For my Social Location Project I chose the Augusta Mall which is located in West Augusta, 3450 Wrightsboro Rd, Augusta, GA 30909. I chose the mall because there are so many different cultures, races, and genders that roam around this collection of stores, as well as, the fact that I live only six minutes away from the Augusta Mall. I have worked in the mall for three years, and currently I work part time in a clothing store called New York and Company.

Patriarchy


Patriarchy is the system in which society (government, workplace, household) portrays men as more dominate over women or a hierarchy over women. These pictures were taken in the store called, “Fan Fanatic”. Fan Fanatic is a big sports store in the Augusta Mall. I decided to use this store as an example of patriarchy because the way society is shaped, it is known that men are more drawn into sports than women. I figured that this store would be male dominate, which is greatly shown in the pictures above. Every inch of this store are male jerseys, shirts, shorts, etc. However, in this little pink section is a small variety of female jerseys and shirts. I can relate this easily to the reading, “White Privilege and Male Privilege”, with the correlation on male privilege. When it comes to things like sports, men are more privilege than women by having a larger variety of sportswear to show support towards their favorite team. In this store were almost everything and every jersey you could possibly think of, yet the majority of the merchandise were specifically made for men. The attire were big, long, and more bulky. What if there were women that love sports like me? Do you really think they could be satisfied with such a little variety of jerseys and shirts? The majority of shirts that were in the little women section were Atlanta Falcons jerseys. Not all women are Atlanta Falcons fans, but in this store there are an ample amount of men jerseys for almost every NFL team. 


Refusing To Take the Path of Least Resistance 

Refusing to take the path of least resistance is the concept in which we follow the social norms according to gender and/or sex. In this given picture is a football coach shopping in Company in which they only sell women clothing. Society sets up the norm in which males would not go shopping in a clothing store, especially if it is for a woman and only sells women clothing. There are many men who would rather not go to the mall or wait outside the store while their wife, daughter, mother, etc.

shop. This coach is refusing to take the path of least resistance by stepping out of the box and shopping for his wife. This particular picture reminds me of the “Baby Storm Story” in which Baby Storm’s parents did not want the norms of society to construct their children. So, while their children were growing up they used refused path of least resistance and let their children choose what they were comfortable with, rather it be societal norm or not. Just because you go outside of the norms of society does not make you less of a female or less of a male. In my opinion, it can make you a better person or a more rounded person. In this coach’s case, I would view him as a good husband. It is also wonderful how he is not letting social construction define who he is. He is a regular customer. His wife must be one lucky lady to have a husband like him willing to know what she likes, what he would like to see her in, and shop for her.



Heteronormativity 



Heteronormativity is the concept in which it is the norm to be heterosexual than homosexual. Heteronormativity is based on an assumption with physical appearances and perceptions. Both of these pictures were taken in the store New York and Company and DTLR. Society would assume if you wear a dress, a blouse with ruffles, accessories (i.e. jewelry and/or purse), and “feminine” colors, you are a heterosexual female. In comparison, if you wear a sported jumpsuit, sneakers, and a fitted hat society would perceive you as a heterosexual male. Just because one’s outer appearance and sex is viewed in a heterosexual way does not mean that their gender identity is equivalent. If a person chooses to have a gender in which it is the opposite sex, it does not mean they have to be flamboyant and express it in the way that a person may dress. If a female decides to wear a sported jumpsuit and sneakers, automatically society will perceive her to be gay, whereas she could have just had a track meet or basketball game, but in reality, she is a heterosexual female. I referenced the article about the Princess Brave, with this picture and concept. Just because Brave would rather not wear dresses and do “boyish-like” activities, as well as not really wanting to get married by a prince of her parent’s choice, society put labeled her and assumed she was gay. According to society’s norm, people who are properly dressed with sex identity or opposite sexed couples are together, people are going to assume and perceive you as heterosexual.

 

Social Construction 

Social construction is the concept in which society constructs what is the norm for women and men. This picture was taken at a children’s store called, “Build – A - Bear”. This is a store where children can go to get customized teddy bears made. I chose this particular store to represent social construction because society’s norm perceives women to be more nurturing and the in this store with their children more so than you would see a man bringing their children in Build - A - Bear. As for the working environment, there are all female workers and one male worker. The only male worker is the greeter. The way society is constructed, women are perceived to be more tolerant and able to work with children better than men. This gentleman that is working at Build – A - Bear, is doing gender. Instead of working at a less child oriented job, he chose to work here because he enjoys working and being around kids. Kids are his passion. According to Lorber, everyone “do gender” without even realizing it. Gender roles are constantly changing, so to some men working in a children


 

Sexism

Sexism is the state in which a person’s biological sex is discrimnated or prejudiced. In these pictures are male police officers patrolling the areas in the Augusta Mall. I used these pictures for sexism because there are many men who believe women cannot do a “man’s job”. Being a police officer is considered a “man’s job” because sometimes roughness is involved as well as carring a gun. 

