Gender performance impact on identity
Gender is a broad term used to describe the characteristics of males and females. In gender discussion, this is called masculinity or femininity. Gender and sex can be used to refer to the same thing. Gender is a broad term, is interpreted based on the context in which it was used. It could mean social gender, gender identity, or just sex. Sex is viewed in a more limited scope as it is the overall state of being either male or female (Lee, 1993, p.58).
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The meaning of gender was recently redefinition after arguments and pressure from feminists. They sought to distinguish between the biological aspects of the social contrasts of gender. It is, therefore, not surprising to find several definitions of gender and their supporting arguments. In this section, we look at the influence of gender on the construction of identity.
Gender motivated identity is termed as gender identity. It refers to the self-categorization of a person as being either male or female. The society contributes immensely to this identification by placing certain expectations and responsibility on a person depending on his/her gender. As a man, one will be expected to live to a certain standard and way of conduct (Peletz, 2007, pp. 103).
A woman is faced with more challenges than her male counterpart. This is brought about by the society having a subjective identity that has been culturally conditioned and constructed. Women argue that certain domineering belief systems put women below men while they perform a more central role in shaping and influencing society. In other words, they are trying to change the gender identity expectation of the female gender to have a more pivotal and recognized position. They are gearing for a more qualitative consideration of their contribution. Women aim at acquiring the authority of being entrusted with bigger roles than they have previously been allocated (Bierhoff et al., 2000, p.68).
To have a better understanding of gender identity, we should consider the element of social identity. This is the formation of a group of people with similar identities and the same cultures. It is tied with gender identity, which classifies people together as belonging to a particular gender. Social identity theory proves that the self-concept of a person is derived from belonging to a particular group. It is mainly influenced by the interactions between the members of the groups. The self-concept generated within these groups defines the social structure the individual will form. It will determine their actions and reaction to society and the role that the group members are supposed to play in the groups.
Gender does lead to the formation of the explained social groups, which later define the expectations and responsibility of different people depending on their sexual orientation. All over the world, societies have determined, through gender identity and social identity, the kind of resources, rights, and powers that are subject to a person (Wade, 1990, p.75).
Gender identity is as a result of human thinking and perception through the various social groups. Due to this perception, gender identity disorder has cropped in. This is a condition that impacts a person’s identity as male or female. People who suffer from gender identity disorder are said to be dissatisfied with the sex they got at birth (Cooper & Lewis, 1995, p.84). This may be triggered by disagreeing with the gender roles placed on them. At this point, it is worth noting that gender identity takes place by the age of three. Gender identity disorder is recognized clinically as a brain condition. One’s performance may not have anything to do with this disorder. What is worth noting is that Asian societies have a very sharp reaction to these issues. Violence has been waged on those who suffer from such a condition, such as homosexuality or lesbianism.
In order to critically analyze the gender situation in Asia, we can survey several aspects
Division of labor
This is the allocation of different duties to gender groups in society. This differs greatly from society to society. In Asia, just like most societies, women are left to do duties that conform to the private sphere. These include household duties and bringing up of children. Men are left to do work that requires more masculine effort. These performances shape how one will identify with himself/herself. The duties are argued to be a tradition that was formed gauging the various hints on what kind of work a person’s body was capable of performing. This makes them quite difficult to change since they have evolved to be considered as traditions. Thus, depending on the kind of work the society will expect you to perform, this will influence your perception of identity.
Language performance can influence gender identity. Language can be used to find the true contextual meaning of a word. It also gives a detailed analysis of ways to study and analyze the respondents. In most Asian countries, it has been found that males dictate what is being said in conversion, and their words have a sense of finality in them. Women, on the other hand, accept this reality and, thus, create differentiation of power. This leads to reinforcement of social identities from which people draw their identities. The performance of gender keeps on changing as society progresses (Seguino, 1997. p.56).
Gender performance implication on citizenship
Working under a dynamic environment has become an essential aspect of any country or organization that wants to perform better than others (Lee et al., 1991, pp 118). Traditionally, there have been certain roles that were allocated depending on gender. Citizenship can be defined as the response by an individual to membership of a particular community. The impact of gender performance on citizenship will be examined under OCB (organizational citizenship behavior). These are behaviors that supersede expected returns and role performance but are still vital for the survival of the organization. According to its definition, based on a research, OCB behavior refers to optional behavior that is not categorically placed in the rewarding system. Such behavior would include:
- Aiding/helping or assisting behavior.
- Loyalty to the organization.
- Compliance to the organization policies.
- Individual initiative.
- Civic virtue.
