Gender (Short Introductions) (英語) ハードカバー – 2009/3/23
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How can we understand gender in the contemporary world? What differences now exist between women and men? How are masculinities and femininities made? And what is the impact of globalization on gender issues?
Raewyn Connell, one of the world's leading scholars in the field, answers these questions and more. In this book she provides a readable introduction to modern gender studies, covering empirical research from all parts of the world in addition to theory and politics. As well as introducing the field, Gender provides a powerful contemporary framework for gender analysis with a distinctive global awareness. Highlighting the multi-dimensional character of gender relations, Connell shows how to link personal life with large-scale organizational structures and how gender politics changes its form in changing situations.
The second edition of this influential and accessible book brings the review of research up to date and includes new discussions of gender theory in the global periphery, the legacy of colonialism, the intersection of structures, the impact of deconstructionist theory and politics, and understanding transsexual and transgender lives.
Gender is engaged scholarship that moves from personal experience to global problems and offers a unique perspective on gender issues today.
"I recommend it with great enthusiasm; a delight to read."
Mary Evans, Times Higher Education
"Ideal for students as an introduction to gender studies and gender theory and also well worth reading for anyone who is familiar with Connell’s work ... The enjoyment in reading Connell lies in the inventiveness with which she formulates concepts and images."
Gender: Journal for Gender, Culture and Society
"Presenting the leading edge of gender theory and research, the second edition of Gender is the smartest and most compelling introduction to critical gender studies that is currently available. Connell remains a steady and reliable guide for the student of gender and society."
Steven Seidman, State University of New York at Albany
"This is an important and eminently readable introduction to 'gender', now updated to provide an even more useful guide to a complex, and increasingly global, interdisciplinary field. Connell's narrative style and abundant examples make it very accessible, but it never oversimplifies. She manages to keep in sight both social structure and human agency while tackling debates that span the personal and the political. Few texts are able to cover this much ground without sacrificing complexity, but Connell does it with great success."
Barbara Marshall, Trent University
In the book, Connell reveals the "gender arrangements" or gender order of contemporary society:
* Men are the world leaders, killers, policemen, military, private security.
* Women are the housekeepers, child care givers, they are low paid and work as repairers of the consequences of violence, nurses, psychologists and social workers.
Connell challenges us to overturn our assumptions that gender distinction is `natural', unchanging and fixed. Connell presents arguments for the ways in which gender differences are socially constructed. Performances of masculinity and femininity are displayed and disseminated and these ideas work to construct and perpetuate ideas about gender difference. Connell also refutes the notion of gender dichotomy pointing to the prevalence of gender ambiguity in society: masculine women, feminine men, homosexuality, women who are heads of households, men who bring up children, women soldiers, male nurses. He argues that sustaining the gender categories also sustains the inequalities e.g. income inequalities; wealth and power in hands of men; higher rates of illiteracy among women; unequal respect (cheerleaders vs. football players, pornography, marketing of women's bodies, women seen as source of defilement and contamination in various religious traditions.) Men also suffer--subject to derision if not manly enough, higher death rates, sporting injuries, alcohol abuse.
In chapter 3 Connell presents three different views of gender:
1. Body as a machine--biology produces social differences (men are stronger and faster, have more powerful sexual urges, love sport, are aggressive, are rational--women are good at fiddly work, they gossip, they are more nurturing, they have more intuition etc.) Connell believes there is no scientific evidence for this theory! Even testosterone and estrogen are present in both males and females, fluctuating levels as we pass through the life cycle.
2. Two separate realms of sex and gender: sex=biological facts; gender=social fact. We can choose our sex role expectations, behavior and socialization. Problems: why is one side more valued than the other, does not capture the importance of bodies in sexual relations and in issues such as sexual violence against women.
3. Body as a canvas: Gender as a symbolic system (bodies as a canvas on which society paints e.g. the shifting definitions of female beauty, and gendered approaches to disciplining the body--gyms in LA).
Connell proposes his own theory of social embodiment: "Bodies have agency AND are socially constructed." Bodies are subjected to so many different circumstances and conditions around the world and "yet the tremendous multiplicity of bodies is in no sense a random assortment. The bodies are interconnected through social practices, the things people do in daily life." The practices in which bodies are involved form social structures and personal trajectories which in turn provide the conditions of new practices in which bodies are addressed and involved. The social world is never simply reproduced, it is reconstituted by practice. Gender as a structure of relations is constituted in this historical process, and accordingly can never be fixed, nor exactly reproduced. The strategic question is not "can gender change?" but "in what direction is gender changing." (p. 51)
1. The Question of Gender
2. Schools, Mines, Sex and War
3. Differences and Bodies
4. Gender Relations
5. Gender in Personal Life
6. Gender on the Large Scale
7. Gender and the Intellectuals
8. Gender Politics.
This book is a must for anyone studing gender subjects at uni, as well as anyone who is interested in gender. I thought his way of thinking was very much taking into account how complex people's lives are as well as how complex society is.