Gender and Social Normativity

Charlotte Witt

in The Metaphysics of Gender

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199740413
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918720 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

Gender and Social Normativity

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This chapter explains the notion of gender used in articulating the claim of gender essentialism, and begins by drawing a distinction between sex and gender. Next, it explores the nature of social norms, and social normativity because an individual's gender, being a woman or being a man, is a position associated with a social role, a complex set of social norms. One central question about social norms is why individuals are responsive to and evaluable under them. The view developed here is that for some social positions individuals are responsive to and evaluable in relation to a social role simply because they occupy the social positions that correspond to the norms. For a range of social positions, including gender, social recognition is a necessary element in determining social position occupancy.

Keywords: gender; essentialism; sex; social norms; social normativity; social position

Chapter.  7380 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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