Classical Theorists

1553 Words7 Pages
The dominant voice in sociology is white, heterosexual and male. This is certainly true of the “Classical” theorists and forefathers Georg Simmel and Max Weber. Over the years Sociology has recognized different voices in the tradition, opening the doors for feminist theory and theorists such as Candace West, Don H. Zimmerman, Judith Butler, Patricia Hill Collins, Dorothy E. Smith, and Raewyn Connell. These sociologists attempt to offer a different standpoint from the dominant one, a standpoint that can find some of its roots in the works of the sociological forefathers. West and Zimmerman’s Doing Gender was a seminal sociological work. The authors asserted, “the essential male and female natures are an achieved status of objective fact, they provide the rationale for the differing fates of women and men” (Kivisto 2011: 319). Max Weber’s views on status compliment this idea. Weber states “a status group can exist only to the extent that others accord its member prestige or degrading, which removes them from the rest of social actors and establishes the necessary social distance” (Coser 1977: 229). West and Zimmerman go on to discuss the difference between sex, sex category, and gender. They also concentrate on gender, submitting that instead of an essential part of our nature it is an act we portray daily (Kivisto 2011). West and Zimmerman take on gender was revolutionary but at its very foundation is the idea of status in American society. Generally, gender difference has been used to subjugate the female sex category. Georg Simmel also dealt with status in his essay on Fashion. He discussed the lower class acquiring material items to mimic higher classes. Similarly, West and Zimmerman discussed gender displays a... ... middle of paper ... ...2011). Many jobs that are considered masculine make more money, such as businessman and pro football players. While teachers, nurses, and cleaning ladies traditionally female positions barely make a enough to survive. It says a lot about what gender we value in society. Arguing for a living wage from a feminist stand point, would highlight the contradictory act of teaching one thing and practicing another. The feminist perspective might point out that feminine and masculine are social constructions. This ideal would equalize the sex category female and male (Kivisto 2011). Making “female” activities as valuable as male activities. They would accept knowledge from all groups. Use a variety of standpoints to make decisions about wages (Kivisto 2011). Try to dismantle the gendered hierarchal structure of the university and disavow “masculine” and “Feminine”.
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