Society perceives women as fragile and weak. There are many women who can do a better job than a man can. I related sexism to the reading, “The Brown Girl’s Guide to Labels”, where Mathangi’s brother was reading the paper looking for a husband for her. Mathangi’s brother said that she was doomed, because she couldn’t make good curry. Why is it that Mathangi can’t get married to a guy that is more interested in her book smarts, rather than knowing how to make good curry. Mathangi’s brother also stated that once she get her degree she will be overqualified to marry a man from her country. I found that sexist, because I figure women are more than just making curry. Women can be just as, or smarter than men in getting married, as well as, knowing how to make good curry.

 

Privilege

Privilege is a benefit, advantage, and right within an individual or group. There are privileges with skin color, class, gender, sex, etc. This picture to our left, is a picture of the clothing store, “New York and Company”. This clothing store sells only women’s clothing. Having an all female store is an advantage over having a small amount of men clothing stores. In most malls, you will find plenty of stores that will attract mostly women more so than men. This gives women the privilege to have a bigger variety of clothing to shop and choose from. This picture correlates well to the McIntosh reading. In the McIntosh reading, McIntosh were stating different privileges being white over another race. Here, I am correlating the priviledge of women over men. By having a larger variety and the fact that the majority of the stores are women dominated, they have more sales and coupons, whereas you would have a rough time finding good deals on men’s clothing, which results as a privilege. In the Augusta Mall, the few men clothing stores are very high priced and very few sales or coupons; that is a big saving disadvantge for men. Employement at female clothing stores almost gurantees a female a job more so than a man getting employed. According to society’s structure, females are more intune with fashion than men and women like to talk about clothing more so than men. The majority of female clothing stores are employed with women. Women are priviliged to be able to work with their on sex as well as get paid and get raises for their work ethic and not because of their sex.

 

Intersectionality

Intersectionality is a grouping with a variety of minorities which focuses on discrimination as well as oppression. This particular photo

was taken at my job, New York and Company’s stock room. I am part of intersectionality because I am an African American female. Both sexism and racism is part of my every day life, whether I would like to engage in it or not. Sexism can effect me at my job only if someone assumes that I am suppose to know how something is to fit or assume that I would know what jewlery would go best with a shirt. Just because I am a female does not mean I will always know what looks best. At my job, I am more so discriminated by skin color by many customers than I am being a female. I am not as much opressed because of my sex because the majority of the customers are women and all of the workers are women. Many of the workers that are African American or bi-racial (being a minority) are sometimes put in one category at work. Many customers would go the opposite way or ask someone that is supposedly more privileged than us a question. There are plenty of times the customer would not want to hand me money when paying for their item(s) simply because they did not want to make body contact. There are also plenty of times where credit cards or money was thrown down at me like I didn’t mean a thing to the customer. I never would have thought people still act a certain way towards minorities. This picture ties in pretty well with the Crenshaw reading, “Intersectionality and Identity Politics; Learning from Violence against Women of Color”. She was expressing that intersectionality can hinder more than one aspect of a person. Intersectionality can hinder a group in more than one way, in my case, being and African American female.

 

Reflection

This project was very enlightening. It opened my eyes in which many of these concepts do apply in everyday life. I never really thought about the concepts of refusing path of least resistance, patriarchy, or any of the many concepts that occurred right there in the mall and realized that this could and is happening in other parts of Augusta. I knew that the media sets up social constructed boundaries, but never paid attention to how businesses do the same to make a profit. As I look over my project, I realized that society has really constructed gender norms of living in many aspects. The concept that I loved the most was, refusing to take the path of least resistance. This concept intrigued me the most because I recognized the fact of being oblivious to the notion. I loved the way how the coach in my project did not let the bars of society bond him down to not show how much he cares and wants to treat his wife by buying clothes. There are many things that are feasible to be changed in my social location. There can be a change on the different sports store by providing more of a variety for women and stop assuming that women would not be interested in sports attire. Having more men clothing stores would be helpful as well. Men probably do not shop much in clothing store because there are not many sales or coupons. Men would like to spend as well as save money just as much as women would like to. If there are no good deals as well as not a big variety of clothing to choose from, the assumptions and perceptions will always remain. Society is so stereotypical and biased. We as people, need to be more opened and receptive to the views and differences of people who do not share the same lifestyle, culture, ethnicity, religion, or background as others. It seems as if social construction is trying to take a positive change, but it’s not fully evolving as quickly as we would want it because of the continuation of focusing on what is already known and not opening up to something new.


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