Gender, Gender And Gender Inequality Essay

1632 Words May 1st, 2016 7 Pages

There is no society where gender is considered to be insignificant. China is one such society where gender roles and inequalities have developed over time and remain present today. As I have spent the majority of my life in New Zealand, I have been exposed to many Western perspectives on gender. However, being the first generation to grow up in New Zealand meant that many traditional Chinese views on gender norms were still incorporated into my upbringing. This socio-autobiography will explore sociological gender concepts across time and cultures, and how they have shaped my life. My focus will be on “doing gender”- with an emphasis on my “tomboyism” as a child-, gender inequalities within my family structure, and the enduringly patriarchal society of China. By applying C. Wright Mills’ lens of the “sociological imagination,” we can develop an understanding of how traditional gender views translate into the lives of individuals today.

The sociological concept of doing gender is discussed by theorist Harold Garfinkel. It is about "acting the part" (Matthewman et al., 2013, p. 128) and following gender expectations, so that others are able to place us into the sex category of male or female. West & Zimmerman suggest that our membership to a sex category can then be used to legitimise or degrade our activities. As a young girl, I always had a messy bedroom. Since it is deemed gender appropriate for girls to be neat and tidy, this activity was seen as a…

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