Judith Butler Performative Acts And Gender Pdf

judith butler performative acts and gender pdf

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Judith Butler Lecture Performative Acts Pdf

The social construction of gender is a theory in feminism and sociology about the manifestation of cultural origins, mechanisms, and corollaries of gender perception and expression in the context of interpersonal and group social interaction. Specifically, the social construction of gender stipulates that gender roles are an achieved "status" in a social environment, which implicitly and explicitly categorize people and therefore motivate social behaviors.

An intimately related, though notably distinct matter in feminist theory is the relationship between the ascribed status of biological sex - male and female ; and their achieved status counterparts in gender- masculine and feminine. In the context of feminist theory, the word status deviates from its colloquial usage meaning rank or prestige [2] but instead refers to a series of strata or categories by which societies are divided, in some ways synonymous with "labels" or "roles".

The semantic distinctions of "labels" and "roles" are homogenized into the term "status" and then re-differentiated by the division into "ascribed status" and "achieved status" respectively.

Within the domain of psychoanalytical and Radical feminism , status bears additional significance as a mechanism of arbitrary power; where arbitrary refers to the derivation of power from status as opposed to mutual agreement of involved parties. Therefore, the undermining and disassembly of status and status symbols is a prerequisite to liberation from arbitrary power.

Social constructionism is a theory of knowledge which describes the relationship between the objectivity of reality and the capacity of human senses and cognition.

Specifically it asserts that reality exists as the summation of social perceptions and expression; and that the reality which is perceived is the only reality worth consideration.

This is accompanied by the corollaries that any perceived reality is valid, that reality is subject to manipulation via control over social perceptions and expressions.

The social constructionist movement emerged in relation to both criticism and rejection of Objectivism developed by Russian-American writer Ayn Rand. Specifically, in the assumption of a positivist basis for knowledge; which is to say that social constructionism rejects the notion that empirical facts can be known about reality, where as objectivism is defined by it.

Though not explicitly reliant on it, much literature on the subject of social constructionism focuses on its relationship in many facets to hierarchy and power. This intimacy demonstrates the close inspirational source of Marxist doctrine, as utilized in the works of Foucault and his writings on discourse. The work The Blank Slate of Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker , demonstrates the existence of socially constructed categories such as "money, tenure , citizenship , decorations for bravery, and the presidency of the United States.

Instead, the autonomy and biologically informed nature of human existence. Which therefore assets that the perception of the creation of independent meaning is an illusion created by manipulation of social perceptions and expressions. They also argue that both the materialist and discursive theories of social construction of gender can be either essentialist or non-essentialist.

This means that some of these theories assume a clear biological division between women and men when considering the social creation of masculinity and femininity, while other contest the assumption of the biological division between the sexes as independent of social construction. Gender is used as a means of describing the distinction between the biological sex and socialized aspects of femininity and masculinity.

As a social construct, gender is considered an achieved status by feminist theory, typically though not exclusively one which is achieved very early in childhood. The view as achieved is supported by the contemporary constructionist perspective, as proposed by Fenstermaker and West, asserts regarding gender as an activity "doing" of utilizing normative prescriptions and beliefs about sex categories based on situational variables.

These "gender activities" constitute sets of behavior, such as masculine and feminine, which are associated with their sexual counterpart and thus define concepts such as "man" and "woman" respectively. It is noted, however, that the perception as masculine or feminine is not limited or guaranteed to match the expression's typical or intended nature. Hence, gender can be understood as external to the individual, consisting of a series of ongoing judgements and evaluations by others, as well as of others.

Gender roles are a continuation of the gender status, consisting of other achieved statuses that are associated with a particular gender status.

In less theoretical terms, gender roles are functional position in a social dynamic for which fulfillment is a part of " doing gender " [12]. Empirical investigations suggest that gender roles are "social constructs that vary significantly across time, context, and culture". Levant and Kathleen Alto write:. A recent synthesis of meta-analytic studies of gender differences provides strong evidence for a social construct understanding of gender.

