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ECON 211 Week 1 Notes

by: Gabby Greenberg

ECON 211 Week 1 Notes Econ 211

Gabby Greenberg
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About this Document

Masculine Vs. Feminine, Gender Framework, Introduction
Gender in the Economy
Arpan Ganguly
Class Notes




Popular in Gender in the Economy

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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gabby Greenberg on Tuesday August 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Econ 211 at Colorado State University taught by Arpan Ganguly in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Gender in the Economy in Economics at Colorado State University.


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Date Created: 08/30/16
Masculine Vs. Feminine  Sex (Male VS Female) o Based on biological characteristics, such as external genitalia and internal sex organs o Determined by chromosomes, which program how a fetus develops o Can influence behavior, but does not determine behavior  Gender (Masculine VS Feminine) o Socially and psychologically constructed o Based on how an individual sees himself or herself and how he or she acts in terms of masculine and feminine tendencies - femininity and masculinity vary in different contexts and cultures o Must be learned by the individual  Feminine and Masculine - social norms, traditionally o What does it mean to be feminine?  Emotions, selfless - caretakers, taking care of others, physically weaker o What does it mean to be masculine?  Aggressive, dominant, selfish, protector/provider, strength  Gender is usually prescribed by society based on an individual's sex. o In American culture:  Masculine --> Male  Feminine --> Female  Gender is much more flexible than sex, varying across cultures and over time. o In some cultures the women are doing heavy labor and the men are tending to the children o Male and female gender norms have become much less differentiated over time in America - things change over the time, but deep down there are still cultural stigmas that influence our thoughts and actions towards another race, gender, or culture. Culture and context matters. o Some cultures have more than two genders  Learning Gender o Gender norms are typically learned through a process of socialization. o Cultural images, role models, institutions, etc. teach individuals what are the normal types of behavior for different genders.  Magazine, TV/movies, Ads, Music, Sports, School, Laws, Teachers  Influences on our Perception of Gender (Gender Theory) o Biological Influences  Males and females may behave differently due to:  Differences in sex chromosomes and hormones  Sex differences in brain structure and development - women use right and men use left (I am opposite)  While most researchers agree that these all have some effect on behavioral differences between males and females, there is no consensus on just how much behavioral differences can be attributed to biology  Sociobiology argues that differences between the sexes can be explained in terms of reproductive and evolutionary fitness. (Women may be more selective in choosing sexual partners)  Nature Vs. Nurture  Nature - all differences between females and males are determined by their biological differences which are set at birth and can only be changed by altering the physical structure of the body and/or the hormones circulating within it. (biological determinism)  Nurture - human behavior is complete malleable through experiences and interactions which determine differences in behavior between females and males. Biological differences don't matter because the human brain is a blank slate at birth. (Behaviorism)  The true answer is that there is not one extreme answer that fits society. It is truly a mix between them.  Biological potentiality - what drives behavior is a mix of nature and nurture. o Interpersonal Influences  Psychodynamic  A child's early relationship with its mother is very important in its development  Girls will identify with their mothers, while boys will differentiate themselves from her.  This influences girls and women to identify themselves within relationships, while boys and men identify themselves as independent or autonomous.  Psychological  Children will try to imitate the behavior of others to learn how to behave.  Other people will reward certain types of behaviors and punish other types of behaviors (sometimes specifically based on the sex of the child).  A child can develop a sense of its gender based on what types of behavior it is rewarded of punished for, typically rewarded and internalizing rewarded behaviors. o Cultural influences  Cultural institutions influence gender  The type of economy (hunter-gatherer, agrarian, industrial-capitalist) can influence how gender-egalitarian society is.  As society becomes more technologically advanced, it can become more unequal and competitive, leading to increase stratification along multiple lines, including gender.  Culture typically defines gender roles: sets of expected behaviors and the values associated with them - cultural beliefs drive gender roles  In our culture, women are seen as primary caretakers, and men are seen as primary breadwinners.  