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Posts Tagged ‘sociology’

A look the concepts of “semi-adapting” and racial place in society and in immigrant communities for a Nikkei Peruvian who migrated to Japan.

JAPANsociology

by Robert Moorehead

In all social processes, you have to have the word ‘inclusion’. … without that word, I’m not going to change the world, and they’re not going to change me, because they’re going to have that culture of defense [from me]. Not resentment, but defense.

Lately I’ve been working on a paper for a conference, and I’ve been fixated on an interview with an immigrant father. Juan (a pseudonym) is a Peruvian of Japanese descent who migrated from Peru to Japan more than 20 years ago. Juan expresses his frustration over what he sees as the lack of inclusion of Peruvians and other migrants from developing countries in Japan, in contrast to the greater openness to foreigners from the United States or Europe.

I don’t have a voice (in Japan), and I never will have it, because they (the Japanese) will never know what I think. But, in this…

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On counting and reporting sexuality in regards to desire, experience, and identity.

Inequality by (Interior) Design

Cross-posted at Social (In)Queery

When nationally representative surveys first started appearing that addressed issues of gender and sexual identities and practices, most people had the same question.  It was some derivation of, “How many gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans*/etc. people are there?”  And, from a sociological perspective, it’s a question often associated with a fundamental misunderstanding of how complicated a question like that actually is.

0226470202In 1994, Edward Laumann, John Gagnon, Robert Michael and Stuart Michaels published an incredible book on one of the first nationally representative surveys of the American population concerning issues of sexuality, sexual behavior, and sexual orientation–The Social Organization of Sexuality.  In their chapter, “Homosexuality,” they begin a brief section of the book on the “dimensions of sexuality” that encompasses some of my favorite findings out of the study.  In it, they write,

To quantify or count something requires unambiguous definition of the phenomenon in question.  And we…

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In this Japan gender reader: Dwango grabs some girls from the steno pool circa 1950 and puts them in tracksuits; how the koseki (family registry) continues to ostracize residents of Japan; and is the patriarchy dead–a qualified NO. Read on!

Image via Akihabara News.

Dwango’s joshi-mane: when health care is feminized. Run, ladies, run away! Image via Akihabara News.

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One of first things I learned in my very first gender studies class was the distinction between sex and gender. I feel like it was useful at the time, but that the narratives about biology vs culture have changed in the last 10 years. For example, if we assume that sex is purely biological, where does that leave trans and intersex people? If you feel strongly that you are male or female, it’s not just choosing pink or blue and that’s it–there are so many ways to do gender (boi, hard femme, soft butch, androgyne) that the personal performance of what society expects vs what we want to do begins to make the assignment of fashions, mannerisms and interests seem ridiculous. Enjoying contact sports might be “aggressive” or “athletic” but there’s no reason to assign those attributes to a gender, and, ultimately, to praise what society deems masculine and ridicule what society deems feminine. And if gender expression is dangerously conflated with ideas of biological sex, wouldn’t using self-identity for gender help dismantle the biological-cultural complex? It seems very simple and yet very radical, and I am really interested in seeing how this new idea develops in sociology.

Family Inequality

Or, the sex/gender distinction which is not one?

sexgendermaze

(This post includes research from my excellent graduate assistant, Lucia Lykke.)

Recently I was corrected by another sociologist: “Phil – ‘female’ and ‘male’ refer to one’s sex, not gender.”

Feminists — including feminist sociologists — have made important progress by drawing the conceptual distinction between sex and gender, with sex the biological and gender the social categories. From this, maybe, we could recognize that gendered behavior was not simply an expression of sex categories — related to the term “sex roles” — but a socially-constructed set of practices layered on top of a crude biological base.

Lucia informs me we can date this to Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex. In 1949 she wrote:

It would appear, then, that every female human being is not necessarily a woman; to be so considered she must share in that mysterious…

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