Sociology is the scientific investigation of the rules and patterns governing societies
and their evolution. When applied specifically to gender issues, Sociology is related to cultural anthropology, as
well as social activism. The methods of sociology have been embraced by Feminists to construct a history and critique
of the male patriarchal system as it exists across many different cultures.
Gender issues are directly related to how different cultures define what is male
and female (Brittanica, 2007 [online]). According to studies in Sociology, some aspects of gender issues are found in nearly all
cultures universally, related to the biological functioning of the male and female, childbirth, motherhood and fatherhood.
Other aspects of gender issues, such as woman’s role in political power, voting, land ownership, or business
may vary widely from culture to culture. Some societies may be set up on a matriarchal system traditionally, providing small
scale examples of cultural relativism issues that may be applied in new social organisation methods through activism based
in Sociology and its methods. Other Sociology topics in gender issues include the nature of gender in various
languages, religion, and military structures. Recently, gender issues in Sociology have also been undertaken by gay,
lesbian, and transsexual authors for insight and perspective into the cultural determination factors associated with gender
reference and identity.
Gender issues have been a strong theme in Sociology since the time of the
Woman’s suffrage movement in the late 19th century. An explosion in studies in gender issues by Feminists
took place in the 1960’s, led by the Woman’s Liberation Movement (Wikipedia, 2007 [online]). Gender issues have also been studied in Jungian psychology through analysis of the unconscious archetypes and
mythological structures. The Sociology methods engaged in by researchers in gender issues are also related to
race and class by some authors. This furthers the activist approach by drawing in and synthesising a new political philosophy
based upon gender issues and their critique. In dominant patriarchal societies and in some societies hostile to gender
issues or minorities, this type of activism has resulted in social change, reform, and legislative revisions to institute
new rights and protections linked to gender issues. Applications of these studies in Sociology and gender
issues have had wide ranging influence with counselors and psychologists who also specialise in cases involving gender
issues and their roles in sociology (sociology.org, 2007 [online]).
Gender issues and sociology have been linked to activism in society since
the time of the Woman’s Suffrage movement. Gender issues and activism may take different forms and strategies
across different cultures to respond to the perceived forms of discrimination, domination, and repression found in a particular
society. This has resulted in legislative change in many Western European states and the Americas
pertaining to gender issues and human rights. These Sociology studies have the ability to educate those who
participate in these gender issue based movements. Gender issues and sociology are one of the most popular areas
of study at University campuses across the country today by young students engaging in activist politics.
1) URL http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9036351. Last accessed, Nov. 11th, 2007.
2) URL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism. Last accessed, Nov. 11th, 2007.
3) URL http://www.sociology.org/ content/vol001.003/nash.html. Last accessed, Nov. 11th, 2007.