Gender, Sex, and Nature Lecture 2 by ivz21134


									               Gender, Sex, and Nature
                     Lecture 2
• Announcements
• Assignment
• Name that sociologist
• Accessing online readings
• Office Hours
• Lecture:
           1. Mills and Durkheim – pearls of sociological wisdom
           2. What is Nature? What is environment?
           3. How are nature , environment, gender, sex, and sexuality
           related? “Doing Gender” and “Undoing Gender (handouts)
           4. Nature, Environment, and Sociology: An Overview
Book on Reserve at Main Library
       Circulation Desk
    ASSIGNMENT: start research on your topic
• Assignments: Choose one topic
   from these nine; complete both
   short assignments on that one Or, write on:
1. Olympics or University Sports CSI-style TV shows concerning
2. Environmental Illness             gender and environment
3. Canada’s Farm Family
4. Hysteria                       A topic related to your major
5. Music (about gender, sex,         paper or honours thesis
6. Vampires or Pirates            Something you have previously
7. Tattoos or Piercings              written about and want to
8. Video Games                       pursue it further
9. Mantracker or Survivorman



                                                                  Li Yinhe, China's first female

                                                                         sociologist on sex issues

                                          Lecture 2 c. K. Henderson
          Accessing Online Readings
For next class, Reading 1 is:
  Meston, C.M. and Buss, D.M. (2007). Why humans have sex.
  Archives of Sexual Behavior, 36 (4), 477-507.
  main page, then click on Library on the bottom left option bar

                Office Hours
• 3 options:
  – McNally 412, Wednesdays, 11:30-12:30 (right
    after class)
  – by appointment
  – email me anytime; if you don’t hear back within
    hours or one day, I likely did not receive it
   How did you acquire your set of assumptions concerning gender,
              sex, sexuality, nature, and environment?
              Were you born with these assumptions?
• “Neither the life of an individual nor the
   history of a society can be understood
   without understanding both” (The
   Sociological Imagination, 1959, p. 3).

• “Although we might embrace the normative • Keep in mind:to data;          apply theory
   community behavior and share its values,                                 never try to make your
   we are constrained by its very existence.                                data “fit” a certain
   When I fulfill my obligations as brother,                                theory. Instead,
   husband, or citizen, when I execute my                                   challenge how well
   contracts, I perform duties which are                                    existing
   defined externally to myself and my acts, in                             theories/concepts
   law and in custom“ (Rules of the Sociological                            explain or describe an
   Method, 1982, Chapter 2) (q.f.                                           event, practice, idea, or, p. 63, col.1.)

What did Durkheim call these things?                                        other phenomenon.
                      What is nature?
        What business does a social science have with
Problem                            One Remedy
• Sociologists are interested in   • Insert “environment” to sociological
                                     resaerch and environmental
  the social forces behind our       sociologists include environmental
  knowledge , beliefs, and           forces here, generating what they
  practices. That is, we are         call an ecological approach to
  interested in how these            understanding society. This means:
  collude into and out from          Great opportunities to insert
                                     empirical curiosities and questions
  social processes.                  into sociological research.
• But, that has left
  out/ignored/excluded             One Action
  environmental forces in most     • Based on your commonsense
  sociological literature. Can       knowledge and scholarly
                                     knowledge, identify what you feel is
  you name one social force that     nature, natural, or environment in
  does not implicate an              these next few photographs? Or,
  environment?                       rate how natural you think the
                                     following phenomena are ...
Point Pleasant Park after Hurricane Juan

                     Lecture 1 c. K. Henderson
                                     Red Delicious apple

                                                     Lecture 1 c. K. Henderson

                            Lecture 1 c. K. Henderson
In the following photographs, consider how nature,
environment, gender, sex, and sexuality might be
                              Human Growth Hormone added to food

                                Lecture 1 c. K. Henderson

                       Birth control

                    Lecture 1 c. K. Henderson;

                                                               Camping and Travelling

                                                                  Lecture 1 c. K. Henderson
•   Alexander Hogue, Mother Earth Laid Bare, 1938
Those photos suggest only a few of the
    innumerable tensions in social

   It seems, then, we are constantly
  “doing” gender, sex, sexuality, and
       nature every day and night.

