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BSOC-107: Sociology of Gender

BSOC-107: Sociology of Gender

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for BSOC-107 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Sociology of Gender, you have come to the right place. BSOC-107 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in BASOH courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: BSOC-107/Asst/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: BSOC-107

Assignment Name: Sociology Of Gender

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

There are three Sections in the Assignment. You have to answer all questions in the Sections.


Assignment – I

Answer the following in about 500 words each.

1. Explain the various facets of women’s subordination in society. 20

Ans) The various facets of women’s subordination in society are as follows:

Material Basis of Subordination

Women's subordination is the result of a variety of social dynamics and institutional systems. The practical, institutional, and intellectual foundations of women's subordination are all present. Relationships of subordination and dominance are grounded in physical reality.

Institutional Basis for Subordination

  1. Family: Family is the fundamental social unit that connects men, women, and children together in a web of mutual ties and responsibilities. However, its relevance in determining men's and women's life alternatives is completely different. The sexual division of labour is defined and controlled by the family as an institution. marital norms, property division system, members' rights, duties, and privileges

  2. State: Almost all political structures in general, and the State in particular, are patriarchal in character. This organisation determines and displays whether or not male domination is legally and publicly formalised. It refers to a woman's lack of power in a specific society.

  3. Women are seen as second-class citizens in most modern religions. The justification of patriarchy and male authority are basic aspects of all religions, according to feminists. Women are physiologically defined, and so socially reliant and inferior, according to religion. As a result, women are thought to be spiritually deficient. In the religious authority structure, women have no place. Throughout the history of all modern faiths, mother goddesses were gradually replaced by male Gods. Following that, respectable women, even deities, were convinced to be god's mothers or consorts.

  4. The caste system in India fosters submission and dominance relationships. It oppresses the lowest castes and emphasises gender inequality. For both men and women in India, the caste system has religious and secular ramifications. Women's sexuality was carefully restricted in order to maintain society's segmental division based on Varna hierarchy. Women's sexuality is governed by endogamous marriages. Women's labour is subject to restrictions. The sexual division of labour is determined by the caste system.

  5. Education: In the past, education was viewed as an extension and expression of religion. It was dominated by men from the moment it became a formal institution. Because only men were considered the creators, practitioners, and users of knowledge, only men were considered the creators, practitioners, and users of knowledge. Because women had relatively limited access to formal institutions of education, they were instrumental in women's subordination.

Ideological Basis of Subordination

  1. Women's Subordination or Varnashrama dharma: Material, Institutional, and Ideological Foundations The purity and contamination ideas underpin the Varna stratification model. The Varna system creates a scale of purity in which the Brahmins are thought to have the most purity, followed by the Kshatriyas and Vaishyas, whilst the Sudras have no ritual cleanliness and are thus deemed 'polluted' and capable of 'defiling' others.

  2. Yonishuchita: The term 'Yonishuchita' refers to a woman's sexual purity. It manifests itself in the emphasis on women's chastity and fidelity. This emphasis reflects our society's multiple standards of morality. If society requires her to have sexual contact with any male, she should do it obediently as directed by her family. A woman is also continually urged to be chaste, but if a man can attract more than one lady, he has earned merit.

  3. Pativrata dharma: According to patriarchal philosophy, women's salvation and happiness are based on their virtue and chastity as daughters, wives, and widows. This ideology manifests itself in overt rules forbidding women from participating in particular activities and denying them certain rights, as well as in more subtle manifestations such as many rites, tales, and customs devoted to the well-being of the father, brother, husband, and son.

2. Elaborate relation between masculinity and violence. 20

Ans) Western culture defines specific characteristics to fit the patriarchal ideal masculine construct. The socialization of masculine ideals starts at a young age and defines ideal masculinity as related to toughness, stoicism, heterosexism, self-sufficient attitudes and lack of emotional sensitivity, and of connectedness. Boys learn to be men from the men in their lives, from their own experiences navigating our social norms, and from the large social and cultural context. Boys live under intensified pressure to display gender-appropriate behaviours according to the ideal male code. Looking at the development of aggression throughout childhood, we know that not only do aggressive behaviours can emerge at an early age, but they also tend to persist over time, without early prevention intervention.

The socialization of the male characteristics mentioned above also onsets at an early age making it a prime time-period for prevention intervention. The possibility of negative effects of harmful masculinity occurs when negative masculine ideals are upheld. Primary gender role socialization aims to uphold patriarchal codes by requiring men to achieve dominant and aggressive behaviours. The concept of gender roles is not cast as a biological phenomenon, but rather a psychological and socially constructed set of ideas that are malleable to change.

