The new edition of Key Concepts in Gender Studies is a lively and engaging introduction to this dynamic field. Thoroughly revised throughout, the second edition benefits from the addition of nine new concepts including Gender Social Movements, Intersectionality and Mainstreaming. Each of the entries: • begins with a concise definition • outlines the history of each term and the debates surrounding it • includes illustrations of how the concept has been applied within the field • offers examples which allow a critical re-evaluation of the concept • is cross-referenced with the other key concepts • ends with guidance on further reading. A must-buy for undergraduate and postgraduate students in a range of social science and humanities disciplines.
The concept of gender, as we now use it, came into common parlance during the early 1970s. It was used as an analytical category to put a line of demarcation between biological sex differences and the way these are used to inform behaviours and competencies, which are then assigned as either ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’. The purpose of affirming a sex/gender distinction was to argue that the actual physical or mental effects of biological difference had been exaggerated to maintain a patriarchal system of power and to create a consciousness among women that they were naturally better suited to ‘domestic’ and nurturant roles. In a post-industrial society those physiological sex differences that do exist become arguably even less significant, and the handicap to women of ...