Gender influence on performance has attracted considerable amount of research. The aspects, in which gender can influence work, include the responses on thought, attitude, behavior and outcome. Thought is normally eliminated in this since all others are seen as a consequence of thought. These factors have, however, not shown any direct influence in employee related perception (Moncrieff et al., 2000, pp. 48). In analysis of gender performance, gender responses are treated as personal attributes, gender can play a role in influencing an employee’s relationship with other colleagues.
Gender plays a moderate role in the performance of an individual. It is thus viewed in context with other issues that researchers feel can influence team performance and citizenship in an organization. For instance, a male will deeply engage his organization than a female who is equally involved. The male may easily comprehend that their loyalty is vital for the attainment of the organization’s goals unlike their female counterparts. Taking from conventional categorization of employees, males are considered capable, goal oriented, confident and autonomous. Females, on the other hand, are viewed as interdependent, polite, and sociable and relationship focused (Langford & MacKinnon, 2000). From this, we derive that males may have a greater sense of citizenship given the perception that they do better work than women. This is the current spectrum in Asia.
Another point worth noting is that the tradition of the community influences citizenship. For instance, the Chinese focus on harmony in their social life; this is directly translated in the work environment. This will influence the conduct of different gender, some men will be less aggressive to accommodate the ideas or mind on the feeling of the other, and this will affect the attachment with which citizenship can be measured. As cultures evolve, the changing expectation of gender might change. Recently, women empowerment in Asia has increased and, therefore, more is expected from them. Moreover, the challenge and male dominance will push men to a new place. This means citizenship levels will adjust as we move with all these aspects taken into consideration (Hsiung, 1996, p.39).
Implication of gender performance in construction of community
So far, we have seen that whenever there is gender identity, social identity always follows. The two dictate who belongs where and the duties one need to perform to ensure the success of his community. Various roles are assigned to each gender. In Asia, these roles are quite distinctive. Women are allocated the smaller duties in the society that revolve around the household. Men undertake on the more masculine duties and are viewed as the leaders of the community.
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This division of duties is derived from tradition. Traditions are formed through practice. The initial taking up of these duties was based on the physical outlook of a person in terms of strength and suitability for the duties (Farh et al., 1990. p.134). It was then that women ended up with duties to take care of the home. This is how communities are constructed using gender performances. The output of each individual is considered important to furthering communities.
Recently, there have been changes in the social belief structure. Women are getting more empowered and roles are starting to change. Women have begun to challenge the position of men. The society has continued to change, and this change most definitely challenges the status quo. It is this trend that has seen traditions being modified all over the world. Asia is also participating in this change. Gender, though crucial for identification (mainly in sexuality as male or female), is losing its significance as duties become intertwined between the two genders. The community that is being brought forth as a result of these changes places less emphasis on its individual gender performance.
In gender performance and community construction, there are the issues of gender differences that trace out the expectation of these two functions. Suggested explanation called the social constructionism suggests that gender is socially created. It argues that gender performances are not merely internalized as gender roles as a child grows up but as a response to the changing social construct of the society they grow in. This supports the idea that the performance of the adult gender that changes the way society perceives things goes a long way in influencing the future gender population (Babin, & Boles, 1998, p.46).
In taking into account how gender influences the community, it is worth noting that children are as a result of the environment they grow on. This means any unresolved conflicts in the child upbringing will seriously impact on future of the community since they will be required to be rational players in the community. In Asia, the child up bringing environment has been termed as stable. Basically, it means that gender performances must be stable enough to support correct upbringing of children.
Economic contribution of gender to Asian community
Asian economies have really progressed compared to other areas of the world. Economy is a part of community and, since gender performance has contributed immensely to it, it cannot be ignored. It is worth noting that more Asian women are now working as compared to earlier times. There are a considerable number of women working in manufacturing industry in Asia. This can be attributed to increased appetite for women education and increasing demand for human resources at the industries.
There are huge wage gaps between what women earn compared to men. However, women now contribute a substantial amount of income to their communities. The wage gap is not a situation in Asia alone but also in the rest of the world. Patriarchal gender norms and stereo types limit women’s power to bargain which results in their wage being held down as compared to that of men.
There are some Asian countries where this progress has not been supported such as Korea where the government reinforced a marriage ban which restricts women from working upon marriage (Farh et al, 2004, p.93). This curtails women development and gender development as a whole since women cannot plan well for their finances upon marriage and also their negotiations to better wages is limited since they are expected to quit work after marriage. In this case, gender performance has influenced the development of the community negatively since females are denied normal working rights.
Gender is a powerful factor that affects a community. It should be developed with great rationality since it dictates what we do and where we chose to belong. This has a deep reaching effect on the community and its stable development. Asia should, therefore, empower their women to help them participate in the building of the economy. As seen above, some of the nations have already taken up the initiative while others like Korea lag behind. From the information above, it is evident that empowering of women can only better the economy of a nation rather than ruin it. Measures should be put in place to ensure equity of the two genders.
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