The relation between masculinity and violence:

In early childhood, violence and aggression are used to express emotions and distress. Over time, aggression in males shifts to asserting power over another, particularly when masculinity is threatened. Masculine ideals, such as the restriction of emotional expression and the pressure to conform to expectations of dominance and aggression, may heighten the potential for boys to engage in general acts of violence including, but not limited to, bullying, assault, and/or physical and verbal aggression. Joseph Pleck devised the Masculine Gender Role Strain Paradigm, which identifies three strains resulting from current culture, discrepancy, dysfunction, and trauma. Aggression can result when a man experiences stress deriving from self-perceived failure to live up to masculine expectations (discrepancy) or when he maintains normative masculine expectations. Both may result in a man’s expression of negative idealized characteristics of masculinity, such as violence towards others

Intimate partner violence, a prime example of dysfunction, reflects the feelings of distress males experience in situations that threaten their idealized masculine identity. An annual report by the Violence Policy Center, "When Men Murder Women", uses recent data to show the effect IPV perpetrated by men has on women in the U.S.: 1,686 murders included female victims and male perpetrators and 93 percent of the victims were murdered by a male they knew. In addition, according to the World Health Organization, worldwide, 38 percent of murders of women are perpetrated by a male intimate partner. Also, in the U.S., men represent more than 90 percent of perpetrators of criminal violence and 78 percent of the victims. Those from minority populations are at increased risk due to greater exposure to high-risk environments and less support when violence occurs.

Understanding the connection between negative male socialization and violence calls us to support preventative strategies that:

  1. Counter the problematic normative pressures boys face.

  2. Recognize gender-related social norms and seek to change the way men view and express themselves resulting in a shift of gendered practices, including the use of violence.

Assignment – II

Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.

3. Explain the relationship between human development and women development. 10

Ans) The relationship between human development and women development:

The role of women in developing countries, as explored throughout this module, has been recognised as the single most important factor when it comes to bringing about and sustaining long term social change. Women are farmers and food providers; they are business people and traders; they are heads of households; they are mothers, carers, and support workers; and they are community leaders, activists and role models. Development affects men and women differently, often with a more negative impact on women. Equality for women is vital economically, politically, socially, culturally, and environmentally – it is also crucially a matter of basic human rights. The ‘Women in Development’ approach emerged in the early 1970s when it became apparent women were not benefitting from development due to their exclusion from development programmes. WID made demands for women’s inclusion in development; however, it did not call for fundamental changes in the overall social structure or economic system in which women were to be included.

WID focused on women exclusively and almost outside of the mainstream of development. It focused on the interaction between women and development, rather than purely on strategies to integrate women into development. It appeared that neither men nor women were benefitting from development due to class inequalities and the unequal distribution of wealth. WAD focused strongly on class, in practical project design and implementation, it tends, like WID, to group women irrespective of other considerations such as class divisions. The ‘Gender and Development’ approach emerged in the 1980s from a coming together of many feminist ideas and lessons learned from the limitations of WID and WAD. It focuses on the social or gender relations between men and women in society and emphasises the productive and reproductive roles of women. It goes beyond seeing development as mainly economic well-being, but also the social and mental well-being of the individual.

4. Explain the various issues taken up by women’s movement in contemporary India. 10

Ans) The various issues taken up by women’s movement in contemporary India are:

It was in the early 1980s that women’s studies’ centers, functioning autonomously or within the university system, started accepting empirical and experiential evidence from the women’s movement. It was a time when participatory research, action research and subaltern studies were gaining ground in the field of social sciences as well as among the social work institutions and Non-governmental organizations focusing on specialised fields. This process indirectly facilitated the interaction of ‘women’s studies’ and the ‘women’s movement.’ Wide range of issues concerning women were extensively discussed with tremendous technical details in the first National conference on perspective for women’s liberation movement in India in December 1980. In terms of alternative cultural inputs, this conference was a trendsetter. It constituted songs, music ballets, skits, jokes, vocabulary, plural lifestyles, and multilingual dialogues. The conference made it possible for women from divergent political moorings to come together for democratic discourse. Four months later, in the first National Conference of Women’s Studies in April 1981 at SNDT Women’s University, a wide variety of issues were discussed by activists, researchers, academicians, administrators and policy makers.

These included the developmental process which bypassed women, the gender bias in textbooks, sexism in the media, gender blindness in science and technology, health needs of women and violence against women—rape, domestic violence, and prostitution. The general consensus among the participants (both women and men) was that WS was pro-women and not neutral. It was seen that WS would build a knowledge base for empowering women by pressing for change at policy level and in curriculum development, by criticising gender-blindness as well as gender-bias within mainstream academia, by creating alternative analytical tools and visions and by advocacy for women’s developmental needs in the economy and in society. This Conference established a new trend by which, gradually, women activists were invited, as resource persons and participants, to academic seminars, consultations, and training workshops.

5. Elaborate the relationship between gender and body. 10

Ans) The relationship between gender and body:

Body image research has mainly focused on women, as they are more dissatisfied with their own body and more likely to develop eating disorders compared to men. The media and society convey a thin ideal for women’s bodies, which is internalized by women and men in Western societies. Women often experience a discrepancy between their own body and the - often difficult to achieve - ideal female body, leading to the emergence of body dissatisfaction. In the last few decades, however, the ideal male body has also attracted attention. In Western societies, the ideal of a more lean, muscular, and V-shaped male body has developed, as reflected in photographs in magazines or action toys. Nowadays, therefore, men are also confronted with an ideal body that is difficult to achieve. Accordingly, various studies have found that men, like women, feel greater dissatisfaction when they are confronted with ideal body stimuli of their own sex. Moreover, a study examining eye movements on body stimuli found that women and men show longer and more frequent attention toward bodies representing the ideal compared to other bodies. This viewing pattern might provoke body dissatisfaction in everyday life.

