Laura Hurd Clarke
In this chapter, the author considers some of the theoretical and methodological conundrums that she encountered in her qualitative research that has focused on later life experiences of the aging body as a site of inequality. Western culture is replete with deeply entrenched ageist stereotypes, which position old bodies as inherently asexual, dependent, frail, obsolete, senile, unproductive, and undesirable. Negative cultural constructions of old bodies are further reflected in and buttressed by masculinity and femininity ideals as well as societal assumptions concerning personal responsibility for health. Collectively, these cultural norms shape research in powerful ways as they lead to the avoidance of certain topics, taken-for-granted assumptions that are difficult to elicit or interrogate, and complex power dynamics between researchers and study participants. Reflecting on the intricacies of researching later life body image and embodiment, I offer some suggestions about how the challenges might be reframed as opportunities.
Cary Gabriel Costello
Perceived as natural and universal, the framing of sex and gender as binaries is in fact a cultural ideology. The empirical reality is that sex is a spectrum, manifesting in a wide array of sex variance, some of it formally categorized as intersex by scientists and doctors, and some not. This article gives an overview of how different societies have organized sex and gender into three, four, or more categories, and of the imposition of binary sex/gender as part of the European colonialist project. It then presents case histories examining four transgender and/or intersex individuals in the contemporary context, illustrating how individuals negotiate, exploit, or subvert binary sex/gender ideologies in conceptualizing physical sex variance and gender transition.
Martin Fieder and Susanne Huber
This chapter discusses, from an evolutionary standpoint, crucial factors influencing human reproduction. It emphasizes the importance of social status and homogamy on the level of the individual and raises the question how genetics and also epigenetics may contribute to explain human mate choice and fertility patterns. The chapter discusses the differential association of status with fertility for men and women, evolutionary reasons for the prevalence of homogamy along cultural traits and considers, on the level of genetics, the interplay of inbreeding and outbreeding. The role of mutations due to paternal age for human mate choice is debated. Finally, the chapter discusses the effects of early life conditions on later reproduction and also the role of epigenetics as a potential underlying mechanism. It is concluded that an evolutionary perspective helps explain reproductive patterns in modern humans and may thus make a valuable contribution in the assessment of urgent contemporary problems.
During the past century, social scientists have documented many cross-cultural sex differences in personality and behavior, quite a few of which now appear to be found in all human societies. However, contrary to most scientists’ expectations, these so-called universal sex differences have been shown to be more pronounced in Western industrial societies than in most non-Western developing societies. This chapter briefly reviews the evidence bearing on these findings and offers a biologically based theory that could help shed light on why cross-cultural sex differences exist. The following hypothesis is offered: The expression of many genes influencing sexually dimorphic traits is more likely among descendants of couples who are least closely related to one another. If so, societies in which out-marriage is normative (i.e., Western industrial countries) will exhibit a stronger expression of genes for sexually dimorphic traits compared to societies in which consanguineal marriages are common.
This chapter unpacks the multiple definitions of fashion as social process, status dynamic, practice, and industry. The chapter begins with an overview of the historical emergence and spread of fashion, mapping the changing associations of fashion from frivolity and femininity to major global industry and urban branding mechanism. To understand fashion as simultaneously a concept, behavior, and market, the chapter employs a gendered lens. Gender, as well as class, is central to understanding fashion from both lenses of consumption and production, illustrated with two cases of gendered fashion labor: women fashion models and their paradoxical wage gaps, and women workers in the garment industry.
Studies on the development of fat stigma in the United States often consider gender, but not race. This chapter adds to the literature on the significance of race in the propagation of fat phobia. I investigate representations of voluptuousness among “white” Anglo-Saxon and German women, as well as “black” Irish women between 1830 and 1890—a time period during which the value of a curvy physique was hotly contested—performing a discourse analysis of thirty-three articles from top newspapers and magazines. I found that the rounded forms of Anglo-Saxon and German women were generally praised as signs of health and beauty. The fat Irish, by contrast, were depicted as grotesque. Building on the work of Stuart Hall, I conclude that fat was a “floating signifier” of race and national belonging. That is, rather than being universally lauded or condemned, the value attached to fatness was related to the race of its possessor.
