Gender identity is a product of social construction and, at the same time is one of the key factors that mediate the behavioral activity and the installation of the individual in the context of interpersonal relationships. In terms of socio-constructivist approach, social reality is both objective and subjective. It is objective because it is independent of the individual and is subjective because the individual is constantly creating them. Within this approach, gender is understood as an organized model of social relations between men and women, the constructed basic institutions of society. The theory of the social construction of gender is based on two principles.
Patriarchy system is a hierarchy system political, cultural and economic structure are controlled by men. While the opposite is a matriarchy, a hierarchy system that women rules the world. From this two concept, our culture had automatically set what men and women should do. These have led to gender inequality, stereotyping and so on issues.
4.3 Theory of difference The difference theory assumes that well prevails a fundamental difference between the sexes being husband and wife. The focus of difference theory therefore is not the abolition of these differences, but rather whose recognition (Heintz, B., 1993, p 21). Wesely (2000) is highlighting that the basis of the difference theory assumes that gender is not only occupied biologically, but also a strong social category belongs (Wesely, 2000, p.21). The nature and the behavior of men and women is influenced by their sex and therefore decides on certain lifestyles and life opportunities. Furthermore, one can speak of a structural difference, which affects the social life different to each gender.
Conflict Theory (Macro-level) -Emphasizes that the order of society are based on manipulation and control by dominant groups. - Focuses on the struggle of the social classes to maintain dominance and power in social systems. Application – The female superiority model benefits the Mosou women in 2-3 ways. 1. It reduces potential competition from men who are the ‘superior’ sex in other markets and from surrounding areas.
(Longwe, 2002). There is a common accession that gender inequality results from socially formed perceptions and expectations of males and females as belonging to the two different biological sexes (Meinzen-Dick, 2011; UN Women and OHCHR, 2013). These perceptions have largely outlined and comprised the respective statuses of males and females, defining their roles, opportunities and privileges in society. These Societal rules, roles, expectations and privileges are set and upheld by men and internalized by women through socialization. The extent of the situation is such that men determine who owns what and who uses what in the society.
Social Constructionism The sociology of knowledge is a heterogeneous set of theories which generally focuses on the social origins of meaning. Instead of meaning inhering in objects themselves or being imposed idiosyncratically by individuals, meaning is hypothesized to emerge out processes of social interaction- e.g., traditions, norms, practices, rituals, institutions, habits, etc. The social world is an independent, external reality to which the individual must adapt or face sanctions. This ensures a measure of cognitive conformity. (Peterson,D) Social Construction of Gender Roles Gender is frequently reduced to biology and can be misunderstood.
Every aspect of society works not only to gain control over those of low social standing, but also show a significantly great amount of prejudice against women. In this way, the societies enforce their patriarchy onto its citizens, allowing modern time readers to draw contrasts between their own societies and the ones in the novels that oppose ideas of freedom through indoctrination, using education as a form of empowerment and violence to evoke fear. Men are only regarded the monarchs of society once women have been demeaned. This is evidenced through Attwood’s use of animalistic language to display the false power the Commander holds over Offred. Upon their first meeting, Offred states that she thought ‘he might be toying, some cat-and-mouse routine, but now [she] thinks that his motives and desires weren’t obvious even to him’.
Marx and Engels looked at the role of families in the social reproduction of inequality. Through the socialisation of children, the family reproduces both labour power and a false ideology which keeps the capitalists system going. ‘Families thus support the concentration of wealth and reproduce the class structure in each succeeding generation (Macionis and Plummer 2002:440). Engles indicated that families turn women into the sexual and economic property of men. Woman perform unpaid work in the home that would otherwise cost a lot to those who benefit from it.
There are many types of gender roles a man or a woman may assume to be, and how they are placed into society. This can be referred to as the “social construction of gender” - the gender difference of a man and woman. The ideas of how one should act and behave are often times ascribed by their gender on how society
Did you not know that men are the true creators in our culture, Mother? They mould our lives and destinies according to their whims and desires’. (The Holy Woman, p.88) The Holy Woman, by Qaisra Shahraz, encapsulates the restrictions on the lives of women living under patriarchy. The Holy Woman highlights how the powerful social structures and feudal customs, centred on female body and sexuality, restrict women and are difficult to challenge. These customs and tradition are often nurtured, strengthened and kept alive through violent and unjust actions centred on women.