June 1, 2019
Books have always much to say. Some find much in novels, some in biographical works etc. In my blog today, I have decided to make book reviews. My first book is Raewyn Connell’s book named Gender and Power: Society, the Person, and Sexual Politics. Connell’s book presents a theory and the methodology of constructivist perspective for gender studies. Connell examines gender as a social structure that forms the models of masculinity and femininity.
Connell explores the history of gender theory. According to her, the rise of gender theory has gone hand in hand with some certain developments such as the decline of religious mechanisms and the rise of Freud’s theories. She also underlines the importance of psychoanalytic theory while explaining the relationship between gender and personality.
Connell explores how feminism or gay liberation movements have been important theoretical perspectives throughout the 19th century and she also discusses how all these phenomena relate to political discourse. According to the book, these theories are conflictual with one another. Connell identifies three major structures for analysis in her book, these are a) the sexual division of labour b) the sexual division of power c) The structure of cathexis. “Cathexis,” in Connell’s terms, refers to the constraints in people’s emotional attachments to one another.
One of the main motives of the book can be seen in Chapter 2. One of the main motives is to answer questions like “How can we understand the gender patterns of modern societies?”
My second book is Benedict Anderson’s book İmagined Communities:Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism In his book, Anderson mainly argues that nations are imaginatively projected before they come into-being. For instance, In chapter 3, Anderson discusses mainly about national consciousness. Anderson argues that the convergence of capitalism, printing (print capitalism), and the diversity of vernacular languages led to the birth of national consciousness. Print-capitalism created mass readerships and gradually replaced Latin. The effect of these changes was to unify language communities and foster a sense of simultaneity among their members.
Anderson also employs the example of the mass consumption of newspapers to demonstrate how print-capitalism facilitated the conception of simultaneity in relation to national consciousness.
Furthermore; Anderson attempts to explore the roots of nationalism and national identity through applying the concepts of “patriotism” and “racism”. Anderson underlines the primacy of language in facilitating national feeling, and seeks to disprove that racism arises as a result of nationalism. To the contrary, Anderson asserts, it arises out of class relations.
Each book is very important in the social sciences literature. They both make contribution to the disciplines of political science, history, gender studies (a sub-field in sociology) and philosophy.
Author : Begum Burak