This chapter examines the relationship between the body, globalization, and the media. It discusses how the female body is subjected to being “played” in the global media and what that reveals of gender and minority–majority relationships and of global aims and fears. The cases presented in this chapter serve as samples of “sexy violence” imagery that cannot be thoroughly explained by theories of objectification, liberation, or commodification of women but, rather, are considered in reference to the socially constitutive role of globalization. Although the female body may function to discursively dissolve, enforce, or alleviate conflicts embedded in the processes and discourses of globalization, the preoccupation with “sexy violence” imagery in the global media does not necessarily offer a solution to global concerns but, rather, plays out the fears, aims, and anxieties about globalization through violence and aggression.
Valentine M. Moghadam
In highlighting the contributions that feminist scholars have made to global studies in recent decades, this chapter focuses on three prominent areas of research: the gendered nature of globalization; violence against women, armed conflict, and the interstate system; and women’s, feminist, and gendered social movements. These three areas of research are interconnected, in that “globalization-from-above” generates or exacerbates inequalities, tensions, and conflicts, whereas social movements are manifestations of “globalization-from-below.” The overview of feminist perspectives on, and critiques of, globalization and gender-based violence is accompanied by a discussion of how women’s movements, especially feminist movements, have responded to global economic and political developments and how the appropriation of feminist language for the promotion of the global neoliberal agenda has raised objections.
Janet C. Gornick and Natascia Boeri
This article examines the link between gender and poverty. It begins with a discussion of selected theoretical perspectives that have informed the study of poverty, with emphasis on economic insufficiency, capabilities deprivation, and social exclusion as well as the feminization of poverty. It then considers key contributions to the empirical literature on poverty and gender, focusing on interdisciplinary studies that define poverty based on economic resources. It also reviews selected empirical results from a group of twenty-six high- and middle-income countries, based on data from the Luxembourg Income Study Database. More specifically, it explores the likelihood that women and men live in poor households, and how that likelihood varies by family structure and the strength of their attachment to the labor market. Finally, it explains how the empirical results and the main findings from the literature review contribute to the challenge of evaluating the connection between gender and poverty.
This chapter discusses social exclusion in European migration from a gendered and historical perspective. It discusses how from this perspective the idea of a crisis in migration was repeatedly constructed. Gender is used in this chapter in a dual way: attention is paid to differences between men and women in (refugee) migration, and to differences between men and women as advocates and claim makers for migrant rights. There is a dilemma—recognized mostly for recent decades—that on the one hand refugee women can be used to generate empathy, and thus support. On the other hand, emphasis on women as victims forces them into a victimhood role and leaves them without agency. This dilemma played itself out throughout the twentieth century. It led to saving the victims, but not to solving the problem. It fortified rather than weakened the idea of a crisis.
This chapter discusses the claim that radical right parties are typically led and supported by men, and explores various aspects of gender bias as they relate to radical right parties and support for these parties. The first section considers the so-called gender gap in radical right voting, with women being significantly underrepresented among the radical right electorate compared with men. The second section examines how explanations for radical right voting behavior may differ between women and men. Whereas the majority of the research on radical right voting has taken for granted that women and men behave similarly, it shows that the limited available research does indicate some gender differences in the explanations for supporting a radical right party. The final section outlines some ideas for further research and the challenges that lie ahead for scholarship on gender and the radical right.
Susan Dobscha and Gry Høngsmark Knudsen
This chapter argues that marketing naively adopts gender theories from other fields that perpetuate outdated stereotypes. This is demonstrated by means of an existing example that shows how Jung’s archetypes leads to sexist advertising practices. The authors argue that a similar process will happen within consumption studies’ borrowing of evolutionary psychology. To counter this process, the authors suggest that researchers and educators need to interrupt the inertia of the wheel of marketing knowledge by applying more critical perspectives; adopting theories from other fields including the critical perspectives from these fields; publishing more studies on gender in marketing; learning from practitioners when they attempt to promote new perspectives on gender; and finally updating gender perspectives in textbooks to better educate future marketers and avoid propagation of outdated and negative stereotypes of gender.
This chapter examines the experiences of women arriving in Europe in the context of the current refugee ‘crisis.’ Based on empirical research in various sites in the European Union (including Greece, Serbia, France, and Germany), the chapter explores the various sources and types of insecurity faced by women, and also the ways in which the label of ‘vulnerability’ can be used strategically to advance migration strategies. The chapter explores ways in which national and EU level policies have impacted women’s experiences of migration, and the ways in which the crisis labeling and securitization of migration to the EU have had gendered impacts on refugees themselves.
