Changing Women, Unchanged Men? Sociological Perspectives on Gender in a Post-Industrial Society

Changing Women, Unchanged Men? Sociological Perspectives on Gender in a Post-Industrial Society

Changing Women, Unchanged Men? Sociological Perspectives on Gender in a Post-Industrial Society

Changing Women, Unchanged Men? Sociological Perspectives on Gender in a Post-Industrial Society

Synopsis

• Is it true that women have changed and men have not?

• Is feminism still relevant?

• Are men the new underclass?

There is an enormous social science and wider literature on women, and a rapidly growing one on men and masculinity. The cliche that women have changed and men have not is well worn, yet no single text has established the truth behind this claim. Through a thorough examination of research evidence, this volume subjects that cliche to a tough, sceptical sociological analysis. Changing Women, Unchanged Men? compares the experiences of males and females in childhood, adolescence and adulthood within the main spheres of life - for example the family, education and work - and examines the issues of self, body, sexuality, and identity. For each sphere the key questions 'Have women changed? Have men stayed the same?' are posed, within the context of current sociological debates on social change.

Excerpt

In response to perceived major transformations, social theorists have offered forceful, appealing, but contrasting accounts of the predicament of contemporary western societies and the implications for social life and personal wellbeing. The speculative and general theses proposed by social theorists must be subjected to evaluation in the light of the best available evidence if they are to serve as guides to understanding and modifying social arrangements. One purpose of sociology, among other social sciences, is to marshal the information necessary to estimate the extent and direction of social change. This series is designed to make such information, and debates about social change, accessible.

The focus of the series is the critical appraisal of general, substantive theories through examination of their applicability to different institutional areas of contemporary societies. Each book introduces key current debates and surveys of existing sociological argument and research about institutional complexes in advanced societies. The integrating theme of the series is the evaluation of the extent of social change. Each author offers explicit and extended evaluation of the pace and direction of social change in a chosen area.

Sara Delamont examines changing gender relations. Her book sticks steadfastly to its primary objective, to try to judge whether, over the last century, women’s attitudes, circumstances and behaviours have changed more than those of men. This provides a structure which nicely allows for detailed exposition of studies about gender differences and for a cumulative argument about the significance of changing social institutions. The book explores topics of great contemporary relevance. It expresses strong opinions, some of which are contentious and which will no doubt be considered controversial. This book will be useful not only as a student text but also, because of its strong and distinctive position, as a stimulus to reflection and debate.

Alan Warde . . .

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