Author : Laura Kramer,Judith Lorber,Beth B. Hess
Publisher : Roxbury Publishing Company
Release : 2004-08-01
ISBN : 9780195330281
Language : En, Es, Fr & De
Book Description :
The Second Edition of Laura Kramer's "essentials" gender text provides an overview of basic sociological concepts and perspectives on gender--presented in a concise, accessibly written format. Focused chiefly on gender in the contemporary United States, the book integrates historical background to help communicate the magnitude of changes in the gender system and the macro-, middle-, and micro-level forces at play. The text emphasizes both the influences of and the interaction of social structure and culture in women's and men's lives. Throughout, the text integrates variations in the meanings of gender related to race-ethnicity and social class. Current research informs all discussions, and historical background helps students understand the dynamic nature of gender systems and the importance of social action. The Sociology of Gender's explicitly sociological approach provides an alternative to--and critiques of--biological and psychological approaches to gender and sexualorientation. The popularity of these approaches is itself analyzed to encourage students' critical thinking. The chapter on culture presents traditionally dominant and changing versions of femininities and masculinities, examining how these are communicated through language, mass media, and religion. The coverage on religion is expanded in the new edition, as is the discussion of knowledge professionals. A focus on cultural change concludes this chapter, with an examination of the importanceof both social structural and cultural forces in maintaining or changing cultural content. The topic of individual agency and resistance, introduced in the first chapter, is carried throughout discussions of culture and socialization. The section on social interaction is expanded, and discussions of learning and doing gender through the life course are reorganized and updated. Separate sections on sexuality, the body, and health are new. A new chapter on education complements revised chapters on the family, work and the economy, and the legal and political systems. In addition to the integration of more recent research and government statistics, the Second Edition offers expanded discussions of the work-family interface, same-sex relationships, and feminist activism. Kramer's style is highly readable, and the content is rich and varied. Each chapter features illustrations from everyday life. The book does not presume prior sociology coursework or a high level of statistical sophistication. Students will relate to the numerous real-world examples, brief definitions, and the avoidance of unnecessarily specialized language. More current examples have replaced those from the First Edition where appropriate. A glossary, indices, and discussion questions at the end of each chapter add to the volume's accessibility--inviting the student to move from passive reading to active application.