Masculinity and femininity în arab culture

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Contents 2
Chapter 1. About masculinity and femininity 3
Chapter 2. Masculinity and femininity in arabic culture 7
Chapter 3. About masculinity and femininity in Morocco 10

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Chapter 1. About masculinity and femininity
Femininity and masculinity or one's gender identity (Burke, Stets and Pirog-Good 1988;Spence 1985) refers to the degree to which persons see themselves as masculine or feminine given what it means to be a man or woman in society. Femininity and masculinity are rooted in the social (one's gender) rather than the biological (one's sex). Societal members decide what being male or female means (e.g., dominant or passive, brave or emotional), and males will generally respond by defining themselves as masculine while females will generally define themselves as feminine. Because these are social definitions, however, it is possible for one to be female and see herself as masculine or male and see himself as feminine.
Geert Hoftstede's definitions:"Masculinity stands for a society in which social gender roles are clearly distinct: Men are supposed to be assertive, tough, and focused on material success; women are supposed to be more modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life." And "Femininity stands for a society in which social gender roles overlap: Both men and women are supposed to be modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life." 
A high score (masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner / best in field. A low score (feminine) on the dimension means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life. A feminine society is one where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. The fundamental issue here is what motivates people, wanting to be the best (masculine) or liking what you do (feminine). 
What is Femininity in some keywords:
o Sticking your head out is not appreciated (socially, nor materially): in other words being better than others does not get you more money, and people will not like you more.
o Equal: don't think you are any one, just because you think you are. In the Nordic countries there is even a specific "Law of Jante"
o Consensus: rather than being decisive, people prefer the process of reaching consensus (which is something different than reaching a compromise!)
o Sympathy for the loser: or sympathy for the underdog; the less successful in society deserve a chance and should be helped
What is Masculinity in some keywords:
o Winning is good, and gets you rewarded: usually the best indicator for performing or performance is money, because it is a measurable quantity.
o Standing: or status. This is "Acquired" status. In other words, if you work hard enough, you can achieve this form of status (as opposed to "Ascribed" status, which has to do with Hierarchy)
o Competition: competing is good and is considered as fair play; or a chance to show how good you are
o Admiration for winner: the successful achiever gets the credits

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"Al-Raida" Volume XXI, Nos. 104-105, Winter/Spring 2004

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