A Summary Of Gender As Structure By Barbara Risman

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Summary of "Gender As Structure" by Barbara Risman Critics struggle to understand how gender influences authors and readers, focusing usually on gender as something that exists purely in individuals. The author Barbara Risman demonstrates how what social scientists call "a gender perspective" gives us new insights into literary texts. Gender theory, as conceptualized by Barbara Risman in Mapping the social landscape, which builds on the work of other contemporary social science researchers, offers different conceptual levels of analysis--individual, interactional, and institutional--that are all influenced by gender as a structure. The key to understanding Risman's notion of gender as structure lies in understanding her belief in the inadequacies of current ways of thinking about gender. Risman argues that theories that locate gender only in the individual, only in institutions, or only in interaction oversimplify the complexities of gender. Locating gender in the individual, for example, as sex-role and socialization theories do, makes gender something static. These theories presu...

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