             Why? How?
                        DOING GENDER
                   West and Zimmerman 1987
                                           1. Gender is learned throughout our lives, not just in
                                                 childhood; socialization is ongoing.
• Gender is “not so much as a set
                                           2. This suggests that gender cannot be pre-
  of traits residing within                      determined. (non-scientific/non-evolutionary)
  individuals, but as something            3. Often, we take for granted that gender is a natural
  people do in their social                      phenomenon.
  interactions. … *I+t is embedded         4. If gender is a social construction, it may therefore
  in every aspect of everyday                    be socially deconstructed.
  interactions that one’s actions in
  doing gender simultaneously              •     Here, the key concept is that of accountability …
                                                 people come to be required to be accountable for
  produces, reproduces, sustains                 every action they perform to be appropriate to
  and legitimates the social                     one’s sex category. … Any type of social
  meanings accorded to gender.                   interaction and activity[y] are potentially subject
                                                 to “doing gender” … reinforcing the notion of
                                                 ‘essential difference between females and males.’
                                                 … *G+ender differences are made to appear
                                                 natural and essential through ‘doing gender.”
                                           •     HOW WERE YOU ACCOUNTABLE TO GENDER
                                                 IDEALS SO FAR TODAY?
                               Lecture 2 c. K. Henderson
                   UNDOING GENDER
    Deutsch, F. (2007). Undoing gender. Gender and
                 Society, 21 (1), 106-127.
                                     Caster Semenya How is her
                                        experience and the social
• Just as other scholars “talk” to      response implicated in these
  each other, Deutsch’s article is      ideals to “do” or “undo” gender?
  a response to West and
  Zimmerman’s theory that            How are Durkheim’s social facts
  gender is something which is         concept and Zimmerman’s
  “done” within social                 concept of accountability
  interactions according to the        related?
  accountability of the person
  being judged; if interaction is    ON TO: An understanding of
  the site of doing gender, it can     meanings of what is “natural”
  be the site of undoing it.           concerning gender, sex, and
• That is, we need more critical       sexuality (ontology) and how
  dialogue at the very site of         we can examine gender, sex,
                                       and sexuality inclusive of
  where social facts intersect to      nature...
  construct what we call gender.
         Nature, Environment, and Sociology:
                    An Overview
                                                        When did sociology begin? In the
                                                        cave during some discussion of
                                                        the allocation of resources?

Timo Jarvikoski, at University of Oulu in Finland,
articulated the role of “nature” in sociology
extensively, finding that the role is changing more
rapidly in the past few years than the previous 1
(the following primer on this is adapted from
Jarvikoski’s article published in A. Konttinen (ed.),
Green Moves, Political Stalemates. Annales
Universitatis Turkuensis, B 215, 1996, 16-24)
   Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier
            Comte (1789-1857)
• Comte coined the term                                  Comte, along with Herbert Spencer,
                                                           began to …
  Sociology --- Application of
  scientific method on                                   - grapple with social issues such as
  society…based on empirical                                 pollution and race, issues which
  view of science developing                                 soon dropped out of the
  since around Galileo’s                                     discipline’s mainstream ideology.
  time…                                                  - But, Spencer claimed that we
                                                             cannot understand the laws of
                                                             society until we understand the
                                                             laws of nature

                                                         - The two considered society as a
                                                             social organism – very positivist
                                                             approach to understanding
                    Marx and Nature
• Karl Marx (1818-1883)
   – Marx considered his “nature*...+ a totality of needs and
     drives, which exerts a force upon me” (Grundisse Notebook
     II, 1857)
   – Through production (industrialization) and capitalism
     concepts, Marx understood that humans constantly affect
     and are affected by environments:
      • “Not only do the objective conditions change in the act of
        reproduction, e.g. the village becomes a town, the wilderness a
        cleared field etc., but the producers change, too, in that they bring
        out new qualities in themselves, develop themselves in production,
        transform themselves, develop new powers and ideas, new modes of
        intercourse, new needs and new language” (Grundisse Notebook IV,
                    Durkheim (1858-1917)
• Durkheim, considered the      • “By a social fact, Durkheim is referring
  father of sociology,            to facts, concepts, expectations that
  somewhat disagreed with         come not from individual responses
                                  and preferences, but that come from
  Comte and Spencer               the social community which
                                  socializes each of its members.
• Durkheim believed that
  social facts were the         • “Although we might embrace the
                                  normative community behavior and
  exclusive things necessary      share its values, we are constrained
  to understand and define        by its very existence. "When I fulfill
  society; anything non-          my obligations as brother, husband,
  social in other disciplines     or citizen, when I execute my
  were inadequate and             contracts, I perform duties which are
                                  defined externally to myself and my
  irrelevant to                   acts, in law and in custom."
  understanding society.           (
             The Ecological Dialogue is the main
              framework for this course: Ideal,
              Material, and Practical issues are
              explored. They are interconnected and
              not mutually exclusive of each other,
              but as Bell says, “we have to start
Lecture 2 c. K. Henderson
              talking somewhere.”
    Ultimately, this course uses ecological
     dialogue to disrupt commonsense
1. How we/society/you
                     and separate those concepts;
2. The consequences of those sets of assumptions;
3. Explore environmental practices related to those assumptions
   and consequences.