Ethan Zell and colleagues examined more than 20, findings from 12 million participants comparing men and women on topics ranging from risk-taking to body image. The authors found that the majority of effects were very small to small, indicating far more similarities than differences between genders. American philosopher Judith Butler makes a distinction between gender performativity and gender roles, which delineates between the social behaviors of the individual seeking to express the behavior which articulate their own perception of their gender; and behavior which creates the perception of compliance with societal gender expressions in aggregate.

This is not to imply that participation in gender performativity can not correspond to pressure to fulfill a gender role, nor that fulfillment of a gender role can not satisfy the desire for gender performativity.

The distinction refers primarily to context and motivation, rather than particular behaviors and consequences- which are often closely linked.

In some subdomains of feminism, such as intersectional feminism, gender is a major though not solitary axis along which factors of oppression are considered, as expressed by Berkowitz, who wrote "The gender order is hierarchical in that, overall, men dominate women in terms of power and privilege; yet multiple and conflicting sources of power and oppression are intertwined, and not all men dominate all women.

Intersectionality theorizes how gender intersects with race, ethnicity, social class, sexuality, and nation in variegated and situationally contingent ways". Berkowitz also asserts that gender at large, especially gender roles, contribute greatly as a prolific and potent avenue by which manipulations of social perceptions and expression manifest reality.

Specifically, a reality in which women are typically oppressed by men within a social structure that establishes roles for women, which are of explicitly lesser capacity for accruing and exercising arbitrary power.

The system which manifest and exercises this power, is typically referred to as "patriarchy". To clarify, the term arbitrary here is used to denote the source of power as being derived from status as feminist theory describes it. The particular model of patriarchy prescribed, does not make any distinction of stratification or power originating from competence or prestige.

Anthropologist Catherine L. Besteman observes the differences in gender roles in the context of parenting by Somali Bantu refugees in Lewiston, Maine ; The separate roles communicate the agency of individuals based on their gender — agency in which males tend to be favored in terms of social power. Girls seemed to be "under increasing scrutiny to behave respectably as parents attempted to protect them from America's public sexual culture in the only way they know they know: early arranged marriage and lots of responsibilities for domestic tasks".

The distinction between the responsibilities of boys and girls define the refugees' children's understanding of what it means to belong to a particular gender in America with association to "parental authority". Gender identity is a related concept, which instead of referring to the external social understanding developed between persons, gender identity refers to the internal sense of ones own gender on an individual scale.

Primarily, as its actualization is entirely internalized it prevents external parameterization or communication as those are external social behaviors.

The first of which is a psychoanalytic theory stating:. Initially, both boys and girls are believed to identify with their mothers. However, at between 3 and 5 years of age this changes, and children identify with the same-sex parent. Identification with the same-sex parent is pre-sumed to resolve the conflict children experience as a result of erotic attachment to the opposite-sex parent and jealousy toward the same-sex parent. This attachment causes children much anxiety as they fear retaliation from the same-sex parent.

The principle contention being that gender differentiation in children is motivated by sexual attraction to the parent, as well as negative emotion, fear, and anxiety regarding threats or retaliation from the same-sex parent. In this, they also describe this as resulting in "boys' castration anxieties.

Additionally, no description is provided of the methodology by which Bussey and Bandura derived any data from children to reach the conclusions of precisely the feelings being experienced during adolescent development, nor how children of age 5 were able to articulate their feelings at being "deprived of a penis".

Additionally, no analysis or method is provided explaining how any of this information could be collected in testing the theory nor how the data could be assembled such as to provide a clinical model of childhood development. They continue, providing cognitive-developmental analysis of their findings proposing that "Gender identity is postulated as the basic organizer and regulator of children's gender learning" and that "children develop the stereo-typic conceptions of gender from what they see and hear around them".

Their works asserts that after children develop this concept, they also develop "gender constancy—the belief that their own gender is fixed and irreversible". Children then act in a way that fulfills their conception, as cognitive consistency is gratifying. This model does not account for the fluidity of gender asserted by persons like American Psychologist Lisa M. Diamond who explains is not a stable, fixed trait — rather, it is socially constructed and may vary over time for an individual.

