Article

Gender

Janeen Baxter

in Sociology

ISBN: 9780199756384
Published online October 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0022
Gender

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  • Sociology
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The term gender refers to the cultural and social characteristics attributed to men and women on the basis of perceived biological differences. In the 1970s, feminists focused on sex roles, particularly the socialization of men and women into distinct masculine and feminine roles and the apparent universality of patriarchy. More recent work has critiqued the idea of two distinct genders, calling into question the notion of gender dichotomies and focusing attention on gender as a constitutive element of all social relationships. Gender has been described as a social institution that structures the organization of other institutions, such as the labor market, families, and the state, as well as the social relations of everyday life. In addition, scholars have pointed to the ways in which gender is constructed by organizations and individual interactions. Gender not only differentiates men and women into unequal groups, it also structures unequal access to goods and resources, often crosscutting and intersecting with other forms of inequality, such as class, race, and ethnicity.

Article.  6502 words. 

Subjects: Sociology ; Comparative and Historical Sociology ; Economic Sociology ; Gender and Sexuality ; Health, Illness, and Medicine ; Population and Demography ; Race and Ethnicity ; Social Movements and Social Change ; Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility ; Social Theory

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