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This landmark text introduces readers to the field of women's studies by analyzing the contradictions between social and cultural "givens" and the realities that women face in society. Written collectively by nine authors from various disciplines, Women's Realities, Women's Choices, Fourth Edition, has been updated to incorporate the latest research and statistics in the field. Covering the most recent developments in politics, labor, family life, religion, and culture, the book also features extensive research on relevant social issues, such as the impact of the post-Soviet world on women's lives, the experience of homosexuality in family life, and the effects of economic globalization on women worldwide. Examining women as individuals, as family members, and as a force in the greater social fabric, Women's Realities, Women's Choices remains the most timely, comprehensive, and compelling introduction to the field of women's studies.
New to This Edition
* An updated conceptual organization * A focus on transnational feminism and globalization * An entire chapter devoted to intersectionality and differences among women * Updates to every chapter, reflecting changes in the field and in the world
The Hunter College Women's Studies Collective is made up of nine authors from various disciplines, all affiliated with Hunter's Women's Studies Department. The authors are: Linda Alcoff, Jacqueline Nassy Brown, Sarah Chinn, Florence Denmark, Dorothy O. Helly, Shirley Hune, Rupal Oza, Sarah B. Pomeroy, and Carolyn Somerville.
Table of Contents
Each chapter ends with a Summary, Discussion Questions, and Recommended Readings.
Boxes and Tables Preface Foreword to the Fourth Edition The Authors Introduction: Why Women's Studies? Adding to our Knowledge About Humans Changing Views of Women and Men Gender Now History of Women's Studies The U.S. Women's Movement: a Brief History How This Book Presents Women's Studies
PART I: Defining Women and Gender
1. Cultural Representations of Women Culture, Representation, and Gender Experience, Perception, and the Construction of Reality The Construction of Gender in Culture and in Ourselves Language as a Cultural System The Relationship Between Language and Culture Changes in Language Enduring Symbols of Women Images of Women in Mythical and Religious Texts Changing Representations of Women's Sexuality The "Sexual Revolution" and its Legacies Women's Sexuality in Recent Popular Culture Can We Change Reality by Changing Images? Reshaping Representation Women's Search for Self Through Art Historical Perspective. Women's Search for Self Through Literature Women as Heroes Telling Other Stories Writing as Political Activism Representation in the Internet Age Gender in Film: A Case Study
2. Ideas and Theories about Women and Gender Why Ideas and Theories Are Important Ancient and Early Modern Ideas about Women and Gender Classical Liberalism and Feminism Wollstonecraft Mill and Taylor Contemporary Liberal Feminism Socialism and Feminism Marx and Engels Gilman Goldman Contemporary Socialist Feminism Simone de Beauvoir Woman as "Object" Woman as "Other" Contemporary Feminist Debates Radical Feminism and Cultural Feminism Black Feminism Postmodern Feminism Psychoanalytic Feminism Ecofeminism Transnational feminism Contemporary Feminist Philosophy Rethinking "Knowledge" and Values of Inquiry The Ethics of Care The Nature of Gender
3. Intersectionality Sexism and Racism Sexism and Heterosexism Historical Foundations of Intersectionality Anna Julia Cooper Angela Davis Audre Lorde Combahee River Collective Gloria Anzald˙a Intersectional Approaches to Feminist Activism Shifting Policy Demands Global Intersections Intersectional Approaches to Feminist Scholarship Intersectional Identities Research Methods Debates over Intersectionality
4. Learning, Making, and Doing Gender What Is Gender? Sex Versus Gender Gender Expression Traditional Explanations for Gender Differences Anatomical and Evolutionary Differences Psychoanalytic Theory Neurobiological and Hormonal Explanations Feminist Critiques of Theories of Gender Feminist Psychoanalysis The Importance of Culture The Importance of Relatedness Rethinking Biology How Do We Learn Gender? Cognitive-Developmental Theory Social Learning Theory Gender Schema Theory Social Interactions and Gender Roles Performativity Theory How Gender is Enforced Alternative Gender Arrangements Historical Challenges to Gender Gender Outside the Binary
5. Gender and the Politics of The Body Feminism and the Body Mind/Body Dualism The Body as Natural The Nature of Sex Differences The Gendered Brain The Sexed Body: Hormones, Chromosomes, and Genitalia Discourse/Knowledge/Power Gender and The Medicalization of the Body Discourses of Sexuality Feminist Philosophers and Anthropologists Rethink the Body The Female Body on the World Stage: Two Case Studies Bodies as Battlegrounds Female Genital Cutting
PART II: Women's Relationships, Women's Selves
6. Families and Their Configurations The Family as an Evolving Social Organization The Nuclear and Extended Family Conventional Marriage: Why Marry? Whom to Marry? The Traditional Marital Household The Incorporated Wife Children in the Family Elders in the Family Marriage and Gender Roles in the United States in a Historical Perspective Extramarital Experiences Divorce Widowhood Alternatives to Conventional Marriage in the Past Religious Communities Laboring Communities Utopian and Experimental Communities Families in the Early Twenty-First Century Changes in the Global South Changes in the Global North "New" Family Configurations Blended/Stepfamilies Single-Parent Families Consensual Unions: Cohabitation, Domestic Partners Multiracial Families Families We Choose Same-Sex Families Visiting Unions, Living Apart Together Transnational Families Role Reversals Choosing Not to Mother, Childless Couples Women on Their Own
