structural functionalism gender
The social construction of sexuality refers to the way in which socially created definitions about the cultural appropriateness of sex-linked behavior shape the way people see and experience sexuality. It uses the conflict approach to examine the maintenance of gender roles and inequalities. Structural functionalism has provided one of the most important perspectives of sociological research in the twentieth century and has been a major influence on research in the social sciences, including gender studies. When asked to name the characteristics of a female, the list featured words such as unaggressive, gentle, emotional, tactful, less logical, not ambitious, dependent, passive, and neat. As we have seen over the past 60 years, values do not always keep up with changing norms and vice versa. Let’s look at each of these perspectives again as they apply more broadly to gender. Friedrich Engels (1820-1895), a German sociologist and Karl Marx’s frequent collaborator, studied family structure and gender roles. A woman who displays certain behaviors that are generally conceived of as being appropriate for leadership (i.e., strong, opinionated, concise) might be perceived as “bossy” or “difficult to work with,” whereas a man depicting the same behaviors would be perceived as someone who is ready for a leadership position. This concept seems extremely dated, but in 2006, Susan Seem and M. Diane Clark replicated the study and found similar results. Symbolic interactionism aims to understand human behavior by analyzing the critical role of symbols and meaning-making in human interaction. Perhaps these diagnoses are not just a reflection of women’s health, but also a reflection of society’s labeling of female characteristics, or the result of institutionalized sexism. A structural functionalist view of gender inequality applies the division of labor to view predefined gender roles as complementary: women take care of the home while men provide for the family. Structural functionalists might look at how values and norms shape societal notions of success in the workforce, and how these established values and norms reinforce the division of labor as well as gender inequality. When the men returned from war and wanted to reclaim their jobs, society fell back into a state of imbalance, as many women did not want to forfeit their wage-earning positions (Hawke 2007). In other words, both gender and sexuality are socially constructed. Engels suggested that the same owner-worker relationship seen in the labor force is also seen in the household, with women assuming the role of the proletariat (i.e., the industrial age, routine-bound workers). Whether we are expressing our masculinity or femininity, West and Zimmerman argue, we are always “doing gender.” Thus, gender is something we do or perform, not something we are. If you meet with a female loan officer, you may make an emotional appeal by stating your good intentions as a means of appealing to the caring characteristics associated with femininity. The Functionalist Perspective: Motivating Qualified People, In the 1960s, functionalism was criticized for being unable to account for social change, or for structural contradictions and conflict (and thus was often called "consensus theory"), and for ignoring systematic, Given this emphasis on equilibrium and harmony, the, During the turbulent 1960s, functionalism was often called "consensus theory," criticized for being unable to account for social change or structural contradictions and conflict, including, 4) If our actions and behaviors mostly reproduce the condition in which we live, how can we change, 5) What can be done to lessen the negative effects, Social theorists think differently about global, Whatever sociological theory one adopts to explain the existence, Differentiate between the positions on social, In fact, this approach - in combination with Evolutionary Psychological and Sociobiological, In contrast to the status quo supporting structural, In the 1950s, Robert Merton elaborated the, For example, crime seems difficult to explain from the, Conflict theory is particularly interested in the various aspects, According to conflict theorists, the family works toward the continuance, Moore in a paper published in 1945, is a central claim within the structural, Design a scenario which illustrates the interactionist, Feminist theory uses the conflict approach to examine the reinforcement.