Social construction gender
The Social Construction of Gender Associated with Disordered Eating Patterns. In the US alone, there is reported to be over 1 million malnourished cases. Of all the above, a significant percentage are self-imposed malnourishment, which implies that, they do not occur as a result of lack of nutritious food but rather as a result of the rush for beauty. More than ever before, women want to look and feel thin and ‘small’. This is what is in the contemporary times viewed as beauty. The media, community as well as peers have all contributed to the development.
This paper explores the concept of thinness as reflected in the contemporary society especially the role of eating disorders in the endeavour for beauty. 1. Introduction The social construction of gender has been attributed to numerous challenges facing women since time immemorial. Numerous happenings which influence or affect human beings have been given a social interpretation and therefore resulting onto the coining of the term “social construction”. The term basically refer to those belief widely held by the society which influence the interactions.
In reference to gender, social construction refers to the social process in which men and women are subjected to different conditions in an endeavour to understand better how each one functions as well as the interconnection between the two genders. Social construction aims at looking at the effects the differential treatment of women has on their social life as well as their cultural practices. Although not widely researched on, social construction of gender had much influence on eating patterns.
The fact that modernization has yielded much pressure on today’s human is a point to the fact that social construction is in action in almost all spheres of life. Unlike in the fact when beauty has not so much tied to one’s body weight/mass. The 21st century has seen a rise in the emphasis given to being slim especially on the part of women although overweight, obesity or under weight are problems that affect both gender, not is worthy noting that much of the emphasis on keeping fit in the sense of remaining slim is usually used in regard to women. From a gender perspective women are under much pressure to look and keep’ smart.
The reason why majority want to remain slim is due to social pressure which stems from the fact that many cultures and especially the western culture value slimness and views it as a lading quality of beauty. The following discussion focuses on self-scheme less space as well as lack of voice as basic concept which advances social construction of gender. On the other hand, the discussion analyses gender identity from a woman perspective while at the same discussing the valuable concepts such as the power associated with beauty as well as the pressure of period the community at large as well as the effects these have on women. . Self-Schema This refers to the experiences of people in regard to their interactions with the society. Self-schema has been defined by, Lorber, & Farrell,(1991) as the organization of personal information all related to one experiences all of which have an impact on what people do and focus on. In regard to social construction, self-schema may refer to how women perceive and describe themselves. Such may include women role in the family women and leadership, women and beauty, which is the main focus of this paper. Schema in human beings is concerned with beliefs, pas experiences in life.
In case of women various schemas can be attributed to eating disorder. These includes, what the society holder as the ideal weight, what the society beliefs to be the ideal height the ideal hair colour, the idea colour as well as what the society holds to represent heavily. The above contribute to childhood experiences as well experiences in teenage, early adulthood as well as late adulthood as well as late adult shapes ones mind set on many issues. For instances whether a lady perceives herself as beautiful cut, attractive or one of the above is greatly influenced by what she has undergone in life.
The experiences shape beliefs over perception of the general public. In regard to women and dietary habits any consistent staring aimed at an overweight or round figured lady can lead to the lady believing that the stares are as a result of her body size, shape or figure and this further contributes to social construction of women. Self schema depends and is shaped by a woman’s experiences and at the same by stimuli in the society such as reactions from people, fashion, attitudes as well as cultural and environmental factors.
Self schema on the other had is determined by the company or peers of a woman, the environment whether office or human environment. Determinants of self schema in women. Experience, how often a woman has been subjected to particular self-schema in women. Experiences of how often a woman has been subjected to particular self-schema determine how one is likely to respond or react. Importance of self-schema in women. While self schema could sometimes be detrimental to a woman’s health, the fact that some self-schema is represented positively is worth noting.
Of particular interest to feminists is the fact that women who result of self-schema hold high opinions of themselves are more likely to resist social pressures which cause many women to confirm to society’s expectations which are mostly anti feminine. Problems of self-schema Self-schema can cause a number of problems to women. Such may include the development of stereotypes which revolve around certain attributes being assigned to specific groups of people. For instance, there exists, a stereotype about the western woman being slim and tall as apposed to African who are viewed as plum and short.
