SOC 423 CSUSM Gillmans Consideration of Todays Society Questions

Discussion Questions

Answer each of the sub-questions within each numbered question:

(1) What might Gilman think about the status of women today in the U.S.? What evidence of the sexuo-economic relation might she find? Where might she see evidence of excessive sex distinction? In answering the questions, please keep in mind her specific definitions of sexuo-economic relation (women being economically dependent on men for their survival) and excessive sex distinction (socially constructing and exaggerating gender differences).

(2) One implication of Cooper’s work is that sociology is best written from the standpoint of the oppressed. What is the logic behind this argument? If her argument is true, then what does that imply about the depth of sociological understanding that has been achieved to date? This question should lead you to think about whose perspectives have had the most historical impact in shaping what has constituted sociological knowledge.

(3) What are some examples you can draw from your own experience that exemplify how one’s gender, race, and socioeconomic class interact to affect one’s social experiences?

(4) What are some examples that one could draw from a college campus to illustrate the operation of a “pathological relation between difference and power”? Think broadly about the politicization of difference that goes on between students, between students and faculty, faculty and administration, students and administration, etc. In what instances are differences used as an illegitimate means to differences in power and privilege? Finally, how does this concept relate to Gilman’s notion of excessive sex distinction?

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