Notes pour une définition sociologique des catégories de sexe
Article | France
English title: Notes for a sociological definition of sex categories
Source: Epistémologie sociologique
Keyword(s): “sexe social” | feminist sociology | sociology of the family
Manifest: view document
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Grounded on anthropological study, this text highlights how sex categories are constructed. In France, this text is considered as the basis for feminist sociologists’ analysis of “social relations between the sexes” and then of “gender”. The author compares the historical development of studies on “social class” and “age” to show that the notion of “sex”, used as one of the three fundamental variables but for many different purposes in sociological field work, indeed holds no sociological consistency.
The analysis of theoretical or descriptive writings dealt within this text, reveals conceptual and methodological distortions when dealing with the two sex categories. “Man” as a category is present yet hidden and never specified as a socio-sexed category while “woman” is absent or viewed as a sexed category. As a consequence the problem is that there is no sociology of the sexes
except within the field of the family. The author calls for a definition of “sex” as a social category and for a homogenous approach of both categories in sociology.