The terms nature and sociology are difficult to define, as are
  gender, sex, and sexuality; epistemological challenges,
  therefore, are expected whenever we discuss human and
  nature relationships.
                           Lecture 2 c. K. Henderson

a booming body of knowledge
                              SOCIOLOGY AND NATURE
Amazon Books

       • You/Society                                        Environment/Nature

       • Most sociology                       Since the 1970s, however,
       operates here: Why?                    sociologists are bridging society and
                                              environment: Why the shift? This
                                              course is part of this ideological shift.
                                         Lecture 2 c. K. Henderson
                    Planting the Seeds:
                  Just prior to the 1970s
• Prior to the 1970s, there was a
  minor interest in the human and                 • To these issues, traditional
  nature (society and                               sociological theories were usually
  environments) relationship within                 applied, often not sufficiently
  sociological circles.                             robust to cope with holistic (all-
                                                    inclusive) social problems
• Studies and theories were very
  social-centric, focusing mainly on:
    – natural resources (studies by rural
    – built environments (studies by
      urban sociologists)
    – environmental policy and air
      quality (political theorists and
    – Attitudes toward the environment
      (by those interested in
      environmental activism)

                                   Lecture 2 c. K. Henderson
•   First Earth Day, 1970: a symptom of the rising
    collective force of ecological consciousness –
     – By then, Senator Gaylord Nelson had convinced
                                                                                      By 1970s
       President JFKennedy and others to address the public
       about conservation; this received little media coverage.
       Nelson raised funds from universities, schools, and
       politicians; more than 20 million people attended this
       first public forum on environmental issues: a very
       significant event in the formation of environmental
     – Some say it began the modern environmental
       movement: For whom?
            •   Think culture, class, gender, age, ability, religion...
     –                            1970s Earth Day poster by
         Walt Kelly – Has much changed? Some dates:

     Dominion Parks Canada, 1911
     Sierra Club Canada, 1970
     Audobon Canada, 1971
     Endangered Species Act, 1971

     Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, 1962
     Clean Air Act, 1963
     Wilderness Act, 1964
     Endangered Species Act, 1973
     Toxic Substances Control Act, 1976

                                                          Lecture 2 c. K. Henderson
• By the 1970s, several key
  studies and texts had been
  done within a sociological
  paradigm, mainly within rural
  sociology positions and studies
  on early environmental
  activism and public attitudes
  toward central problems of the
  day (e.g., DDT spraying), and
  environmental policy