7. Mothers Images of Mothers Representations of Motherhood in the West "The Happy Mother": A Western Image as Political Ideology The Impact of Class, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States Motherhood and the Media Mothers Speak Out Parental Behavior: "Instinct" and Culture Motherhood: Ideology and Reality The Assignment of Motherhood: Whose Interest Does It Serve? The Cultural Shaping of Biological Events Attitudes about Pregnancy Childbirth: A Cultural or a Natural Event? Breast-Feeding: Attitudes and Choices Support Systems: Fathers, Women's Networks, and Institutionalized and Societal Support Fathers Women's Networks, Community, and Institutionalized Support Childrearing Experts Choices and Control: The Politics of Motherhood Whether, When, and How Often to Become a Mother Control over Children Working for Wages "Unnatural" Mothers: Mothers Who Give Up Their Children Women Other Than Birth Mothers Who Mother Lesbian Co-mothers Stepmothers Foster Mothers and Adoptive Mothers Godmothers 8. Growing Up and Growing Older Girlhood Daughter in the Family Female Infanticide and Neglect The Value of Daughters Naming the Daughter Daughters' Work Parental Relationships Daughters and Mothers Daughters and Fathers Daughters in Varied Family Configurations Sibling Relationships Sisters as Opposites and Companions Sister-Brother Relations Sisters as Sources as Strength Inheritance Women Growing Older The Double Standard of Aging Life Events and Role Transitions Midlife to Later Adulthood Divorce Widowhood Singlehood Parenthood Grandparenthood Housing Transitions Work Force Changes Retirement The Sisterhood of Women
9. Women's Health The Women's Health Movement Redefining and Reframing Health Why "Women's" Health? Health, Gender and Human Rights Reforming the Health-Care System Uncovering the Gender Dynamics of Western Medicine Woman as Deviant Woman as "the Weaker Sex." The Gendered Profession of Medicine The Medicalization of Life Processes Menstruation to Menopause Birth Control and Sterilization Abortion Childbirth Sexuality Impact of Social and Cultural Disparities on Women's Health Health Status and Risks Poverty Racial/Ethnic Discrimination Occupational Health Risks Violence Physical Abuse Rape and PTSD Women and Physical Health: Some Specific Concerns Heart Disease Cancer Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Infections including HIV/AIDS Hysterectomy Osteoporosis Alzheimer's Disease Women and Mental Health Gendered Differences Homophobic Bias Depression Women as Special-Risk/Vulnerable Populations Refugee Women Women with Disabilities Older Women Incarcerated Women
PART III: Women in Society
10. Women and Education Women's Choices, Women's Constraints Men as the Measure of Knowledge The Rise of Feminist Scholarship Women's Choices, Women's Constraints Education as a Contested Arena: Who Should Be Taught? Gender, Educational Participation, and Illiteracy Globally Women's Struggles for Formal Education in the Past European Colonization and Women's Education Women's Struggles for Education in the Developing World Today Broadening U.S. Educational Participation: Racial Desegregation and Title IX Affirmative Action and Diversity in Higher Education Globally Education as a Contested Arena: What Should Be Taught? Women's Traditional Knowledge Formal Knowledge Defined by Men The Goals of Women's Education Debated The Debate in the United States Schools as Socializers of Gender Inequities Elementary Schools Secondary Schools Higher Education Educational Institutions as Gendered Workplaces Educational Barriers of Girls/Women in Diverse Communities in the Global North Gender and Cultural Assimilation Indigenous/Native Peoples' Experiences African American Experiences Immigrant Experiences Multicultural Education/Ethnic Studies as Resistance The Contemporary Struggle for Equal Access to Knowledge Re-entry/Adult Women Women: The New College Majority? Is There a Male Crisis in Educational Access? Transforming the Curriculum Empowering Women Learners Educational Achievements of Women's Colleges Debated Women's Struggles to become Scientists Women's and Gender Studies
11. Women and Religion Religious Beliefs What Is Religion? Religion and Social Reform Established Religions Religions in Small-Scale Societies World Religions The Non-Religious Origin Myths Females in the Supernatural World Immortal Women: Souls, Saints, and Ghosts The Gender of God Religion and Social Controls Religion and the Family Life-Cycle Rituals. Sexual Controls. Protection of Women Beyond the Family Women as Worshipers Syncretistic and Evangelistic Religions Women and Religious Movements The Piety Movement Varieties of "Fundamentalism" and Women's Human Rights Secular conservatism Women as Religious Leaders Healers Missionaries and Martyrs Religious Rebels Religious Expression The Religious Experiences of Women Women and Possession Women and Religion in the United States Leadership by Women Protestant Denominations Jewish Denominations Catholicism Feminist Contributions to Religious Change
12. The Labor of Women Division of Labor by Gender Maintenance of the Domestic Unit Women's Work in the Marketplace The Contribution of Women to Economic Development The Domestic Mode of Production Food Production Maintenance Exchange and Marketing The Capitalist Mode of Production Urbanization and Class Distinctions Working for Wages: Its Organizational Prerequisites Women's Work Globalization and the Transformation of Work Self-Employment Unemployment The Politics of Work: Barriers and Strategies Sexual and Gender Harassment Social Support for Working Women Laws Against Sexist Job Discrimination Equal Pay-Comparable Worth The Impact of the Women's Movement
13. Feminism and Politics Feminism and Politics Political Power What Is Power? Power and Authority Types of Government Women's Political Power in the Past Patterns of Male Dominance Women as Political Leaders Recent Political Gains of Women in the United States Political Gains of Women in Office Around the Globe Do Women in Office Make a Difference? Right-wing Women Obstacles Facing Women in Politics The 2008 and 2012 US Presidential Elections Women as Citizens The Struggle for the Vote Equal Rights Amendment Women and the Law Women's Political Participation Women and Peace Movements Global Feminism and Human Rights