Blind to SamenessSexpectations and the Social Construction of Male and Female Bodies

Blind to SamenessSexpectations and the Social Construction of Male and Female Bodies

Asia Friedman

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9780226023465

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

What is the role of the senses in how we understand the world? Cognitive sociology has long addressed the way we perceive or imagine boundaries in our ordinary lives, but this book pushes this question further still. How, it asks, did we come to blind ourselves to sex sameness? Drawing on more than sixty interviews with two decidedly different populations—the blind and the transgendered—it answers provocative questions about the relationships between sex differences, biology, and visual perception. Both groups speak from unique perspectives that magnify the social construction of dominant visual conceptions of sex, allowing the author to examine the visual construction of the sexed body and highlighting the processes of social perception underlying our everyday experience of male and female bodies. The result is a notable contribution to the sociologies of gender, culture, and cognition that will revolutionize the way we think about sex.