Elsie Clews Parsons, “Satisfaction of Social Categories” and “Women”

Category : Anthropology, Founding, Women

In any study of the relations between personality and social classification the queries arise why the social categories are alike so compulsive to the conservative-minded and so precious, why they are given such unfailing loyalty, why such unquestioning devotion? To offset the miseries they allow of or further, the tragedies they prepare, what satisfaction do they offer? Do they serve only as measures against change, as safeguards to habit, – this is the answer I once suggested, – raising barriers between those most apt to upset one another’s ways, the inevitably unlike, the unlike in sex, in age, in economic or cultural class?

Source: Social Rule (NY: GP Putnam”s Sons, 1916)

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