Kristin Liv Rauch and Rosemary L. Hopcroft
This chapter presents an evolutionary theory of racial discrimination, human sociosexual dominance theory. This theory is built on the social dominance theory of Sidanius and colleagues, who note that sexually selected predispositions can account for the disproportionate experience of prejudice and discrimination by minority males, not minority females. This chapter goes beyond Sidanius and others by emphasizing that the operation of these evolved predispositions continues to limit mating opportunities for minority group males. The chapter also stresses how coalitions and culture are used as tools in this process. Examples pertaining to race relations in the United States in both the recent past and the present are presented to illustrate the utility of this biocultural framework.
Inga K. Thiemann
Human trafficking is considered one of the key humanitarian crises of our time. Public opinion and policymakers alike call for meaningful responses to human trafficking and modern slavery as criminal law problems, which can be remedied through tougher border controls. This chapter argues that human trafficking cannot be solved through border-focused anti-immigration measures, but needs to be approached as a gendered migration problem, which requires greater protections for vulnerable workers, particularly for female workers in private households and in the sex industry. Therefore, this chapter discusses root causes of human trafficking and migrants’ exploitability in gendered immigration and emigration policies, as well as in insufficient labor protections for vulnerable workers. In doing so, it also challenges the role of states in creating migrants’ precarious statuses through insufficient safe migration routes and labor protections in destination countries.
Rachel A. Lewis
This chapter examines legal and administrative forms of violence produced by immigration laws and policies that condemn LGBTQ migrants to a state of crisis, leaving them permanently vulnerable to detention, deportation, and in some cases death. Despite the newly emerging body of scholarship devoted to theorizing deportation, there has been relatively little attention given to the ways in which gender and sexuality, along with race, class, nationality, and geopolitical location, produce particular migrants as deportable subjects. And yet, deportability structures the experiences of the majority of LGBTQ migrants. The first part of the chapter considers the historically specific asylum regimes that transform LGBTQ migrants into detainable and deportable subjects. The second part examines the various forms of legal and administrative violence inflicted upon LGBTQ migrants by the global detention and deportation regime. Finally, the third part of the chapter discusses examples of LGBTQ migrant activism that are emerging from these spaces of deportability and crisis.
Breast cancer in American culture is intrinsically tied to normative ideologies of femininity. Within the highly visible public discourse about breast cancer, men with the disease (both transgender and cisgender) remain nearly invisible. The very presence of breast cancer in men is unthinkable precisely because its presence challenges the association of femininity with breasts. In this chapter I explore the ways that male breast cancer emerges in public discourse in order to explore the ways in normative expectations of masculinity emerge as a narrative framework for bringing trans and cis men into the breast cancer conversation as well as the ways that masculinity is deployed differentially in representing breast cancer in these two groups of men.
Valli Rajah and Meg Osborn
Scholarship presents a complex picture of women’s resistance to male violence and control. Despite its attention to nuance, intimate partner violence research should further investigate the role of the body and embodiment, that is, how our bodies shape the ways in which individuals perceive and act in the world. To gain purchase on existing research and to chart directions for future investigation, the authors conducted a scoping review and textual analysis. The work in this chapter is guided by three questions: (1) What is the current state of knowledge regarding resistance, the body, and embodiment in the context of intimate partner violence? (2) How does this literature discuss and conceptualize embodiment in the context of resistance? (3) What can we learn through a deeper analysis of embodied resistance in the context of intimate partner violence? Implications of the authors’ findings are discussed.
Richard C.M. Mole
An examination of the lived experiences of Polish queer migrants in London shows how a crisis in Polish national identity following the collapse of communism in 1989 constructed nonheterosexuals as a threat to Polish norms and values, thus fueling homophobic rhetoric, violence, and discrimination and prompting queer Poles to view migration as a potential means of escape and self-realization. An analysis of the narratives of twenty-five Polish LGBQ migrants living in London revealed different modes of domestic and cross-border queer migration as well as a range of ways in which sexuality directly and indirectly influenced their decision to move abroad.
David D. Franks
In this chapter, the different meanings of the terms sex and gender are discussed: Sex is biological, and gender has to do with social roles. Biological differences such as genes are discussed next, including a discussion of whether these differences should be considered as either/or distinctions or as continuums. Differences in social skills are discussed. Next, differences in the brain’s gray and white matter are explored. Various parts of the brain and the abilities they support are then presented. How sex differences in the brain complement each other is explored, as well as differences and overlaps. The implications for single-sex education are presented. Reasons to discuss brain differences and other differences follow, including sleep problems, anorexia, and bulimia. A subsection on memory and emotion follows.