Last updated: May 16, 2019
Topic: BusinessAgriculture
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Stratification By Gender Essay, Research Paper

Social stratification is a system which exists in most

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societies, and distinguishes between persons and/or groups

harmonizing to their socially-defined properties, and gives them

different positions harmonizing to these properties. This system is

so widespread because worlds constantly show fluctuation, with some

being better skilled at certain things than others, and these

differences lead to people going more or less

“ utile ” to society. What this essay will look at is

the ways in which gender division is treated in two different

societies ; the Kwaio of the Soloman Islands, and the Yanomamo of

South America. The grounds for this stratification will be

explored, and decisions will seek to be drawn about whether it

is biological factors or cultural values which determine the

stratification. One descriptive anthropology is that of the Kwaio of the Solomon Islands.

In this society, adult females are excluded from all sacred rites, and

are by and large viewed as inferior to work forces. Their lower status is

based on the position that the Kwaio have of adult females ” s organic structures

being potentially fouling. The Kwaio believe that the

micturition, laxation, menses and procedure of childbearing in

adult females are fouling agents which can do negative effects on

the work forces and the highly of import sacred rites. The

organisation of this society revolves wholly around this impression

of pollution ; their colonies are organised so that the

domestic homes are in the centre, but there is a frightened

work forces ” s house in the North, from which adult females are banned, and

a contaminated adult females ” s country from which work forces are banned. ? When a

adult female is flowing or giving birth, she must retire to the

contaminated country, off from any male members of the society. What this division consequences in is the praising of the male

members of the society. Merely they are considered superior plenty

to pass on with the adolo ( hereditary shades ) , and merely they

may execute any frightened rites. The inquiry this raises is

whether or non this stratification by gender is in truth based on

biological factors. Although procedures such as menses are

biological, the Kwaio have no existent grounds that adult females ” s

biological procedures are fouling. One could therefore argue

that it is in fact cultural values which are runing within

this society ; as the Kwaio have imposed their cultural values

onto the biological factors of adult females. This is likely because

this gives the Kwaio work forces a ground for sing adult females as inferior.

It is interesting that menses and childbearing, the two

procedures which work forces are physically unable to execute, are viewed

as the most polluting. The anthropologist Margaret Mead one time said

that “ Men enviousness adult females because they can give birth and

sustain life & # 238 ; . It seems as if this statement applies to the

Kwaio ; because the work forces in this society can non see these

procedures, they have turned them into negative qualities which

heighten their high quality alternatively of doing them look

inferior. Within the Yanomamo society of South America, there exists a

clear male-female division within the societal organisation of the

community. This society is male dominated, with females regarded

as inferior. This is apparent in the manner in which the female and

male kids are raised ; female kids begin to assist with the

family jobs and baby-sit their younger siblings long earlier

male kids even begin to believe about such things. Most misss

are promised to work forces for matrimony long before they reach pubescence,

and, one time they are married, their position, every bit good as their

quality of life, does non better significantly. The hubbies of

these adult females often scold and beat their married womans, and anticipate

their married womans to be willing and able to transport out undertakings such as

fixing the flushing repast every bit shortly as they return to their

places. It could be assumed that since there seems to be no biological

ground for there being such a division in the position of adult females and

work forces, that this stratification is due to the cultural values of

the Yanomamo. As wom

nut are given undertakings such as the collection of

firewood and family jobs, it is clear that they are viewed

as being physically capable of executing most undertakings, so this

biological difference is ruled out. There seems to be no position of

adult females holding negative biological factors such as in the instance of

the Kwaio society, so it would look as if it is the

Yanomamo ” s civilization which has developed as sing work forces as

superior non for their biological differences to adult females, but for

another, or a combination of other, grounds. It is virtually

ever the instance in societies that one sex is viewed as superior

to the other, and the logical thinking behind the work forces being superior in

Yanomamo society is likely linked to their being those who hunt

and hence are the chief suppliers within the society. In both the societies examined in this essay, it has been the

male gender which is the superior gender in society. The deficiency of

existent grounds for biological factors being responsible for this

stratification has led to the decision being drawn that it is

in fact cultural values which govern the division, even though

these may be masked as being due to biological factors. What has

non been mentioned so far is that these cultural values include

the attitude of the adult females in these societies towards the societal

stratification. The fact that the adult females in both of these

societies have non taken a base against their lower status

farther supports the theory that cultural values are responsible-

it is surely non the female biological makeup which prevents

these adult females for seeking to do a difference, but alternatively their


? Work force in Tahiti and Semai Tahiti, an Island in Polynesia, has a much less pronounced

distinction between maleness and muliebrity so most

societies. Furthermore, the Tahitian construct of maleness does

non necessitate work forces to move as suppliers and defenders. There is

small demand for work forces to take physical hazards since there is no

warfare, and there are few unsafe businesss. The laguna

offers a plentiful supply of fish so hazardous deep-sea fishing is

non necessary. Families co-operate together in economic

activities and there is no societal force per unit area to be economically

successful. It besides encourages work forces to be timid and inactive, They

are expected to disregard abuses and really seldom fight one another.

Tahiti work forces are neither protective of their adult females, nor genitive

towards them. A Gallic adventurer found that Tahitian work forces were

highly hospitable and even offered him their girls. The Semai people live in cardinal Malaysia. Both work forces and adult females

are strongly opposed to force and aggression. Aggression is

denoted by the word “ punan ” , which besides means

“ tabu ” . The Semai attempt to avoid anything that

frustrates another individual and goes against their wants. As a

effect, both adult females and work forces are normally expected to hold to

a petition for sex, even if they are married and the individual

bespeaking sex is non their partner. There is really small green-eyed monster

and Semai work forces and adult females tolerate the extra-marital personal businesss of

their partners as being no more than a loan.

The Semai do non prosecute in competitory athletics, and are non

mercenary. Work forces do non hold to vie with each other because

agriculture is co-operative and if one adult male has excessively small to acquire by.

he merely asks another adult male for some of his. It is punan to

garbage. Although the Semai do Hunt, and hunting is reserved

entirely for males, the hunting is non unsafe or hard.

They runing nil larger or more unsafe than little hogs,

they stop runing before midday when it gets excessively hot, and “ if

they encounter danger, they run off and conceal without any shame

or vacillation ” . There are some differences between work forces and adult females in both

Tahitian and Semai society ( although amongst the Semai they are

non peculiarly pronounced ) , neither has a cultural image of the

“ the existent adult male ” . Gilmore suggests that the unusual

features of maleness in these societies may ensue from

the stuff fortunes in which the societies exist.