Рубрика: What is Gender?

Beyond the linguistic turn

‘Masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are not clear and fixed opposing identities based on biological sex but shifting categories, defined in relationship to each other, that order social relations. To think thus is to contemplate the possibilities and promise of causing ‘gender trouble’ (Butler, 1990). Sex/gender may bring us into being as individuals of whom others can […]

Women, race and class

It might now be possible, due to their greater presence in the paid workforce, to categorize most women’s class on the basis of their occupation as individuals. However, to do this would be to ignore the effects that their gender has on the wages and status accorded to women’s paid work. In addition such an […]

Racing gender

Racial inequalities, and the way in which they are gendered, are largely a product of a world history which saw the first industrialized nations go forth to appropriate the land and resources of people on other con­tinents. Colonization was an economic process but was justified by ideas that represented whiteness and white ways of doing […]

Classing gender

Within feminist sociology there are three major approaches to under­standing the links between class and gender; one criticizes standard classifications of class (Acker, 1998/1973), another extends materialist visions to encompass gender (for example, Delphy and Leonard, 1992), and the third turns to discourse and culture (for example, Skeggs, 1997). French Materialist feminists, most especially Christine […]

Gender as politics

Second-wave feminism continued the fight against material inequalities but offered a much more radical challenge to the entire liberal democratic political system and to ideas about womanhood. Second-wave feminists questioned divisions between private and public spheres, highlighted the political nature of relations between women and men, experimented with new political processes and re-wrote political agendas […]

Back to (gendered) bodies

Reintroducing the body has been important for understanding the relationship between sex and gender and sexuality. They fall into two categories: those who theorize the body as a social object and those who attempt to embody social theory. The latter are typically feminist sociologists whose work does not feature as centrally within the sociology of […]

Mapping gender theories

A post-structuralist attention to meanings had challenged structuralism’s search for underlying frameworks which might explain gender oppression. Post-structuralism questions binary systems of classification which insist gender must be fixed as either feminine or masculine. In contrast to structuralism it proposes that gender has no ‘real’ basis as part of individuals and their bodies, but that […]


When the sociology of gender emerged as a specific field in the 1970s the concern was to show any differences that do exist between the sexes to be exaggerated or indeed socially constructed. The claim that men and women are simply ‘naturally’ different was called into question by examining how understandings of those differences vary […]