• Examples of sociological
                        Lecture 2 c. K. Henderson
                                                                                  •    15. Scientific Research, Science Policy, and Social Studies
•   4. An Ecological Approach to Environmental Stress                                  of Science and Technology in Australia
    Carson, D.h.; Driver, B.l.                                                         Ronayne, Jarlath
    American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 8-11, September 1966            Social Studies Of Science, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 361-384,
                                                                                       August 1978
    5. Quarante ans de géographie tropicale: Bilan et perspectives
    Gourou, Pierre                                                                     16. Science as a Guide in Regulating Technology: The
    Social Science Information, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 41-89, February 1971
                                                                                       Case of DDT in the United States
                                                                                       Dunlap, Thomas R.
    6. Economic development and environmental impact : international
    aspects                                                                            Social Studies Of Science, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 265-285,
    Clawson, Marion                                                                    August 1978
    Social Science Information, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 23-43, August 1971                 ... with which to make informed decisions In the case of
    ...                                                                                DDT, however, full information on its effects did not
•   9. Air Pollution: Public Attitudes and Public Action                               become available until two decades after it came into
    Johnson, Dale L.; Allegre, Robert; Burhrman, Erica; Miller, Sally; Sheldon,        widespread use This situation arose for a variety of
    Missy; Rosen, Asher                                                                reasons For some years, scientists ...
    American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 533-561, March 1972
                                                                                       17. Carcinogenic Risk Assessment in the United States
    10. Pesticide Residue Levels in Cooked Rice and Noodles                            and Great Britain: The Case of Aldrin/Dieldrin
    Funk, Kaye; Zabik, Mary E.; Smith, Waldina E.                                      Gillespie, Brendan; Eva, Dave; Johnston, Ron
    Family And Consumer Sciences Research Journal, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 44-              Social Studies Of Science, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 265-301,
    48, September 1972
                                                                                       August 1979
    ... chicken broth contaminated with lindane, dieldrin, and DDT
    compounds. The data showed small amounts of each pesticide were                    The question is posed: why were two pesticides, Aldrin
    transferred to the noodles and rice during cooking; however, some of               and Dieldrin, judged to be carcinogenic in the US but not
    each pesticide remained in the broth drained from ...                              in Britain when the same evidence was available to the
    ...                                                                                public authorities in both countries? No single cause is
•   13. Covenants Without the Sword?: Control of the Seas                              identified; rather, a ...
    Young, Elizabeth
    Armed Forces & Society, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 305-325, April 1976                     18. Finalization in perspective: Toward a revolution in
                                                                                       the social paradigm of science
    14. Scientists and Professional Responsibility: The Experience of                  Schäfer, Wolf
    American Ecologists                                                                Social Science Information, vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 915-943,
    Nelkin, Dorothy                                                                    December 1979
    Social Studies Of Science, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 75-95, February 1977
                                                                                       19. Part One Sociology of Science in the West
                                                                                       Mulkay, Michael
                                                                 Lecture 2 c. K. Henderson
                                                                                       Current Sociology, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 1-116, 1980
• Catton, Buttell, Dickens, Murphy:
   – key early (and ongoing)
     researchers on the relationship
     between industry, industrialized
     societies, and environmental
   – for example, there was an “energy
     crisis” in 1973-4 with perceived
     “shortages” of energy resources.
     Sociologists have helped us
     understand some social
     implications driving those
     “shortages” when they became
     interested in how those resources
     were distributed (or not) among
     certain social groups.
     Can you envisage a time in the
     near future when these signs will

       • Key theorists came up with the idea
         of “ecological limits” – 1972 book:
       • (1973 service
         station sign)

                                     Lecture 2 c. K. Henderson
• Despite the energetic interest, by
  the end of the 1970s
  “*e+nvironmental sociologists
  sought nothing less than the
  reorientation of sociology
  toward a more holistic
  perspective that would
  conceptualize social processes
  within the context of the
  biosphere. These lofty intentions
  [had] largely failed to come to
  fruition” (Buttel, 1987, p. 466).
                        Lecture 2 c. K. Henderson
  The Great Fizzle: Late 1970s-Late1980s
• Riley Dunlap: Decline in interest in environmental
  sociology over that decade likely due to two key
  social facts:
  – Western society, as a collective, rejected the idea that
    “natural resources” were limited – that ideal was
    unsuitable for western epistemology and lifestyles
  – In 1980, newly elected President Reagan asserted the
    view that the somewhat energy “shortages” could be
    resolved if government restraints on resources were
    lifted to promote society to buy, reproduce, work,
    produce, ...         Lecture 2 c. K. Henderson
Hence, effects were felt in the academy:
• Membership to the American Sociological
   Association (ASA)’s Section of Environmental
   Sociology dropped to under 300 in 1980 (having
   reached 321 by 1979) and then to 274 by 1983...
• The two key environmental sociology texts used
   in universities were not replaced by new
• Few environmental sociology-related papers
   were presented at ASA meetings, even those
   related to social attitudes on environmental
• Leading sociological journals curbed their
   publishing of environmental sociology articles to
   nearly nil.
• Environmental sociology courses declined,       •        These social facts about
   including the few graduate programs in this             environmental sociology leeched into
   discipline.                                             wide beliefs about sociology in
• Few job advertisements for environmental                 general:
   sociologists, both inside and beyond academia.            – Sociology? What are you going to do
                                                               with that?
• Sciences in academia were drawing larger
   numbers, also considering women
   undergraduates were increasing in

