Deceptive Distinctions: Sex, Gender and the Social Order

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9780300041750: Deceptive Distinctions: Sex, Gender and the Social Order
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In this important book a leading feminist scholar surveys and critiques gender research in a range of disciplines, showing how distinctions between the sexes are maintained by ideology and social controls.
A model of sociological common sense, as well as of scholarship . Epstein addresses basic theoretical, methodological, and epistemological concerns that cut across most sociological specialties.  This book is required reading by every gender sociologist . It should be read as well by sociologists whose specialty is not gender, and especially by theorists of all stripes . This is truly the capstone work of a mature scholar.” Janet Saltzman Chafetz, Social Forces
Deceptive Distinctions really has two agendas.  The first, based on a review of a wide range of scholarship, much of it quite recent, is to argue that men and women are overwhelmingly similar and that any differences between them are socially constructed.  The second is to develop a sociology of knowledge in which the intellectual roots of scholarship on women serve as a case study.  Epstein’s project is not only timely but ambitious as well.” Naomi Gerstel, Women’s Review of Books
In this sophisticated and incisive critique, Epstein ranges from sociobiology to linguistics and from politics to psychiatry to iterate her position that gender differences are often used to support the existing structure rather than to advance our understanding or expand our horizons.” Carol C. Nadelson, M.D., American Journal of Psychiatry
Epstein’s informative critique makes clear [that] the position of women is not an isolated problem’ but the inevitable result of a complex system of power, opportunity, and incentive.  Epstein shows [how] dichotomous thinking still rules our lives.... By bringing together what sociology knows to the contrary, she has helped move society toward a solution.” Beryl Lieff Benderley, Psychology Today
Co-published with the Russell Sage Foundation.   

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From Publishers Weekly:

Research on gender over the last 15 years has brought out the overwhelming similarities between women and men. Yet, as Epstein's meticulous scholarly survey decisively illuminates, male-dominated institutions and ways of thought perpetuate gender inequality by dividing the world into "masculine" and "feminine" sphereswith supposed male traits being assigned a higher value. A sociology professor at the City University of New York, Epstein ( Woman's Place ) unravels the mechanisms for keeping women subservient in the workplace, the family, politics and everyday life. Women, she insists, participate in the male conspiracy by allowing themselves to be either put on a pedestal or relegated to lower forms of enterprise. In an outstanding synthesis of feminist scholarship, she knocks proponents of fashionable theoriesfeminist psychoanalysts, brainlateralization experts and sociobiologistsas well as the male guardians of establishment thought.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

An intelligent overview of gender research in sociology and related fields, this book goes further, presenting Epstein's own conviction that gender distinctions, and the resulting inequality of men and women, are not for the most part natural but are imposed by the social order. Epstein discusses biases as well as findings in studies of personality, biology, social structure, public policy, work, and family over two decades. Her excellent guide for students and scholars provides insight into the intellectual history of sociology. It will also fuel vigorous discussion, both in and out of the classroom, on the timely topic of gender. Mary Drake McFeely, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Athens
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780300046946: Deceptive Distinctions: Sex, Gender, and the Social Order

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ISBN 10:  0300046944 ISBN 13:  9780300046946
Publisher: Yale University Press, 1990
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