Homeworks academic service


The inequalities in our society and the quest to achieve equality

Causality - What are causes, mechanisms, and the like? We casually refer to causes and effects in normal interactions all the time. We all conduct our lives — choosing actions, making decisions, trying to influence others — based on theories about why and how things happen in the world. From the early stages of childhood we attribute causes, building a vision of the social and physical world that makes it understandable.

Every action, every choice about what to do, is based on our anticipation of its effects, our understandings of consequences. Analytical and scientific reasoning has a similar form, but requires that we approach causation more systematically and self-consciously. Analytical Task The general analytical problem.

In this and other societies, women and men commonly dress differently. Prepare a causal analysis that seeks to explain why women and men dress differently.

  1. The struggles of the oppressed transformed the consciousness of the victims of oppression, but then got stuck on a narrow measure of representation that reproduced the very identities the idea of equality was meant to overcome.
  2. Partly as a backlash, there has been a greater rationalisation of the tax system during the past two decades. Furthermore, the fact that BR Ambedkar played a prominent part in shaping it gave the Constitution even more legitimacy than any of the founders could have imagined.
  3. Canadians increasingly perceive the state to be a source of security and the solver of an ever-lengthening list of problems.
  4. Indeed, it is often the reverse. To a certain extent, this is natural.
  5. There are often straightforwardly more malign representations as well.

Our analytical task this week is to attempt a "simple" causal analysis of a gender difference that is obvious but not often questioned - the way we dress. The purpose of this exercise is to get us thinking about causality. To the degree that we can, we want to try to think of different kinds of causes based on varied ways of framing the causal question. Realistically, one could easily write a book about all the possible ways of interpreting this causal question and answering it.

We are just trying to develop some sensible insights in a couple pages. The starting point of most causal analyses is a comparison. When we start with the general question "what causes X?

Examples of such questions might be "why do people in group A do X more than those in group B? If we are trying to explain some phenomenon, X, then we need to identify variations in the likelihood of X or the rate of X, and look for potential causes that 1 vary across the relevant circumstances in a way that could explain X and 2 that we can connect to the outcomes for X in some way.

For example, with the gender distinctive clothing question, some ways to better specify the question and look at it through comparisons are: What causes individual conformity to the cultural pattern? What induces women and men to conform to the expectations for dressing differently?

Whenever we observe a consistent pattern of social behavior, some common conditions or processes must be inducing people to act in a similar way. Figuring out what encourages conformity and discourages deviance allows us to provide a causal explanation.

The Topics

Think about what happens to people who do not conform to the expectations about male and female appropriate clothing. And, just as important, ask why it is that people punish nonconformists. Here the basic comparison is between people who conform and those who do not, or between the reactions of people to conformity and nonconformity. What causes differences in dress "codes" across cultures? What circumstances could exist across societies that consistently produce gender differences in modes of dress?

The clothing characteristic of each sex varies greatly across societies and time.

Seminar: What Causes Gender Inequality?

Clothing differs between "primitive" cultures and modern ones, between warm and cold climates, and between different parts of the world. But seemingly everywhere men and women dress differently.

Le Sud en mouvement

How can we explain this pattern? Here the primary comparison is between cultures that have different clothing.

The Attack on Freedom in the Name of Equality

Why do the expectations about clothing differences vary by context? Why are gender differences in dress greater in some circumstances than in others? For example, both women and men may wear similar coveralls in a factory, but women and men generally wear dramatically different clothing to formal dances.

Our efforts to find causes behind any phenomena are improved by looking at variations. If male and female clothing is just a little different in some contexts but greatly different in others, we can usefully focus on what might produce this variance in gender differences. Here the primary comparison is between contexts with greater differences in the expected clothing and contexts with lesser differences.

While considering how to explain the differences in the ways women and men dress, it can also be helpful to think through ways that this pattern could be considered an example of a larger pattern. The explanation for the broader pattern may be different or easier to develop. The gender differences in apparel and appearance adjustment more generally could be considered as one example of apparel differences that find groups defined by age, ethnicity, or region dressing differently.

That is to say, it is not only women and men who consistently dress differently. Different ways of dressing also distinguish other groups. If we think about those other groups, does it give us insights into explaining the difference between women's and men's clothing?

