Institute for Gender Studies,Ochanomizu University

Rhoda K. Unger

Resident Scholar of Women's Studies Research Institute in Brandeis University Professor emerita, Montclair State University (since 1999)
Visiting Professor at IGS (Institute for Gender Studies)

The 16st IGS Evening Seminar Series

Social Constructions of Gender: Empirical Psychology through a Feminist Lens


June 30, July 7,14,21 2004


Prof.Rhoda K. Unger, Ph.D.

Resident Scholar of Women's Studies Research Institute in Brandeis University Professor emerita, Montclair State University (since 1999) Visiting Professor at IGS (Institute for Gender Studies)


The Institute for Gender Studies (IGS) has invited Prof. Rhoda K. Unger as the visiting professor. Her evening seminars will start from the end of June. Prof. Unger is one of the most prominent scholars in the U.S. who has made a great contribution on the field of women's psychology for the past 30 years. She has accomplished various and outstanding activities not only in social activism, particularly within American Psychological Association, but also having published numerous books such as Representations:Social Constructions of Gender (1989), Women and Gender: A Feminist Psychology (1992) and In Our Own Words: Readings on Women and Gender. Her recent book (as an editor) A Handbook on the Psychology of Women and Gender published in 2001 was translated into Japanese in this March.

The 16th evening seminar organizing committee KAWANO Kiyomi, TAKEMURA Kazuko, AOKI Kikuyo, NOBUTA Sayoko Secretariat: Hasegawa Kazumi, Harada Masashi

Profile of Panelists

AONO Atsuko (Professor, Matsuyama Shinonome College)
SAKAMOTO Akira (Professor, Ochanomizu University)
AOKI Kikuyo (Associate Professor, Ochanomizu University)
NOBUTA Sayoko (Director, Harajuku Counseling Center)

Introduction to the Evening Seminars
Rhoda Kesler Unger

This series of lectures shows how empirical research by feminist psychologists explores the mechanisms by which gender is socially constructed. Each lecture will focus on a different area of psychology and examine how processes at different levels of analysis interact to produce structures for maleness and femaleness that are apparently seamless and natural. Levels of analysis include processes that operate within the individual (for example, attitudes and perceptions); interpersonal processes (the influence of other people); and socio-structural variables (norms about power and privilege). They will explore how women as part of a shared social reality become agents as well as objects of social construction, Finally, they will explore the role of cultural and historical context in changing views of gender.


Seminar 1: Women as subjects, actors, and agents in the history of psychology

This lecture will examine the development of the psychology of women in the United States from a sociology of knowledge perspective. I will look at how women evolved from objects of scrutiny whose behavior was seen as both different and deviant from that of men through a gendered perspective which examined systematic biases in the study of women and men to a feminist psychology which looks at the social construction of gender in relation to systems of power and privilege.

Seminar 2: Doing gender, dong power: What social psychology tells us about being female or male

This lecture will look at how empirical studies done by social psychologists can demonstrate some of the processes that create and construct gender. I will focus on research on self fulfilling prophecies (self presentation and behavioral confirmation) as well as newer research on stereotype threat and ambivalent sexism.

Seminar 3: Images of women from womb to tomb and their psychological implications

This lecture will present visual and linguistic images of women across a life span perspective (from infancy to old age). It will examine societal focus on women’s bodily appearance and its impact on women’s views of themselves. Finally, it will discuss how physical unattractiveness and social deviance intertwine in views of women and act as forces of social control.

Seminar 4: Sexism and its consequences: The feminist approach to psychological disorders

This lecture will examine some of the ways that the differential power of women and men in the United States has produced differential rates of various psychological problems.. I will focus on the impact of gendered societal stressors on women’s mental and physical health. I will also discuss feminist therapy as theory and practice based on the intersection of gender, race, and class in the production of psychological disorders and their treatment.

※This event is finished.

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Institute for Gender Studies,Ochanomizu University
2-1-1 Ohtsuka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8610, Japan
Phone: 81-3-5978-5846 Fax: 81-3-5978-5845