Gender Structure Book
While the study of gender has become legitimate and even central to the field of sociology, the conceptualization of the term “gender” remains remarkably vague and disputed. In this book, Professor Risman traces the history of ideas and development of the use of gender in sociological theory, and analysis. She then offers her own feminist theory of gender as a social structure. This is a major revision of her argument about how social change towards gender equality might effectively occur with far more attention to cultural issues. The book provides elaboration of how gender is constructed and sometimes deconstructed at the individual, interactional and institutional levels. The theory is revised to pay more attention to the culture at each level of analysis. Risman then uses the gender as a social structure framework to analyze data from over a hundred interviews with Millennials. She identifies the different pathways young people today take to navigate the gender structure. The book concludes with a utopian vision for a society that has moved beyond gender. A video of Barbara describing gender structure theory has been published as a teaching tool in Sage Knowledge.
Feminists Wrestle with Testosterone
In a research study co-authored with Shannon Davis, Professor Risman is re-analyzing data which suggests “biological constraints on gender.” This analysis uses longitudinal quantitative data to assess the relative causal impact of hormones experienced in utero, remembered parental socialization, and the demand characteristics of adult social roles on women's self-reported sense of personality traits such as aggressiveness, nurturance, and ambition (e.g. usually labeled femininity and masculinity). While the authors predicted immediate life factors would be the most powerful, childhood socialization effects are most predictive of current self-reports of gendered personality traits. There remains a small but statistical effect of hormones in utero on self-reports of adult women. The research was discussed in a panel on Gender and Biology at the 2011 meetings of the American Sociological Association. The study is now published in Social Science Research.
Download Barbara's CV here: RismanCV
Research Interests: Gender Inequality, Families, Feminist Activism, and Public Sociology
Risman, Davis and Virginia Rutter. (eds). 2015. Families As They Really Are. 2nd Ed. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Davis, Shannon and Barbara J. Risman. 2014. "Feminists Wrestle with Testosterone: Hormones, Socialization and Cultural Interactionism as Predictors of Women’s Gendered Selves.” Social Science Research 49: 110-25
Adkins, Timothy, Paula England, Barbara J. Risman and Jessie Ford. 2015. "Does the Sex Ratio Matter for Hooking Up and Having Sex at College?" Social Currents 2: 144-62
Allison, Rachel and Barbara J. Risman. 2014. “It goes hand in hand with the Parties: Race, Class and Residence in College Student Negotiations of Hooking up”. Sociological Perspective 57(1): 102-23.
Allison, Rachel and Barbara J. Risman. 2013. “A Double Standard for Hooking Up”: How Far Have we Come Towards Gender Equality?” Social Science Review. Vol. 42(5): 1190-1206
Risman, Barbara J. and Georgiann Davis. 2013. "From Sex Roles to Gender Structure." Current Sociology 61(5-6): 733-55
Barbara J. Risman and Pallavi Banerjee. 2013. “Kids Taking about Race: Tween-Agers in a Post Civil Rights Era”. Sociological Forum. 28 (2), 213-235.
Risman. 2011. “Gender as Structure or Trump Card?” Journal of Family Theory & Review 3:1.
Risman, Barbara J. 2004. "Gender as a Social Structure: Theory Wrestling with Activism." Gender & Society 18(4): 429-50
Risman, Barbara J., and Pepper Schwartz. 2002. “After the Sexual Revolution: Gender Politics in Teen Dating,” Contexts 1:1.
Reprinted in Sciences Humaines, Sept. 2002 (France).
Risman, Barbara J. 1998. Gender Vertigo: American Families in Transition. Yale University Press.