SOCS 325 The Influence of Patriarchy on Gender Roles

March 8, 2022
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SOCS 325 The Influence of Patriarchy on Gender Roles

SOCS 325 The Influence of Patriarchy on Gender Roles

Activity – Interview: Interview a classmate (or friend or
family member) of the other gender about the way he or she most likes to enjoy
nature, or to describe his or her most memorable experience in nature, or to
describe the aspect of being “in nature” most feared or most
disliked. Then consider the extent to which the kinds of things mentioned
differ among men and women and the extent to which they are similar. Last, consider
the extent to which any differences in men’s and women’s experiences reflect
patriarchy or reflect gender differences that do not indicate hierarchical or
patriarchal thinking and submit a paper. The paper must be double spaced,
minimum two pages in length, and in APA format.

Patriarchy represents the domination of the females by the males. It literally means,
the rule of the father. The man in a patriarchal set up is considered central and the
woman peripheral. The identity of a woman revolved around her father, brother and
husband. The researcher aims to study the origin of patriarchy and its prevalence in
our society. Are women born submissive, weak, tolerant and passive or are they
conditioned to be so? Does society encourage these gender specific roles? Feminism
was a movement which began in the 1960’s and it questioned stringent patriarchal
norms which discriminated against women. It aimed for an egalitarian society where
men and women could be considered equal.

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SOCS 325 The Influence of Patriarchy on Gender Roles

SOCS 325 The Influence of Patriarchy on Gender Roles

Key Words: Patriarchy, Gender roles, Masculine, Feminine and Feminism
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Social interactions are essential for human survival. To aid in these interactions, human beings have
developed certain norms or codes of behavior which are considered socially acceptable. These dictate the
interactions between and within groups and are also passed down through generations. Individuals are
expected to behave in consonance with these well-defined codes of conduct. The infant is exposed to the
culture he or she is born in and unconsciously assimilates the traditions and mores of society. Families consist
of male and female members and society has well defined roles for each. In patriarchy, virtues associated with
the masculine are elevated in comparison to those associated with the feminine.
Patriarchy is believed to have originated in the earliest times as a result of the biological constraints
which did not allow women to hunt as they were involved with the maternal activities of procreation, child
birth and nurturing. Men, on the other hand became the meat providers and hunting wild animals also
developed qualities of aggression and power in them. Men were catapulted in the dominant roles and women
remained passive. Later, too men took on the outside world and became the focus of economic and political
life, whereas women were almost completely excluded from these domains. Men therefore became central
and women became peripheral. The power center was with the males and grandfathers, fathers, husbands and
brothers controlled and made choices for the females in the household. Patriarchy literally means ‘the rule of
the father’. It symbolizes male domination. Matriarchy provides superior status to the women. Matrilineal
societies are prevalent in India too, where the ancestral property is handed down to the females of the family.
Kate Millett said “our civilization, like all other historical civilizations, is a patriarchy”(Millett,25).

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