In contrast to these similar results for women and men, studies also suggest differences between the two sexes in terms of body image. Even in childhood, girls are already more conscious about how their body weight affects their appearance compared to boys. Furthermore, girls’ body esteem is already reduced when they are overweight, whereas boys’ body esteem is only affected when they are obese. A longitudinal study showed that in adolescence, body dissatisfaction increases with time in both sexes, but the highest levels of boys’ body dissatisfaction were only as high as the lowest levels of girls’ body dissatisfaction. In line with this, girls were found to place more emphasis on aesthetic values and less emphasis on functional values of their bodies compared to boys and reported more dissatisfaction with both values than did boys.

Assignment – III

Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.

6. Explain the process to embodiment 6

Ans) In the process of embodiment design, each concept solution variant needs to be detailed such that sufficient quantities of components can be produced to evaluate all functional, mechanical, and environmental considerations identified previously. This will allow the designer to ensure that the technical product or system reliably meets the function, strength, and compatibility requirements. In addition, material characterization in the final design embodiment allows the designer to discover potential issues with SMP selection that might be poorly translated into manufacturing, assembly, and packaging during the detail design stage. As part of device development within the medical device industry, the authors have significant experience with this aspect of design. The systematic design methodology is especially useful in confirming that theoretical modeling or material properties previously thought to be well understood do not adversely translate for a given concept variant outside a well-controlled laboratory environment.

7. Explain the features of women’s’ work participation in India. 6

Ans) The features of women’s’ work participation in India:

  1. The perception of male as the breadwinner of the family despite the fact that in low-income households women’s income is crucial for sustenance. This perception adversely affects women’s education & training. Employers also visualize women workers as supplementary workers & also cash in on this perception to achieve their capitalistic motives by keeping the wage low for women.

  2. Structural changes in the economy e.g., decline in traditional rural industries or industrialization.

  3. Education & Economic independence of women & awareness amongst the masses are the most important weapons to eradicate this inhumane behavior of the society towards the female sex. We are slowly but steadily heading towards an era of change & hope to see the light of change, shine on the weaker sex, as it is called one day.

8. Distinguish between gender and sex. 6

Ans) Sex is distinct from gender, which can refer to either social roles based on the sex of a person (gender role) or personal identification of one's own gender based on an internal awareness (gender identity). Most contemporary social scientists, behavioural scientists and biologists, many legal systems and government bodies and intergovernmental agencies such as the WHO, make a distinction between gender and sex. In ordinary speech, however, sex and gender are often used interchangeably. In most individuals, the various biological determinants of sex are aligned, and consistent with the individual's gender identity. In some circumstances, an individual's assigned sex and gender do not align, and the person may be transgender. In other cases, an individual may have sex characteristics that complicate sex assignment, and the person may be intersex.

9. What do you understand by patriarchy? Explain 6

Ans) Patriarchy, hypothetical social system in which the father or a male elder has absolute authority over the family group; by extension, one or more men (as in a council) exert absolute authority over the community as a whole. Building on the theories of biological evolution developed by Charles Darwin, many 19th-century scholars sought to form a theory of unilinear cultural evolution. This hypothesis, now discredited, suggested that human social organization “evolved” through a series of stages: animalistic sexual promiscuity was followed by matriarchy, which was in turn followed by patriarchy. The consensus among modern anthropologists and sociologists is that while power is often preferentially bestowed on one sex or the other, patriarchy is not the cultural universal it was once thought to be. However, some scholars continue to use the term in the general sense for descriptive, analytical, and pedagogical purposes.

10. Explain the facets of women’s empowerment in society. 6

Ans) The facets of women’s empowerment in society are as follows:

  1. Economic Empowerment: Since women comprise the majority of the population below the poverty line and are very often in situations of extreme poverty, given the harsh realities of intra-household and social discrimination, macroeconomic policies and poverty eradication programmes will specifically address the needs and problems of such women.

  2. Political Empowerment: Women’s equality in power sharing and active participation in decision making, including decision making in political process at all levels will be ensured for the achievement of the goals of empowerment.

  3. Health Empowerment: Measures will be adopted that take into account the reproductive rights of women to enable them to exercise informed choices, their vulnerability to sexual and health problems together with endemic, infectious and communicable diseases such as malaria, TB, and water borne diseases as well as hypertension and cardio-pulmonary diseases.

  4. Educational Empowerment: Equal access to education for women and girls will be ensured. Special measures will be taken to eliminate discrimination, universalize education, eradicate illiteracy, create a gender-sensitive educational system, increase enrolment and retention rates of girls and improve the quality of education to facilitate life-long learning as well as development of occupation/vocation/technical skills by women.

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