Blind to Sameness: Sexpectations and the Social Construction of Male and Female Bodies

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

What is the role of the senses in how we understand the world? Cognitive sociology has long addressed the way we perceive or imagine boundaries in our ordinary lives, but Asia Friedman pushes this question further still. How, she asks, did we come to blind ourselves to sex sameness?
Drawing on more than sixty interviews with two decidedly different populations—the blind and the transgendered—Blind to Sameness answers provocative questions about the relationships between sex differences, biology, and visual perception. Both groups speak from unique perspectives that magnify the social construction of dominant visual conceptions of sex, allowing Friedman to examine the visual construction of the sexed body and highlighting the processes of social perception underlying our everyday experience of male and female bodies. The result is a notable contribution to the sociologies of gender, culture, and cognition that will revolutionize the way we think about sex.
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About the author

Asia Friedman is assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at University of Delaware.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Jul 15, 2013
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Pages
216
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ISBN
9780226023779
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Human Sexuality
Social Science / General
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This volume explores the interrelations between bodily boundaries and vulnerabilities. It calls attention to the vulnerability of bodies as an essential aspect of having boundaries and being bound to other bodies. The volume advances an understanding of embodiment as the central aspect of subjectivity, its identity formation and its relations to others and the world. The essence of embodiment is what connects us with others and in equal measure what distinguishes us from others. The collection also addresses the centrality of the body to political and cultural activity, targeting the role and constitution of norms in the regulation of bodies, and the construction of spaces that bodies inhabit, in constructing national and cultural identities. It raises questions of how bodies and boundaries materialize in co-constitutive relation to one another; how bodies are situated and come to embody various bodies and intersections between different categories of identity and systems of value, meaning and knowledge; how the regulation and policing of bodies and the boundaries between them come to constitute bodies as being weak, strong, vulnerable or resilient and as having more or less fixed or fluid boundaries. The chapters in the volume all demonstrate how individual human bodies are formed in relation to each other as they are regulated and distinguished from one another by larger collective bodies of nature, culture, science, nation and state, as well as by other human or non-human animal bodies.
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