Stereotypes can lead to misconceptions of facts and a lack of clear interpretation to meaning this in turn results into women suffering especially if the stereotypes come in the way of woman development issues. A. Disappear/Less Space A prejudice concerning a woman as not being beautiful for instance may put the particular woman at a disadvantage when it comes to making choices especially in her social life. For instance where prejudice of a woman in terms of her appearance and shape is dominant, chances are that the woman is more likely to suffer and be at a disadvantage compared to others who are not subjected to the prejudice. . Woman’s gender Identity Self schema may be problematic in that, they may lead to a woman being discriminated against in light of her beauty or lack of it. Since society mostly conceptual ones beauty a physical appearance, a woman may be discriminated against as account of her physical looks. This in turn may cause numerous effects in that the woman who is not equally physically endowed may miss out on opportunities she rightfully qualifies for. Woman gender identity From a gender perspective a woman has been portrayed as the weaker sex.
Although it is hard to trace the origin of this common belief, it can be attributed to the domination of man in most spheres of public life such as politics and religion. Also the religious teachings of many religious have perpetrated this understanding in that their teaching which often call for nor-compromising adherence preach about how a woman should be submissive to a man. This has had the greatest impact in the lives of more women than any other factor, for instance, a woman is more likely to be denied a place in some churches or religious purely because of the fact that the particular religion teachers that.
Power of beauty Power of beauty has been known to bring down ever the mightiest in the society. From the biblical records of King Solomon to Samson, from presidents to kings, beauty has been cited as one of the greatest assets the female gender has at its disposal. Even at household levels, beautiful women have a high bargaining then not so beautiful woman, for a beautiful woman, the beauty acts like a fall-back position and one is likely to use it to her advantage.
However beauty as a gender concept is given different interpretation from culture to culture as well as from society to society, however, the immense power those of the females who are beautiful yield makes them at bargaining. The concept of beauty and the emphasis accorded to it has meant it more of a tool of bargain than it is a natural gift endowed to a woman. Women are investing in healthy and nutritious foods as well as seeking services of beauty consultants. Overall, the role of diet and food in beauty can not be over-emphasized.
To remain beautiful, at least according to American standards one has to keep close watch on their weight, this has in turn has contributed to eating disorders. This is a big blow to proponents of health. Unlike in the past, currently the once promising trends as far as malnourishment cases in the society are concerned have started to revert and more cases of malnourishment are being reported. It is common knowledge that nowadays; women are keen to ‘keep fit’ at all costs. However, what makes the topic of interest and concern to social constructionist is the fact that the problem does not reflect in men as much as it is reflected in women.
This phenomenon has led to feminists calling far changes in the way beauty is perceived in the society so as to alleviate the impeding danger of malnourishment. Recent happenings in some beauty events early this year clearly illustrates the extent to which the problem has become another challenge for governments and other stakeholder such as health departments. Role of media Media has been termed as one of the strongest agent of change in the 21st century. From the internet to television adverts, mobile phones and computer technology.
Media in all its forms whether print or electronic is the vehicle through which the society mostly utilizes in communication. For instance, in advertisement, the medial constantly portrays the beautiful women as that who is slim slender or not weighing a lot. Due to its power of communication, audiences often fall for what the media passes across and only a few take the time to review it and give it a critical review. Thus, the media has in some sense been misused to misconstrue facts and there has altered meanings of some concepts such as beauty.
On the other hard, media can be used positively to rectify the negative perception inculcated in minds of people especially about what entails beauty. The media can come up with programmes aimed at advancing a different dimension, which perhaps de-emphasises sliminess and concentrates on other aspects such as beauty of the heart as well as beauty of being truly health through use of natural means such as healthy food, and exercises. Role of community/Team In terms of beauty at least every one grows knowing a beautiful colleague.
It is hard to fail to arrive at consensus on who is beautiful than, who usually the judgement does not need experts but each society is socially constructed in such a way that, it has attribute and even values which as highly associated with beauty, it is these values than the community and ones peers hold about being beautiful and what is beauty that, make the role of community and peer central to the understanding of beauty. The society especially peers have enhanced the constructing of beauty as thinness is that, even in most cultures, being overweight is more revered than being under weight.
This clearly points to the fact that, thinness has been taken to be a synonym for beauty and vice versa. Conclusion As long as society continues to give more power to thinner women, eating disorders will continue. Women are expected to look and act a certain way in order to have a small portion of the power men have. As feminist we must help create a society that avoids discrimination. Eventually that is the only way that we will help alleviate many issues women deal with, such as eating disorders.