Gender Roles in Sociology

Womenhave been treated in the lowest manner that anyone can think of inthe past. They were, and to some extend still are considered as aweak species that are not so worth of anything good. According toconflict theorists, women are seen as disadvantaged in terms of powerinequality between men and women. These inequalities between men andwomen are structured in the social life. The society has devaluedwomen in many aspects regardless of their hard work and benefits theygive to the society. This research paper will look at gender roles,gender stratification and gender in global perspective. The structureof this research is based on the view of operationalization methodand the manner in which information is analyzed.

Manysociologists have argued that women are devalued in many ways. Thereis a lot of gender inequality in the society. This comprises ofeconomic, social as well political inequity. For instance, Conflicttheorists consider men`s historic power not to value women`s work tobe a source of inequality in terms of wage. They as well see that menget beneficial factors from the women`s work. Men get these benefitsas a group from women`s labour force. On the other hand, according toWest et al. (1995,1987) gender is produced through the way and mannerin which people interact with one another as well as interactionspeople have with one another in a social perspective. This can beseen through the manner in which people behave and appear. To put itsimply, they don`t attribute gender to be something of differentpeople but it is attributed to the social interactions. According toperalta as well, people are termed as men or women depending on howthey behave and act. If you act like a woman or a man, then youbecome one since you will be confirming the existing order ofsociology (Peralta 2002). According to this theory, people wouldalter their gender in case they behaved in a certain manner that donot confirm to the gender they belong to. For this very reason, thistheory has received a lot of criticism from other theories ofsociology. They argue that this theory does not expound on structuralbasis of oppression that women face each day (Collins et al. 1995).

Thereis also a theory of feminist when it comes to gender rolescomparison. The question then is, what is feminism? According to thedictionary, feminism is the advocacy of women`srights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. This theorybasically advocates for equality for women in the society. It seeksto know a woman`s place in the society and advocates for improvementof women the the society. Under feminist theory, there are fourdimensions of frameworks that the theory operates on. These are:liberal feminism, radical feminism, multiracial feminism and lastlysocialist feminism. Looking at liberal feminism, it originated fromBritish liberals more than two century ago. According to thisframework of feminism, inequality began in the past traditions whichare hindrances for women to excel. It basically advocates for equalopportunity for social justice as well as stresses on a person`srights as the basis for reform. This framework has brought about manychanges in legal perspective which are necessary for equality forwomen around the globe, but especially inn the United States. Theframework advocates for introduction and development of strategiesthat enhances women equality. It as well promotes the burning ofstumbling blocks to women`s progress.

Sexism,matriarchy and patriarchy are also basis of gender equality in thesociety. To understand these terms, we shall start by defining them.To start with, sexism referrers to a situation where men have morepower than women in the society. Sexism can be seen in families wherea man has power and is authoritative over his wife. Patriarchy ismore or less the same as sexism. Besides it taking place in privateinstitutions such as families, it is also practiced and seen inpublic sectors. In more public organizations, men are seen to holdmore powerful positions as compared to women. This is calledpatriarchy. Patriarchy is seen when women are denied their rightfulpositions in the society. Patriarchy is different among societies.There are those societies that do not allow women to vote or hold anypublic position and office. Other societies do not even allow womento eat from the same table with men. There are denominations that donot allow women to hold any leadership position in the church.Patriarchy, I still very common globally even though there are somesocieties that are diminishing it in a way. Matriarchy is theopposite of patriarchy. Matriarchy is defined in a traditional way asa society where women have authorities over men. Some of theanthropologists argue that matriarchy does not exist any more butresearch has shown that there are still some societies wherematriarchies exist (Sunday 2002). According to Sunday, mostresearchers have defined matriarchy in a different way that does notconcur with the societies that do not come from West.

Genderstratification is a system that is standardized. We can say it is astandardized system that is based on a particular belief system whichadvocates for the inequality of women and men. Gender stratificationcan be clearly elaborated in the way men and women earn. There is agap between these two groups. Men earn more than women do even thoughyou will find that some of these women have more level of education.We can say that the gap is in a way closing since women are earningmore, but there is still an income gap between men and women(DeNavas-Walt et al. 2010). The gap is still there despite the hugeinvolvement of women in the labor force. Women are seen to haveincreased in the labor force participation. What is labor forceparticipation rate? Labor force participation rate is a percentage ofpeople who are employed in a particular category. This can be eitherfull-time of part-time employment. When you look at this percentagekeenly in the United States, you will realize that seventy twopercent of men are in the paid labor force as compared to 60 percentof women. This means that women`s worth is still unequal. This hasdrastically changed with time. Currently, more women who havefamilies or children are in the labor force participation and it isknown that most families are being supported by women. This is seento be changing the trend. It is projected that more women willprogress in the labor force participation as the number of men willcontinue going down in a smaller percentage.

Whenit comes to religion, most religion have started giving leadershippositions to women in their denominations. Sexists andfundamentalists are raised by both Islamic as well as Christianreligions (Gerami &amp Lehnerer 2001). Media fraternity is not leftbehind as well in the steering of women power. Nevertheless, men seemto have more sophisticated and prestigeous positions as compared towomen. According to Eschholz, men are more than women on theTelevision and film field (Eschholz et al. 2002).


Despitethe fact that more efforts are being put in women empowerment, mostwomen are still seen as sex objects. This is according to AmericanPsychological Association (APA). Social scientists have a heateddebate on what is shown on the television. Most television advertsare seen to be taken by women. In songs, you will realize that mostgirls and women dance naked as compared to men! Men are alwayssmartly dressed. Why are those poses not so much done by men or boys?This tells us something: that the society is still struggling withthe position on a woman in it (American Psychological Association2007). The society still sees a woman as a sex object and women tosome extend are allowing it! Research also shows that violence by menis just one of the harms that women face. It is high time that theworld knew that that what a man can do, a woman can do even better.Men are meant to protect women and not to harm them.


DeNavaset. al (2010) The Gap Between Men and Women

Mishelet. al (2008) Feminism Theory

Sunday(2002) Understanding Matriarchy and Patriarchy