This chapter introduces social theories about gender and the body. Rather than focusing on sex (that is, the physiological characteristics typically associated with maleness and femaleness) this chapter instead looks at how cultural norms for femininity and masculinity shape people’s relationship to their own bodies and the bodies of others. Examining the association of masculinity with active bodily subjects—and of femininity with passive bodily objects—this chapter studies the ways bodies reproduce and, sometimes, challenge gendered power dynamics.
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I intentionally use identity-first (“disabled people”) rather than people-first (“people with disabilities”) language here. I do so because the former reflects this chapter’s larger argument that the body—including its abilities and disabilities—is co-constitutive of self and identity, not merely a fleshy container for the self. This does not, however, mean that identity-first language is always correct; many people with disabilities prefer to use people-first language for self-identification and activism. See Liebowitz (2015) for further discussion of these two terms. https://thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/i-am-disabled-on-identity-first-versus-people-first-language/.
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Mason, K. (2018). Gendered Embodiment. In: Risman, B., Froyum, C., Scarborough, W. (eds) Handbook of the Sociology of Gender. Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76333-0_7
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