Home/Main Menu     Site Map

Record Type: Review   ID: 866

The Social Construction of Gender

Lorber, Judith, & Farrell, Susan A. (Eds.).

In their Preface the editors note: "The focus of this reader is social structural, in that gender is seen as one of the foundations of every existing social order. In this perspective, women and men are not automatically compared; rather, gender categories (female-male, feminine-masculine, girls-boys, women-men) are analyzed to see how different social groups define them, and how they construct and maintain them in everyday life and in major social institutions, such as the family and the economy. In our view, it makes more sense to talk of genders, not simply gender, because being a woman and being a man change from one generation to the next and are different for different racial, ethnic, and religious groups, as well as . . . different social classes. What stays constant is that women and men have to be distinguishable" (p. 1).

The value of viewing gender as constructed, as far as the study of exceptional human experience is concerned, is that by showing that gender values are not fixed—that that which is constructed can be reconstructed—dislodges EHEs from their accustomed place as denigrated feminized experiences. They can then be viewed as not inherently feminine, and they can be reconsidered as experiences that both sexes have and that can be enhancing for all genders. Of special importance is the final chapter, "Dismantling Noah's Ark," by Judith Lorber. She notes: "The long-term good of feminism must be no less than the eradication of gender as an organizing principle of post-industrial society" (p. 355). If her dream were to be realized, and women and men became social equals, this would open the doors to the investigation of EHEs, which is now held back by virtue of the fact that these experiences, and those who wish to study them, have been feminized. A word must be said about the construction of this book, in which every effort has been made to make its contents accessible to the reader. Not only are the chapters briefly described in the Preface, but they are described in fuller detail in the introductions to each section.

Publisher Information:Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1991. 374p. Author info: 370-374; Chap. bibl.; 1 fig; 9 tables
Previous Record Previous
in this

List All Titles in This Category (42)

Book Reviews Menu
in this

Click a section below to move around the EHEN website.
Home/Menu       About EHEs      EHE Autobiographies      EHE Book Reviews      EHE FAQ      EHE Network      Email Talk      Experiences Library      Info/Contact      Join Us!      Living EHEs      Parapsychology      Rhea White      Web Links      Web Talk      What's New     

All website graphics, materials and content copyright © 1997-2003
by EHE Network. All rights reserved. For permissions
please contact EHEN's Executive Director, Rhea A. White.

Web Media Management by Palyne Gaenir of ScienceHorizon.

Exceptional Human Experience Network
Exceptional Human Experience Network