An analysis of many people relying on appearance to make a judgment

Originally published as 2 Hastings Const. Reprinted in the Senate Reportpg.

An analysis of many people relying on appearance to make a judgment

Essays in Honor of Gerhard E. A Reply to Hirschfeld et al. Annual Review of Anthropology Vol. What determines men's and women's roles and positions within families? Family and kinship institutions are everywhere crucial to the status of women and men and to their cultural identities.

Women and men have strong and lasting relationships as spouses, as parents and children, and as brothers and sisters. Kinship rules define relationships at birth while marriage creates bonds between adults and often kinship groups. Family structures vary considerably, but commonly involve living together, pooling of resources, and interests bonded through a shared fate.

That such links between women and men can coexist with severe gender inequality is analytically challenging.

Not surprisingly, a lot of theoretical and empirical work has sought to disentangle and explain these relationships. Probably the two general issues in the modern world that have received the most attention concern the ways that women and men are unequal within families and the interdependence between inequality within families and the gender inequality that exists outside families, particularly within economic and political processes.

Analytical Task 1 The analytical problem.

Sontag's View

A issue surrounding analyses of gender and families concerns a distinction between two kinds of causes. The first kind are the limitations of the larger social environment, in terms of the opportunities, responsibilities, and obstructions facing women and men.

The second are the ways that women and men make choices. We want to consider how these two kinds of causes might interact. One way to think through the implications of such potentially complex causal interactions is to to examine the possibilities using very simple models.

To do this, we will focus on critical moving parts and limit the possible variation in them. In this case, we can identify three primary social characteristics. A simplified model for analysis. So, for our simplified model, let us consider some basic assumptions: Assume that all men have opportunities for decent jobs and wish to have them.

We are leaving out variations in men's relationship to the economy by holding it constant. Assume there are two possible conditions concerning the economic opportunities for women: Assume that the distribution of women's preferences could be at either of two levels: Assume that the preferences of men regarding the employment of their wives are distributed at one of two levels: Finally, assume that both women's and men's preferences about women wives in particular working influence both what kind of people they try to marry and how they individually and jointly respond to the economic opportunities available to women after marrying.

Note that these are characteristics of the population in the model, not of individuals. Taken together, these define eight possible combinations of the three characteristics some of which are empirically unlikely. Now, consider the actions possible within the simplified model.

People can marry or divorce, with most presumably being married, and with employment preferences and experience influencing mate choice. Women can take or leave jobs, with those actions influenced by all three varying conditions job availability, women's employment preferences, men's preferences about women's employment.

People can have children, although the model makes no assumptions about fertility. Men's are employed at decent jobs by default, so the model does not include changes in male employment as actions, although one could add this.

Finally, consider some of the consequences we might examine or anticipate: In short, we now have a simple model with clearly defined types of people, three varying conditions of the social environment, a limited set of actions people may take that are influenced by their predispositions and circumstances, and a limited set of consequences.

Using the model for analysis. Given the possibilities for different starting points in the model, consider what the social outcomes might be under the varied possibilities defined by the distribution of women's opportunities, the distribution of women's preferences, and the distribution of men's preferences.

The idea is to think through the various plausible combinations of the starting conditions to see where we think they might lead. We want to consider what would be the expected distribution of actions under each set of conditions, what immediate consequences that might have, and then were might it lead over time.

Some of the consequences to consider would be: To extend the analysis, we can add other possible variations. As think through the possibilities using the simple model, we must expect to find ourselves asking things such as: Thus, we might decide we need to elaborate the model to include variations in the distribution of men's work preferences, to consider the cross-cutting influence of class, to question a widening of the range of possible conditions e.

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An analysis of many people relying on appearance to make a judgment

A number of factors make up the context, including factors of time and place, the type and nature of the relationships involved, other people's reasonable expectations, and the relevant history of the situation.

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