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Discuss how various social institutions reproduce gender discrimination in the US.

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gwan | (Level 1) Honors

Posted July 8, 2013 at 1:48 AM via web

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Discuss how various social institutions reproduce gender discrimination in the US.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 8, 2013 at 2:00 AM (Answer #1)

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Sociologists generally speak of five major social institutions.  These are the family, the economy, politics, education, and religion.  Not all of these always work to reproduce gender discrimination, but some of them do at some times.  We must also note that not all people will always agree on when gender discrimination is being reproduced.

It is possible to argue that the family reproduces gender discrimination.  Historically, women have ended up doing the bulk of the work at home taking care of the house and the children.  Men are seen as the “head of the household.”  This, arguably, reproduces the idea of male supremacy.

The economy can also be said to reproduce gender discrimination.  Women are paid less than men are even when they have similar qualifications.  Fewer women than men reach the highest positions in companies.

In politics in the US, there also appears to be bias.  Women are underrepresented in positions of power in the US.  Liberals argue that conservative positions on issues like abortion are part of an attempt to prevent women from having an equal place in our society.

Education is sometimes said to steer women away from types of education that typically lead to prestigious jobs.  Women are said to be steered away from things like math and science.

Religion is sometimes blamed for reproducing gender discrimination.  Some churches do not allow women to be pastors.  Some churches teach that women should submit to their husbands.  In these ways, religion can arguably reproduce gender discrimination.  

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