Key Concepts of Gender and Culture The following report presents a synthesis of notes and readings from weeks 1 through 4. Key concepts are discussed in terms of meanings and significance. The current discussion also includes a general reflection in terms of what is most significant and valuable about the concepts and stated insights. Understanding Gender The idea of a third gender – that is, neither entirely male nor female - is the centralizing concept of week 1 readings. Understanding gender is traditionally conceived as a matter of narrow phenotypic observation – that is, a person’s physical characteristics. The Hijra of India, for instance, are often viewed as men who wear female clothing and emasculate themselves by removal of male...The end:
.....o let go of the traditional and rigid dichotomy of gender. Gender, that is, should be conceived as a continuum rather than a black and white division based on phenotypic observations. Helping society embrace this notion, however, demands a deep and insightful analysis of the sources of misunderstanding, bias, and stereotyping – causal factors which are based in the very fabric of social organization. REFERENCES Bretell, C.B. & Sargent, C.F. (2005). Gender in Cross Cultural Perspective. Upper Saddle River Pearson Prentice Hall. Burke, (1981). Male Dominance: Collected Essays on Women Cross- Culturally. New York: Monthly Review Press. Capitalism: one kind of economy. (n.d.). Hager, L.D. (1997). Women in Human Evolution. London: Routledge.