It is unclear whether this contradiction occurs as an inconsistency in terminology or as a contradiction of two claims. Other proposed models include that of the Gender Schema Theory, which conjectures that the development of gender identity, is a process of self identification which must precede the ability for "children to label themselves and others as males or females".

Bussey and Alburta note its similarity to the cognitive-developmental analysis, but do not clarify how these similarities manifest.

They differ, however, in that the Gender Schema theory proposes the development of gender as a tool for developing children to better categorize and define the social behaviors around them, and contributes to the development of a growing and expanding model.

Additionally, the cognitive-developmental analysis asserts that in a developing child the concept of gender is immutable once established, however the Gender Schema theory does not require this assumption, instead leaving the possibility that a developing child may refine and curtail their gendered differentiation according to experiences as they develop and thus produce a more nuanced and individual model than may have been initially received during early and uncontextualized adolescent experiences.

Fourth, Bussey and Bandura discuss the biological theory of gender differentiation. The various theories which follow this track as described include that gender differentation is motivated as a social manifestation of ancestrally inherited differences concerning "mate preferences, reproductive strategies, parental investment in offspring, and the aggressive nature of males.

This context is an unusual one, and no elucidation is provided as to how or why this particular lens of understanding proto-civilization social dynamics of evolving humans was selected. Analysis of mitochondrial DNA of humans back to the most recent common ancestor implies that the rate of reproductive success among females was significantly higher than males, in a journal published by the Journal of Theoretical Biology.

The female could in most cases escape, if wooed by a male that did not please or excite her; and when pursued, as so incessantly occurs, by several males, she would often have the opportunity, whilst they were fighting together, of escaping with, or at least temporarily pairing with, some one male. Darwin and others after him however noticed the ornamentation of females to imply a difference in the human species, but this theory was largely ignored until recent contemporaries continue the work.

This theory is further reinforced by the rapid evolutionary departure from chimpanzees, among whom females are not sexually selective and with lesser childhood burdens. It is for these reasons that a model of battle, rape, and a lack of male investment in offspring is inconsistent with prevailing scientific literature despite being a published work reflecting on the gender distinctions which derive as a result of ancestral sexual dynamics on an evolutionary timescale.

In general, the work of Bandura and Bussey, despite its prolific citation and endeavour to detail the mechanisms of gender identity as a fact of childhood development, is internally inconsistent, and contradictory to other relevant works on the topic and riddled with indications of bias or ulterior motives.

See the presentation of Gender Schema as the only theory which presents gender differentiation as being of utility to the development of a child, while also claimed as similar to the model which presents gender differentiation as an immutable and parasitic side effect of social imposition.

The study features intense, concentration on the sexual eroticism of children, and the existence of intense neurotic emotion in response to fantasy concerning absence or mutilation of same and opposite sex genitalia, but this is presented absent information as to how this information was extricated from subjects analyzed, or measure to prevent psychological projection onto malleable adolescent subjects in an environment where the subject matter is explicitly predicated on volatile neurotic emotional response to sexual social pressure from adult figures.

Additionally, it lacks analysis of controls for selection bias or parental factors and is yet the first theory presented and analyzed by a child gender developmental study. The work concerning evolutionary biological theories adopts a very specific lens, which describes the ancestral social paradigm as one predicated upon, rape, coercive violence, and abandonment of females by their male counterparts which not only is absent all socio-cultural analysis and later diverted to focus on hormonal patterns and other physiological phenomena; but is also a model which directly contravenes the prevailing literature on sexual selectivity, evolution, and proto-civilizational social dynamics in humans.

Additionally, it stands in contradiction to itself and other works which cite it, by the repeated conflation of biological sex, male and female, with gender, gender identity, and their confluence at the concepts of man and woman. A distinction which is fundamental to feminist theory of gender as an achieved status and sex as an ascribed status. The broadly encompassing comprehensive work of Babdura and Bussey in their summary analysis reflect a complete internal inconsistency of the body of work it represents- which includes dozens of other oft cited studies referenced within itself- as well as total incongruence with prevailing scientific theory on adjacent subjects of biology in a form that is prolific and continuously cited decades after publication.

In recent years, elementary schools in the U. Hermann-Wilmarth and Ryan acknowledge this rise in representation, while critiquing the way that the limited selection of books present these characters with an eye towards popularized characterizations of homosexuality.

