The Sex and Gender Section sponsors a number of awards for outstanding scholarship. We are pleased to announce the following distinguished contributions to the field. Information about nominating scholars and scholarship for awards for the current year and a listing of past award winners is available here:
Congratulations to the 2020 Section Award Winners!
Sociology of Sex and Gender Distinguished Article Award
Laura T. Hamilton, Elizabeth A. Armstrong, J. Lotus Seeley, and Elizabeth M. Armstrong
“Hegemonic Feminization and Intersectional Domination”
Sociological Theory, 2019
We examine how two sociological traditions account for the role of femininities in social domination. The masculinities tradition theorizes gender as an independent structure of domination; consequently, femininities that complement hegemonic masculinities are treated as passively compliant in the reproduction of gender. In contrast, Patricia Hill Collins views cultural ideals of hegemonic femininity as simultaneously raced, classed, and gendered. This intersectional perspective allows us to recognize women striving to approximate hegemonic cultural ideals of femininity as actively complicit in reproducing a matrix of domination. We argue that hegemonic femininities reference a powerful location in the matrix from which some women draw considerable individual benefits (i.e., a femininity premium) while shoring up collective benefits along other dimensions of advantage. In the process, they engage in intersectional domination of other women and even some men. Our analysis re-enforces the utility of analyzing femininities and masculinities from within an intersectional feminist framework.
Sociology of Sex and Gender Distinguished Book Award
Miriam J. Abelson
Men in Place: Trans Masculinity, Race, and Sexuality in America
University of Minnesota Press, 2019
Men in Place is a timely intersectional analysis that pushes forward gender by demonstrating how place is not merely additional but central to the performance of gender. Drawing on an extensive set of ethnographic and interview data with trans men across the United States, Abelson illustrates how masculinity is a relational construct that is accomplished by “just right” performances tailored to specific audiences and cultural environments. By skillfully placing the intersections of gender, race, and sexuality at the heart of the analysis, Abelson offers us a masterful intersectional analysis that is necessary to the sociology of sex and gender.
Remaking a Life: How Women Living With HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality
University of California Press, 2019
In Remaking a Life, Watkins-Hayes offers us an eloquent illustration of how gender is constituted and reconstituted through racialized trauma, resistance, and medicalization, and in the process, Watkins-Hayes challenges existing literature on gender and the cultural meaning of diagnoses. Remaking a Life is a field-changing book beyond the sociology of gender that will serve as a model for theoretical, empirical, and methodological feminist analyses for years to come. Remaking a Life is a must read not only for sex and gender scholars and those committed to intersectionality, but also medical and organizational sociologists as well as public policy advocates and practitioners.
Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia
New York University Press, 2019
In Fearing the Black Body, Strings meticulously and ambitiously documents how the gendered body is iteratively produced by gendered white subjects through art, capital, colonization, and race. Fearing the Black Body is an innovative empirical and methodological contribution to the sociology of gender, particularly in how Strings creatively excavates historical record and presents the data. Strings beautifully charts how gendered bodies are imagined, produced, and re-inscribed onto racialized subjects and subjectivities. Fearing the Black Body is a must-read groundbreaking book that skillfully shows how gender and race intersect to shape what society considers to be beautiful.
Sociology of Sex and Gender Feminist Scholar Activist Award
Ophra Leyser-Whalen, University of Texas at El Paso
Sociology of Sex and Gender Sally Hacker Graduate Student Paper Award
“The Cognitive Dimension of Household Labor”
American Sociological Review, 2019
Household labor is commonly defined as a set of physical tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and shopping. Sociologists sometimes reference non-physical activities related to “household management,” but these are typically mentioned in passing, imprecisely defined, or treated as equivalent to physical tasks. Using 70 in-depth interviews with members of 35 couples, this study argues that such tasks are better understood as examples of a unique dimension of housework: cognitive labor. The data demonstrate that cognitive labor entails anticipating needs, identifying options for filling them, making decisions, and monitoring progress. Because such work is taxing but often invisible to both cognitive laborers and their partners, it is a frequent source of conflict for couples. Cognitive labor is also a gendered phenomenon: women in this study do more cognitive labor overall and more of the anticipation and monitoring work in particular. However, male and female participation in decision-making, arguably the cognitive labor component most closely linked to power and influence, is roughly equal. These findings identify and define an overlooked—yet potentially consequential—source of gender inequality at the household level and suggest a new direction for research on the division of household labor.
“Herbivorous Men, Carnivorous Women: Doing Masculinity and Femininity in Japanese ‘Marriage-Hunting’”
This remarkable paper starts with a powerfully subtle insight: while scholarship on gender hybridity tends to focus on masculinity, gender is necessarily relational. Accordingly, this paper analyzes hybridity by focusing on 35 dyadic romantic relationships between young men and young women in Japan. It unravels hybrid femininities alongside hybrid masculinities as relational practices shaped by structural declines in men’s power and broader gender expectations. The paper rigorously advances our understanding of how everyday practices of masculinity and femininity are retooled to reproduce gender hegemony as contemporary Japanese society is restructured—a finding that has implications for societies throughout the globe.
Section on Sex and Gender
American Sociological Association