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The Gendered Society Paperback – December 30, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0195399028 ISBN-10: 0195399021 Edition: 4th

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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: 8.9 x 0.5 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #408,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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).

Customer Reviews

The book was a really good read and I enjoyed Kimmel's writing style.
jlouine
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.
Ingersoll1969
True but could the author admit maybe a little that women actually enjoy shopping more than men?
Dan Trachtman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ken on January 3, 2011
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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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J.M. on January 3, 2011
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ingersoll1969 on 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.
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The chapters are very long and the font is tiny. I have to use a magnifying glass to read it. There also is not any vocabulary in the back of the book like a normal textbook, just numbered foot notes per chapter. If I would not have needed this for my Gender Roles course I honestly wouldn't even think it was a textbook. As far as the book itself goes, it is very informative and up to date .Some chapters can be hard to read, but even with ADHD I got through it just fine.
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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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By M. Forstrom on April 20, 2014
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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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By Bre on February 2, 2014
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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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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dan Trachtman on May 5, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a man who considers himself a feminist, I was very interested in this topic. I have often felt that our definitions of masculinity and femininity are damaging to both genders, and this book strengthened my conviction and further informed my arguments. This book is full of insightful statistics and useful cross-cultural and historical references.

But, except for a smattering of more balanced discussion, much of the book reads as men=bad, women=good. Some examples:

-In the intro he discussed an 8yr old boy's explanation of why he wouldnt want to be a girl but fails to mention all the reasons a girl might not want to be a boy (fear of physical violence, pressure to be good at sports, homophobia, etc.).

-He also exagerates what might otherwise be valid points. He states, "Women who suceed are punished for abandoning their femininity, rejected as potential partners, labeled as "dykes", left off of invitation lists". This might happen a bit, but I doubt most successful women would report such extremes.

-The author explains that the reason women have have so many more clothes than men is that its because they know that everything they wear signifies something and they dont want to send the wrong message. True but could the author admit maybe a little that women actually enjoy shopping more than men?

-He quotes an author who discuss today's conditions as if they hadnt changed in a few decades, "..the image of a successful manager or business executive is almost always an image of a well-dressed, powerful man". I now see women shown as executives more and more often.
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