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Women & Theory February 27, 2007

Posted by Abby in Networks, theory.

I remember that in our last class, Professor Comas mentioned that “women are often the main contributors to theory.” This is not to say that men haven’t thought things up themselves, but that women are more able to fully explain the concepts.

In a Women’s Studies class, we discussed how, often, women are able to recognize ‘how things work’ or the problems in the authoritative framework. This is apparently true for two reasons:

  1. Socially, the further away a group is from power, the more they recognize what the authorities are doing right/wrong. They are able to see the strengths and weaknesses within networks. Grassroots group, if informed, are usually those suffering from any injustices or failures resulting from the authorities decisions. (Women are commonly seen to be as secondary to men.)
  2. Women tend to pay far more attention to detail than men, especially in analyzing the relationships between people.

What do you all think? Agree/Disagree?



1. Stephanie - February 27, 2007

I to agree with those statements, but I wonder how much of it is based on the role women have in U.S. culture. If they were valued more, or were brought up with different gender norms, maybe this trend would not exist. If a girl in the U.S. begins her childhood dressing dolls and playing games that are more detail oriented, isn’t this just a product of the specific culture? She may learn these skills and fine tune them more than a boy, but the reasons seem to be based on something that could definitely change over times, as culture changes.

I would be curious to see if women in other countries and cultures agree or disagree.

2. wilson7 - February 27, 2007

I believe this is true and that women do pay closer attention to details then men do. I’m not saying that men do not believe that details are important its jus that something we think is minor or not as critical we may overlook while a women would take it into perspective.

3. Brian Mulligan - February 28, 2007

This was a pretty interesting cross-course post. It seems interesting that the farther a person is away from an authority position; the more they are able to analyze. I couldn’t agree more. Being completely removed allows a person to see the wrongs and rights in an organization. I know that when I look at something on campus that can be improved and that i’m not invovled in, I can make numerous conclusions that may be beneficial.

As for the other comment, I know that I would turn a female friend for relatioinship advice over one of my buddies because they have a been understanding of how relationships work and don’t.

4. Jordi - April 12, 2007

There is also a difference between a tendency and an absolute. Women may be more attentive to detail on average, not always or even mostly. Also, how much of that outcome is because women are more often in secondary or more marginal positions? Even if you are a woman Director of a Fortune 500 company, if you are the only one or one of two, you are in a minority (if nto also marginalized) position which may make you mroe aware of power distance and able to analyze details by virtue of that more distant social position.

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