The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-10-07
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
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This best-selling anthology surveys how and why the categories of race, class, gender, and sexuality are constructed, maintained, experienced, and transformed. The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality then moves beyond simply discussing various forms of stratification and the impact of these on members of marginalized groups by providing a thorough discussion of how such systems of stratification are formed, perpetuated, and interconnected. Readers are then challenged at the end of each reading with critical thinking questions to relate content to their lives and understand how their own attitudes, actions, and perspectives may serve to perpetuate a stratified system.

Table of Contents

* An asterisk indicates a new reading.


Part I: Constructing Differences

Examining what categories are constructed, how this is done, and why such categories of difference are constructed.

Race & Ethnicity

1. Racial Formations- Michael Omi and Howard Winant

2. Optional Ethnicities: For Whites Only?- Mary C. Waters

3. Becoming Suspects- Tram Nguyen

4. How Did Jews Become White Folks?- Karen BrodkinSocial Class

*5. Race, Homeownership and Wealth – Thomas Shapiro

6. Media Magic: Making Class Invisible- Gregory Mantsios

7. Doubly Divided: The Racial Wealth Gap- Meizhu Lui

*8. Capitalism Hits the Fan- Rick Wolff

Sex & Gender

9. The Social Construction of Gender- Judith Lorber

10. The Five Sexes, Revisited- Anne Fausto-Sterling

11. The Transgender Paradigm Shift toward Free Expression- Holly Boswell

12. Masculinity as Homophobia: Fear, Shame, and Silence in the Construction of Gender Identity- Michael S. Kimmel


13. The Invention of Heterosexuality- Jonathan Ned Katz

*14. 'If You Don't Kiss Me, You're Dumped': Boys, Boyfriends and Heterosexualised Masculinities in the Primary School- Emma Renold

15. Sexual Identity and Bisexual Identities: The Struggle for Self-Description in a Changing Sexual Landscape- Paula C. Rust

16. Naming All the Parts- Kate Bornstein

Part II: Maintaining Inequalities: Systems of Oppression & Privilege

Examining what elements of social structure work to maintain systems of stratification based on constructions of difference.

Social Institutions


*17. Fictive Kin, Paper Sons, and Compadrazgo: Women of Color and the Struggle for Family Survival – Bonnie Thornton Dill

18. Families on the Fault Line: America's Working Class Speaks About the Family, the Economy, Race, and Ethnicity- Lillian B. Rubin

19. Stability and Change in Chicano Men's Family Lives- Scott Coltrane

20. Gay and Lesbian Families Are Here- Judith StaceyEducation

*21. The Return of "Separate But Equal"- Richard D. Kahlenberg

22. Preparing for Power: Cultural Capital and Curricula in America's Elite Boarding Schools- Peter W. Cookson, Jr and Caroline Hodges Persell

23. Civilize Them with a Stick- Mary Crow Dog and Richard Erdoes

24. Missing in Interaction- Myra Sadker and David Sadker

25. Schools and the Social Control of Sexuality- Melinda S. Miceli

Work & the Economy

26. Jobless Ghettos: The Social Implications of the Disappearance of Work in Segregated Neighborhoods- William J. Wilson

*27. Discrimination in a Low-Wage Labor Market: A Field Experiment- Devah Pager, Bruce Western, Bart Bonikowski

28. The Glass Escalator: Hidden Advantages for Men in the 'Female' Professions- Christine L. Williams

29. Cause of Death: Inequality- Alejandro Reuss

The State & Public Policy

30. Welfare Reform, Family Hardship, and Women of Color- Linda Burnham

31. Beyond Crime and Punishment- Bruce Western and Becky Petit

32. No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System – David Cole

33. The Effects of Affirmative Action on Other Stakeholders- Barbara Reskin

34. The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: Racialized Social Democracy and the "White" Problem in American Studies- George Lipsitz


35. Five Decades and Three Hundred Sitcoms about Class and Gender- Richard Butsch

*36. Winnebagos, Cherokees, Apaches, and Dakotas: The Persistence of Stereotyping of American Indians in American Advertising Brands- Debra Meskin

*37. How Do You Solve a Problem Like Will Truman? The Feminization of Gay Masculinities on Will & Grace- Thomas J. Linneman

38. Metaphors Matter: Disaster Myths, Media Frames, and Their Consequences in Hurricane Katrina- Kathleen Tierney, Christine Bevc, and Erica Kuligowski

Language & Culture

39. Racism in the English Language- Robert B. Moore

40. Self, Identity & the Naming Question: Reflections on the Language of Disability- Irving Kenneth Zola

41. How to Tame a Wild Tongue- Gloria Anzaldúa

*42. Names, Logos, Mascots, and Flags: The Contradictory Uses of Sports Symbols- Stanley D. Eitzen

Violence & Social Control

*43. Climate of Fear- Southern Poverty Law Center

*44. Sexual Assault on Campus: A Multilevel, Integrative Approach to Party Rape- Elizabeth A. Armstrong, Laura Hamilton, and Brian Sweeney

45. The Construction of Masculinity and the Triad of Men's Violence- Michael Kaufman

46. Homophobia as a Weapon of Sexism- Suzanne Pharr

Part III: Experiencing Difference & Inequality in

Everyday Life

Examining the impact of constructions of difference and maintaining inequalities on members of society.

47. Making Systems of Privilege Visible- Stephanie M. Wildman with Adrienne D. Davis.

48. "Yes, I Follow Islam, But I’m Not a Terrorist"- Nada El Sawy

49. A Dozen Demons- Ellis Cose

50. Always Running- Luis Rodriguez

51. The Story of My Body- Judith Ortiz Cofer

52. Separated by Deportation- Tram Nguyen

53. "Gee, You Don't Seem Like An Indian From the Reservation"- Barbara Cameron

54. Living Fearlessly With and Within Differences: My Search for Identity Beyond Categories and Contradictions- Shefali Milczarek-Desai

55. Nickel-and-Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America- Barbara Ehrenreich

56. I Am Your Welfare Reform- Annie Downey

57. Learning to Fight- Geoffrey Canada

*58. Square Pegs: Affronting Reason- Cheryl Chase

Part IV: Resistance & Social Change

Examining how people working within individual and institutional contexts transform difference from a system of inequality to a system of liberation.

59. Toward a New Vision: Race, Class, and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection- Patricia Hill Collins

60. Cultural Resistance: Reconstructing Our Own Images- Yen Le Espritu

61. Good for the Hood?- Anmol Chaddha

62. Seeing More Than Black & White: Latinos, Racism, and the Cultural Divides- Elizabeth Martinez

*63. Dismantling Environmental Racism in the USA- Robert D. Bullard

*64. Feminism Future: Young Feminists of Color Take the Mic- Daisy Hernandez and Pandora Leong

65. Voices of a New Movimiento- Roberto Lovato

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