                                       Lecture 2 c. K. Henderson

•   Other sub-sociological disciplines
    persisted, however difficult, such as
    rural sociology’s studies of the effects
    of hazardous wastes, given the (by
    then) effects and media on three
    major socio-environmental events:
     – Three Mile Island, USA (nuclear reactor
     – Bhopal, India (gas explosion)
     – Chernobyl , Ukraine (nuclear reactor
•   Still, these studies were generally
    viewed as understanding the effects
    of the environment on humans and
    were not believed to generate much
    of a solution to environmental issues
    of the day.
                                            Lecture 2 c. K. Henderson
         Revitalization of Environmental
         Sociology: Late 1980s Onward
•   Largely due to shift in commonsense               •   Environmental sociology today draws
    reasoning of western societies:                       from both social and natural sciences
     – Media – environment becomes “sexy”                 and statistics; closely associated with
          •   Rainforest destruction                      “empiricism”
          •   Global warming
          •   Humans: an endangered species
          •   Environmental illness
          •   Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill
          •   NIMBY protests increasingly in media
          •   Musicians for nature in mass media (a
              topic on which you might write in
                 –   Live Aid (for Africa) 1985
                 –   1989 Bruce Cockburn
     – Politics, such as:
          •   New eco-policies in America, UK, and
          •   Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (UN)
          •   Copenhagen 2009
      Why we’re not seeking “truths” about
      nature in this course – think about our
                     diverse interpretations:
    Humans are part of nature, always and completely.
•   There is proof, in all forms, or in some form, that humans are part of nature.
•   There is no proof, in any form, that humans are not part of nature.
•   Sometimes, to some degree, humans are part of nature.
•   Some features of humans are sometimes always and completely part of nature.
•   Humans are part of nature, and have their own human nature as a subset to nature.
•   Humans have a human nature which can be sought, measured, and interpreted
•   Humans are part of nature, and are in charge of nature/ourselves.
•   Humans are part of nature, and are not in charge of nature/ourselves.
•   Humans are part of nature, and are in charge of some features and members of
    nature/ourselves at all times or some times.
•   God or another supreme being is in charge of humans/nature always and completely.
•   Humans are part of nature, affecting nature
•   Humans are part of nature, not affecting nature (is this possible?)
•   Humans are part of nature, affecting nature, but not affected by nature
•   Humans are part of nature, affecting nature, and affected by nature
•   Humans are part of nature, affected by nature, but not affecting nature. …infinity…

•   Humans are separate from nature, always and completely.
•   There is proof, in all forms, or in some form, that humans are not part of nature.
•   There is no proof, in any form, that humans are not separate from nature.
•   Sometimes, to some degree, humans are not part of nature.
•   Some features of humans are separate from nature, always and completely.
•   Because humans are separate from nature, there is no such thing as human nature.
•   Therefore, no thing called human nature can be sought, measured, and interpreted.
•   Humans are separate from nature, and are in charge of ourselves, but not of nature.
•   Humans are separate from nature, and are in charge of nature, but not of ourselves.
•   Humans are separate from nature, and are in charge of some features and members of
    nature and/or ourselves at all times or some times.
•   There is no such thing as a god or other supreme being in charge of humans and/or Nature
    at no time, or sometimes, to no degree or some degree.
•   Humans are separate from nature, affecting nature.
•   Humans are separate from nature, not affecting nature (is this possible?)
•   Humans are separate from nature, affecting and affected by nature. …infinity…

• Arbitrary, relative, or necessary relationships
  between humans and nature may be
•     constructed and/or believed according to social
• Humans may decide to consider themselves as part
  of nature.
• Humans may decide to consider others as part of
  nature or closer to nature.
• Humans may judge levels to which humans
  should/are considered part of nature.
• Humans may or may not ever understand our
  relationship with nature. … infinity…
 We can’t successfully seek and find
truths about nature because they are
    arbitrary and in constant flux.

     But we can examine social and
    individual interpretations of our
  relationship with environments and
our interpretations of what is “natural”
 concerning gender, sex, and sexuality.
                                  Next Class
Reading 1 Meston, C.M. and Buss, D.M. (2007).
  Why humans have sex. Archives of Sexual
  Behavior, 36 (4), 477-507.

Reading 2 NET Bean, M. (2007). Love lessons
  from the wild kingdom: 5 primal ways to boost
  your animal magnetism. Men’s Health, 22 (4),

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