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Becoming Members of Society

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Han Pham

on 10 October 2014

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Transcript of Becoming Members of Society

Becoming Members of Society: Learning the Social Meanings of Gender
By Aaron H. Devor
English101_Friday6PM_Fall'14
Professor Diller
Han Pham
10 October 2014

Author AARON H. DEVOR
- Born in 1951 as Holly Devor

- 2002, adopt the name Aaron H. Devor

- A professor of sociology, Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Victoria in British Colombia, a member of the International Academy of Sex Research

- Author of
FTM: Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society
(1997)
- From
Gender Blending: Confronting the Limits of Duality
(1989)

- Gender is the most transparent of all social categories.

- "Natural" not the product of socialization.

- What it means to be female or male: socially constructed.

- Various ways that different cultures define gender.


The Gendered Self
- Begins with the establishment of gender identity

- A lifelong process.

- Different gender performances from us

- Children see themselves in terms they have learned from the people around them.

- 18 months and 2 years: settle into a gender identity

- Age 3, have firm and consistent concept of gender

- Age 5 to 7: the permanent members of their gender grouping

- Research gender identity through the use of language and its concepts.

- The language system conceptualizes gender as permanent and binary.
- Gender is not considered the same in all cultures.

+ Aboriginal cultures have more than just 2 genders

+ North and South American native people had a proper social category for people who wish to live as the opposite gender => "berdache."

+ Similar concepts: early Siberian, Madagascan, and Polynesian societies, and in medieval Europe.

- Young children learn the social definitions of gender at the same time they learn what behaviors are appropriate for them.

+ 5-year-old children: able to recognize their own gender and the genders of the people around them

+ People may change their gender with a change in clothing, hair style, or activity.

- Identify genders of dolls:

+ 17% : identify gender based on their sex characteristics.

+ The rest: based on their hair length or clothing styles.

- A function of role rather than a function of anatomy.
- Children develop concepts of themselves as individuals when they first learn gender identities and gender roles.

- In this way, they develop the concept of themselves as individuals, an “I” and the self-images of themselves as individuals, a “me”.
- Children learn the values of the society instinctively.

- In this stage, they turn the more private “I” into the object of public: the “me”.

- “I” + “me” = “self.”

- Not all others have equal impact on the development of the self.
Gender Role Behaviors and Attitudes
- The basic social definitions: femininity and masculinity.

- Masculinity and femininity are most commonly seen as mirror images of one another.

- Many activities and expressions are recognized as feminine or masculine.

- Conceptions of femininity and masculinity revolve around the “natural” role of males and females.
- Femininity vs Masculinity:

+ Heterosexual, maternal vs aggressive, egoistic

+ Subordinate, vulnerable vs expansive and aggressive

+ Polite, nonaggression vs loud, less polite, expansive.

+ Suexal characteristics vs encourage physical power


- Female and male behaviors are the result of socially directed instructions.

- Our training to gender roles in neither complete nor uniform.

- Biological evidence is unclear about the source of gender roles; psychological androgyny is a widely accepted concept.

- Gender roles are the result of systematic power imbalances based on gender discrimination.
Claim of fact and Factual mode
Emma Watson’ s speech at the UN
Thank you for your attention
Full transcript