abstract

Gender and sex– They appear to be the same thing, but in reality they aren’t! This week we dive into the differences between gender and sex through the lense of sociology using work from Judith Butler, Simone de Beauvoir and other recent research. How have our notions of gender and sex changed over the years? Where are these two concepts headed? And how do our own identities influence the way we behave, feel, and think? Tune in to find out! (And come back next week for our follow-up discussion on feminism and intersectionality.)

Keywords 

Gender, Sex, Social Construction

Sources

  1. Judith Butler’s (1990) Gender Trouble is one of THE foundational texts if you want to get into gender and sex.
  2. Simone de Beauvoir’s (1949) The Second Sex is another key text to explore, as Butler builds her theories off of de Beauvoir’s work. It is in The Second Sex where de Beauvoir writes the famous line, “one is not born a woman, but, rather, becomes one.”
  3. New York Times article by Claire Cain Miller (Sept 14, 2018), “Many Ways to Be a Girl, But One Way to Be a Boy: The New Gender Rules”
  4. A pamphlet from the National Partnership for Women and Families that reports the following on the national gender wage gap:
    • “Nationally, the median annual pay for a woman who holds a full-time, year-round job is $41,977 while the median annual pay for a man who holds a full-time, year-round job is $52,146. This means that, overall, women in the United States are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to an annual gender wage gap of $10,169.”
  5. Duncombe and Marsden (1998) chapter “Stepford Wives and Hallow Husbands” in Emotions in Social Life
  6. Some interesting articles about femininity and the female gaze:
  7. Articles on the consequences of toxic masculinity:

 

SOC116-Constructing Race and Black History Month

Abstract

February is Black History Month (BHM), which means… we gotta talk about it! This week we dig into the history behind BHM, talk about the founder of the holiday (the fascinating Dr. Carter Woodson), and tackle the many critiques and debates surrounding the month. Like, why the heck is BHM on the shortest month of the year?! Why do we usually only celebrate a select few Black figures this month? Is BHM a productive event? Oh also, did you know that race is a social construct? That’s right! Join in to hear the conversation and let us know what you think!

Episode Corrections: 

Omar: I meant to say melanin and NOT melatonin when discussing the social construction of race.

Omar: Barrack Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, was an American anthropologist. She is not from Germany. In fact, she lived in Hawaii and studied at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. Though I said “I think,” I was wrong. [We all should have known that!]

Keywords 

race, racism, black history month, social construction

Resources 

  1. What is a “Social Construct”?
    1. An idea or concept that is created and accepted by members of a society. These are ideas that are not “natural” or universal across all cultures and societies.
  2. “11 Things That Are Social Constructs” (2016),  Jane Paolantonio
  3. What We Mean When We Say ‘Race Is a Social Construct’”, in The Atlantic by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2013)
  4. Article from King and Brown (2014) “Once a Year to be Black
  5. Article from The Atlantic by Melinda Anderson (2016), “Black History Month in Schools– Retire or Reboot?
  6. Biography of Carter Woodson, the “Father of Black History
  7. NPR report on Marian Andersen, “Denied A Stage, She Sang For A Nation” (2014)
  8. Biography of bad-ass Bessie Coleman
  9. Biography and work of poet Audre Lorde