Diamond and Butterworth argue that gender identity and sexual identity are fluid and do not always fall into two essentialist categories man or woman and gay or straight ; they came to this conclusion via interviewing women that fall into a sexual minority group over the course of ten years.

The perception of sexuality by others is an extension of others' perceptions of one's gender. Heterosexuality is assumed for those individuals who appear to act appropriately masculine or appropriately feminine. If one wants to be perceived as a lesbian, one must first be perceived as a woman; if one wants to be seen as a gay man, one has to be seen as a man.

LaFrance, Paluck and Brescoll note that as a term, "gender identity" allows individuals to express their attitude towards and stance in relation to their current status as either women or men. Turning the scope of gender from a social consensus to objectivity to one's self-identification with a certain gender expression leaves much more space for describing variation among individuals. While men and women are held accountable for normative conceptions of gender, this accountability can differ in content based on ethnicity, race, age, class, etc.

Hurtado argues that white women and women of color experience gender differently because of their relationship to males of different races and that both groups of women have traditionally been used to substantiate male power in different ways. White women are accountable for their gendered display as traditionally subservient to white men while women of color may be held accountable for their gendered performance as sexual objects and as recalcitrant and bawdy women in relations with white men.

West and Fenstermaker conclude that doing gender involves different versions of accountability, depending on women's "relational position" to white men. Gender, according to West and Zimmerman, is not simply what one is, but what one does — it is actively produced within social interactions. The performance of gender varies given the context: time, space, social interaction, etc. The enactment of gender roles is context dependent — roles are "situated identities" instead of "master identities".

In other words, individual perceptions of ""knowledge" or reality

‘Bodies (that) matter’: the role of habit formation for identity

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Judith Butler

Performativity is the concept that language can function as a form of social action and have the effect of change. The concept is first described by philosopher of language John L. Austin when he referred to a specific capacity: the capacity of speech and communication to act or to consummate an action. Austin differentiated this from constative language, which he defined as descriptive language that can be "evaluated as true or false".

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In this case, gender is constituted in the mundane acts of the body; the performative acts constitute gender. In other words, gender is not the starting place; it is an identity repeatedly constructed through time, and it is always constructed through the body. You do not have gender first and then choose to perform it; rather, gender is created by the act of your performance. This performance is informed by what is already historically constituted as gender and is performed by the individual through acts of the body. We are forced to do gender in polarity because there exists an agency which has constructed the binary gender system as determinate.

The constitution of subjectivity, in other words, requires at the most basic level some kind of bodily performativity. Alternatively, this paper will provide a phenomenology of habit formation that re-introduces the body not as thematic materiality, but as lived materiality. The body will therefore be conceived as something which is already skilful and creative, sensitive and vulnerable, and ultimately, as Butler anticipates, responsive to the intertwinement of individual and social aspects of identity formation. In this regard, I will argue for a performative theory of bodily habitual identity.

Judith Pamela Butler [2] born February 24, is an American philosopher and gender theorist whose work has influenced political philosophy , ethics , and the fields of third-wave feminist , queer , [3] and literary theory. Butler is best known for their books Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity and Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex , in which they challenge conventional notions of gender and develop their theory of gender performativity. This theory has had a major influence on feminist and queer scholarship. Butler has supported lesbian and gay rights movements and they have spoken out on many contemporary political issues, [7] including criticism of Zionism , Israeli politics , [8] and their effects on the Israeli—Palestinian conflict. Their mother was raised Orthodox , eventually becoming Conservative and then Reform , while their father was raised Reform.

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She argued that gender, rather than being an essential quality following from biological sex, or an inherent identity, is an act which grows out of, reinforces, and is reinforced by, societal norms and creates the illusion of binary sex. Finally, we suggest a number of concrete ways in which experimental social psychologists can incorporate notions of gender performativity and gender trouble into the ways in which they research gender.

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Performative Acts and Gender. Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory. Judith Butler. Philosophers rarely think about acting in the.

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Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and. Feminist Theory. Judith Butler. Theatre Journal, Vol. 40, No. 4.

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