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The Gendered Society [Paperback]

Michael Kimmel
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 30, 2009 0195399021 978-0195399028 4
Thoroughly updated throughout, the fourth edition of The Gendered Society explores current thinking about gender, both inside academia and in our everyday lives. Michael Kimmel challenges the claim that gender is limited to women's experiences--his compelling and balanced study of gender includes both masculine and feminine perspectives. Part 1 examines the latest work in biology, anthropology, psychology, and sociology; Part 2 provides an original analysis of the gendered worlds of family, education, and work; and Part 3 explores gender interactions, including friendship and love, sexuality, and violence.

Kimmel makes three bold and persuasive statements about gender. First, he demonstrates that gender differences are often extremely exaggerated; in fact, he argues that men and women have much more in common than we think they do. Kimmel also challenges the pop psychologists who suggest that gender difference is the cause of inequality between the sexes; instead, he reveals that the reverse is true--gender inequality itself is the cause of the differences between men and women. Finally, he illustrates that gender is not merely an element of individual identity, but a socially constructed institutional phenomenon.

The fourth edition features a new chapter on gender and religion; increased coverage of bisexuality and transgender issues; a series of text boxes ("Oh, Really?") that dispel gender myths; more photos and art; and an expanded Instructor's Manual that provides additional teaching and testing suggestions.

An expanded Instructor's Manual and Test Bank (9780199738588) includes chapter summaries, short-answer questions, essay questions, class discussions/assignments, learning objectives, and multiple-choice questions.


Essential reading for both students and scholars, The Gendered Society, Fourth Edition, is an authoritative, incisive, and lively statement about contemporary gender relations from one of the country's foremost thinkers on the subject.

Kimmel's companion anthology, The Gendered Society Reader, Fourth Edition (OUP, 2010), coedited with Amy Aronson, provides a perfect complement for classroom use. PACKAGE the textbook and the reader together and save your students 20%! Please call Customer Service at 800.280.0280 for details.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is the best textbook for a sociological examination of gender that I have seen in thirteen years of teaching. Kimmel is much more aware of gender as a socially constructed, ascribed status than any of the other books I have used or reviewed. I will adopt." --Martha Warburton, University of Texas at Brownsville

"I found this text extremely easy to read. Kimmel's writing style is engaging, interesting, and modern. The topic titles are titillating and whimsical, making this book less daunting than other texts. The information provided is well researched, and I was impressed with Kimmel's ability to show more than one point of view without being biased or reinterpreting the information to suit an agenda." --Claudia McCoy, Idaho State University

"The coverage is so much more complete than other books. This gives students a way of really seeing the different theories and how the sociological approach is a bit different. It forces them to see their taken-for-granted assumptions about the "truth" of men and women. I will definitely adopt the new edition." --Amy Holzgang, Cerritos College

About the Author


Michael Kimmel is Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook University, State University of New York. A leading researcher and writer on gender and men and masculinity, he is the author of numerous books and articles including The Gendered Society Reader, Fourth Edition (with Amy Aronson, OUP, 2010), Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men (2009), and Manhood in America: A Cultural History (OUP, 2005).

Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 4 edition (December 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195399021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195399028
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gendered Society January 3, 2011
By Ken
Format:Paperback
The Gendered Society is an exploration of current thinking about gender, both inside academia and in our everyday lives. Michael S. Kimmel challenges the claim that gender is limited to women's experiences. His compelling and balanced study of gender includes both masculine and feminine perspectives. Part 1 examines the latest work in biology, anthropology, psychology, and sociology; Part 2 provides an original analysis of the gendered worlds of family, education, and work; and Part 3 explores gender interactions, including friendship and love, sexuality, and violence.

Kimmel makes three bold and persuasive statements about gender. First, he demonstrates that gender differences are often extremely exaggerated; in fact, he argues that men and women have much more in common than we think they do. Kimmel also challenges the pop psychologists who suggest that gender difference is the cause of inequality between the sexes; instead, he reveals that the reverse is true--gender inequality itself is the cause of the differences between men and women. Finally, he illustrates that gender is not merely an element of individual identity, but a socially constructed institutional phenomenon that favors males and is highly unequal.

By the end of The Gendered Society, Kimmel leaves the distinct impression that, as a society, we can do better and he gives us the tools to bring it about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sub Par for a College Textbook January 20, 2014
Format:Hardcover
First, I'll gladly say that I'm what the right would consider a bleeding heart liberal. I do believe there is inequality among the genders and the LGBT community and that that inequality is a detriment to our [U.S.] society.

However, what really stunned me about this book is how vehemently anti-science Kimmel appears to be, except when it suits him. He's seems offended at the very idea that biologists and geneticists would even begin to try and understand the mechanisms that might affect our behavior and sexual preference. This leaves the reader with the idea that Kimmel's stance is that environment tells all. There is no amount of scientific evidence he can't dismiss with a handwave or blatantly misrepresent. The same goes for the finding's of evolutionary psychology. In one chapter (2) the hard sciences and psychological theory are summarily skewered and cherry picked.

So if science and psychology can't inform us, what can? According to Kimmel it's all environment. And oddly enough, he appears to say that sexual preference is a choice with no other mitigating factors save environment. And at the end of chapter two he actually uses an article from Newsweek magazine to back him up! Newsweek! Decades of biological and genetic studies and entire fields of psychology aren't to be trusted. But Newsweek? That's your go-to for hard evidence. A high school junior in an AP English class would be failed for using Newsweek as an academic source.

One more thing. Look at all these reviews and in most of them you'll find the discussion centering around Kimmel rather than the subject matter. This book is much more a showcase for Kimmel's opinions and a vehicle for the social sciences than it is a legitimately useful textbook.

There is useful information in the book.
Read more ›
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By J.M.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a sociology professor I'm always looking for a new text to use. Kimmel's book is good but...
- Too many assumptions and not enough facts/citations. There were several instances where he's obviously using his own opinion but stating it as fact and it's just ridiculous.
- Yes, this is a gender text but I literally left out half of 2 chapters in my class because they were so sexually graphic. And again, I think most/many of his "facts" about sex in remote parts of the world are absurd. (one man having 50 orgasms per night, every night as normal behavior???)

Would I use this text again? Only until I find a new one to use. While some of the text is very well written and informative, I found too much of it to be a waste and either too ridiculous, sexually explicit or infactual to use. sigh...
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thankfully my professor didn't require me to buy the more recent, expensive book. Kimmel's analyses are spot on and though-provoking, but he has a tendency to ramble and skip around.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Changed my life April 20, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The class for which this was assigned changed my life. Sociology of Sex and Gender. The book has a lot of good readings in it, and Kimmel's writing is accessible and powerful. Missing a few classic Soc of Gender articles, though, so four stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good February 2, 2014
By Bre
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Needed it for class and it turned out to be an interesting read with lots of information. Also in great condition
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I wasn't a fan of Kimmel's writing style... it struck me as being a weird mix of colloquial and juvenile and know-it-all. It seemed like he was using a slang term or colloquialism every other paragraph, often in conjunction with "big" words. One sentence that stood out to me was this description of the Palin family: "Who is this paragon of bad mothering, this feckless father, this slutty teenager, her randy boyfriend with this felonious mother?" Really, Kimmel? Are you tying to get on college kids' level by using offensive terms such as "slutty"? Why, of all those adjectives, was that the only word used that the average frat kid will know off the top of his head? Whose level are you trying to get on? I also agree with the previous reviews that said Kimmel makes many assumptions that he then presents as fact, and doesn't seem to have nearly enough citations.
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