The gender differences in dress could be considered as one example of a wider range of behavioral differences between women and men such as rules of proper decorum, speech patterns, or displays of sexuality.

That is, we can point to other presentational differences between women and men. If we think about the range of these presentational differences, do they suggest ideas that might help explain differences in apparel? Designing Research in the Social Sciences. A Unified Framework for the Social Sciences. Varieties of Social Explanation: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Social Science. Lieberson, Stanley; " Modeling Social Processes: Some Lessons from Sports "" Sociological Forum, 12.

How is gender inequality symbolized and reproduced in everyday life? To start our investigation of the causes of gender inequality, we will consider how people experience and act out gender in their day to day lives. We want to think about the most basic questions. Why and when do women and men act differently?

Why and when do people respond differently to women than men? How do all these private individual actions when taken together over time influence the understanding of gender in a culture and gender inequality? Using a the inequalities in our society and the quest to achieve equality setting where women and men meet, assess how Ridgeway's framing approach helps explain the role of gender in these interactions and where it might fall short. For this task, we choose some familiar to us setting or type of interaction where women and men typically engage each the inequalities in our society and the quest to achieve equality.

For example, this could be a workplace, a bar, interactions between buyers and sellers, or parties. We use this as our source of empirical data and focus our argument on explaining gender interactions there.

First, we need to read Ridgeway's argument carefully. Then we try to apply her argument to the setting we have chosen. We want to assess how much we believe people's actions in the context we chose fit the expectations we can derive from her argument and when they might not. As we work on our analyses, we are evaluating Ridgeway's approach as a tool. The right tool allows us to construct a better edifice with less effort; the wrong tool does not. The remaining notes for this analytical task look at some analytical steps that allow us to think through this problem effectively.

Systematic steps in the analysis. Doing this kind of thought experiment, we want our thinking to be as systematic as possible. For all systematic causal analyses, we want to consider how the phenomenon being examined varies in regular or predictable ways across conditions, settings, types of people, places, or the like. Then, we ask what conditions or events typically precede or occur along with the outcomes that could plausibly influence those outcomes.

For example, first, we simply consider possible differences between men's and women's actions. Then we consider how their actions might differ between opposite-sex and same-sex encounters.

We can broaden the range of the examples we use to think about these differences by considering other characteristics that might affect interactions, such as the age or race of the people, whether the interaction is cordial or unfriendly, how well the people know each other, and so on.

We want to ask ourselves if the gender aspect of the interaction will be influenced by these other circumstances that seem relevant to interactions. For example, does gender influence cordial interactions differently from the ways it influences confrontations in our setting? If we believe the answer is yes, then we consider how and why.

Why we don’t talk about inequality—and how to start again

Analogously, we want to think about the ways that people's goals in gendered interactions vary in these kinds of circumstances, and how these goals influence their actions.

For example, in the same setting, a person seeking sex will commonly act differently than someone trying to curry favor or sell a product.

When we apply a systematic logic to the analysis, we usually do not want to write about all the possibilities we think about. Instead, we use the ones that we find telling. But we will not identify those telling possibilities unless we systematically work through all the relevant possible influences.

We can take the analysis of interactions another step by considering how the influence of gender on these interactions is potentially affected by conditions like: Whenever we try to explain patterns like this, we want to consider the exceptions.

When will people violate the implications of gender expectations and what follows when they do? Are there circumstances that make it more likely people will depart from conventional behavior?

Violations of norms or common expectations are valuable for causal analyses because cracks in the veneer of social order can reveal its structure and dynamics. After working through the steps above, we try to assess when Ridgeway's approach does a good job explaining how gender influences behavior in our chosen setting, and when her approach seems to fall short.

  • The marginalised suspect that most talk of equality is at best a strategy to avoid the issue, and at worst a ruse of power;
  • Concepts do not automatically translate into reality:

Do we see ways that her approach neglects or misunderstands important causes influencing the gender character of behavior in the context we examine? Our central goal here is to explain how and why gender organizes interactions in our chosen example. We are not attempting a general evaluation of Ridgeway's ideas, but a focused assessment of their effectiveness in the setting we have selected to try them out. Ridgeway, Framed by GenderChs.