A report on the guest lecture by Dr K.J Uma, on ‘The role of Women’s Studies and the Sociology of Gender in Sociology’.
This lecture was delivered on June 22, 2016 for the students of I MA Applied Sociology.
Dr Uma, an erudite scholar with expertise in the area of Women's Studies, initiated the lecture session with an overview of why one must study gender, and her emphasiswas on the differentiation of gender and sex, the concept of gender pertaining to men and women and how these perceptions and social conditions affect the people of the society to behave in a certain way. The need to redefine gender studies in India was widely spoken about by her, especially when she explained that the idea of gender studies still means women’s studies, and not really gender i.e.; all three genders (Man, Woman and Transgender).
Dr Uma further went on to explain to the class the three different approaches in the sociology of gender, namely –1. Individualistic: How men and women behave or learn to behave depending on their social sphere.2.Interactional: How men and women interact, Eg: Women are submissive and soft and men are expected to be loud and aggressive.3.Institutional : How institutions like patriarchy create social spaces for certain behaviours and norms that later become a part of being.Sociology of gender thus, according to Dr Uma attempts to put the woman in a larger sociological setup while women studies start from the feminist understanding that various institutions suppress women. The methodology used to study problems are more about women, their identities and demystifying femininity, also attempting to answer the age old question : ‘What do women want?’ in a much more socially empowering setting.
The lecture was concluded with Dr Uma throwing the floor open for comments and questions, prompting many students to clear their doubts surrounding gender and topics near. So much so, that time ran out and we were still left looking for more.
Pooja Krishnakumar, I MA Applied Sociology
Photo Credit: Sayanti, I MA Applied Sociology