However, some roles may be more highly valued by society than others, such as the breadwinner role.  These roles are internalized by individuals, which may cause dissonance when one's assigned role is not esteemed by society.  Standpoint Theory  The gender, race, class and other standpoints we occupy influence out experience of the world.  Those in groups labeled as subordinate can offer valuable insight to how society works.  We always occupy multiple standpoints at any given point in time. (White man, black man, black woman)  Applies to feminist economics  Intersectionality - at any given point, you are a man or women, educated or uneducated, white or other race, high income or low income. This is saying at any given time, we are assuming multiple identities.  Feminism o Belief in social, political & economic equality of the sexes o Movement organized around that belief o Boserup (50's) - The first book that theorized gender or "formalized" CHAPTER 1: THINKING ABOUT GENDER Example 1: Masculine Hardness and Feminine Softness (Figure 3 in Slides)  In the gender value compass: Masculine hardness implies strength, but also lack of flexibility.  Positive complementarity defines durability  Negative complementarity defines brittleness  M+ = Strong-Hard  F+ = Flexible-Soft  M- = Rigid-Hard  F- = Weak-Soft Example 2: Masculine as Separate VS. Feminine As Connected (Figure 4 in Slides)  Positive complementarity defines self identity.  Negative complementarity defines sexist social and psychological roles.  M+ = Individual (separate and distinct from society) but lacks F+ = related (connected to society and relationships). They compliment each other to create a sense of self identity.  M- = Separate (working for yourself and not for anyone else, not for your family) and the opposition/compliment of that is F- = Soluble (sacrificing everything for marriage and family, including career and self desires and achievements. Only worrying about family and others) Example 3: Sexism in the gender value compass  Sexism as the ability to see only M+/F- aspects of the diagram What is the feminist project on gender? 1. Exploration and valuation of the feminine positive and exposing the masculine negative 2. Diverse relationships between individual women's experiences and other dimensions of difference (race, class, culture) 3. Sexist influences in particular areas - like academic economics CHAPTER 2: DEFINITION OF ECONOMICS  Mainstream Neoclassical Economics focuses on: Markets and Individuals agents. Gender plays no role here.  Prototype Mainstream Method: Study market behavior using sophisticated mathematics to formalize the model in a theory section and econometrics analysis of data in an empirical section. o This prototype method is highly valued and gets a high status. o Deviations from the prototype are seen as "on the fringe" or "not economics at all". Defining Economics as: 1. A human endeavor, which reflects human limitations in understanding a reality. 2. A social endeavor, which reflects some points of view, favored by the group that makes the rules for the discipline, and neglects others. The Gender of Economics  Presence of Hierarchical Dualism in modern American Culture: o Men and masculinity associated with being public, active and rational o Women and femininity associated with being private, passive, and emotional  This dualism affects the construction of economics at two levels: o Economics as part of a larger science/scientific project  Science has been socially constructed to conform to a particular image of masculinity.  Identification of science with masculinity, detachment, domination of nature, and with superiority, and femininity with subjectivity, submission, and connection to nature. o Economics has been different from other scientific disciplines  Economics Vs. Hard Sciences (math/physics)  Takes on a feminine role: as studying human behavior is a soft subject  Economics Vs. Other social Sciences (sociology/history/anthropology)  Takes on a masculine role due to:  Having a natural unit of measure 'money' which makes quantitative analysis easier  Resisted influx of women into the discipline Gender, Value and Economic Method  Nature of Rationality from a Gender-Value Framework: o M+ as 'Arithmomorphic': concepts manipulated by formal logic o F+ as 'Dialectical': concepts include intuition, good, justice, and likelihood. o Inductive Method - start with a set of initial premises (presumptions) --> experimentation (testing) --> generalizations/conclusions  Types of Knowledge from a Gender-Value Framework o M+ as scientific: instrumental and technological knowledge o F+ as humanistic: attention t human values  Human Nature from a Gender-Value Framework o Traditional Neoclassical view of economic man  Individual Agency and Decision Making from a Gender-Value Framework o Focus on Neoclassical Economics o Do people have the agency or ability to practice a certain religion, convention, etc. in public Redefining Economics from a Gender-Value Framework  Neoclassical Economics studies: markets and the system of exchange  Instead, Feminist Economics moves away from the masculine bias, and studies: o Economic provisioning and the sustenance of life o Power relation and poverty


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