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Sociology/Difficulty with a question about gender relations


Hello,I have an essay topic,which is: Why is it important to have an appreciation of gender relations when studying social and economic processes in the city?
So my question really is about the first part of the topic.Why is it important to have appreciation of gender relations?

The lives of women and men, the work they do, the income they receive, the roles they are given, and the relationships they share are all shaped by social norms and traditions which treat women and men differently.
In turn, the attributes of women and men, the contributions they make and the way they take from and social and economic life also differ. It is evident to most that we live in a world where gender matters are very important.
As urban spaces, cities have particular forms of physical, economic, social and institutional organization. In these spaces, social identities collide, collude and accommodate each other. We all live in same urban spaces. However, the structure of urban space presents both constraints and opportunities, which impact in varying ways on the lives of different inhabitants of a city. Women and men, the elderly, children, teenagers, disabled people, etc., all experience and contribute to the city in different ways.
Urban spaces often overlook the particular needs of women, which arise both from their physical differences and their socially-ascribed roles, as workers, mothers, carers, and decision-makers. Moreover, neither women nor men are homogenous groups of people and gender identity is cross cut by, for example, race, ethnicity, class, age and stage of life cycle. However, women do experience very specific gender-related constraints in the city.
Women’s needs and priorities are not always recognized by city planners and few women are themselves in government, even at local level. Neither are they in any significant number in the strategic heights of the private sector and they are often confined to the most insecure and poorly-paid echelons of the labour market.
Traditionally, and almost universally, women have been associated with the private space of the home and men with the public space of urban streets; women with domestic and community work and men with paid employment.
While the spatial organization of the city has long been instrumental in defining appropriate spaces for women, this artificial dichotomy between private and public life and between paid and unpaid work is increasingly recognized as an over-simplification.  Not only, now in some countries (eg: America), women are present  in greatest number in the labor market, putting, therefore, in crisis in the old model: women-private space; men-public space. So in today’s cities, neither women nor men can be seen simply as workers or homemakers, as if no other responsibilities informed their identities, choices or opportunity costs.
While city planners compartmentalize different spheres of activity, people do not. This suggests integrated or co-ordinated approaches to urban management, which have as their task the building of inclusive cities predicated on meaningful participation on the part of disadvantaged and disenfranchised women and men. This means giving them the opportunity to be in control of their everyday lives and to be engaged in a planning process where they can be involved in negotiating priorities on their own terms, rather than according to an agenda the terms of which have already been set elsewhere in an anachronistic and discriminatory way.
Hi, Cristina.


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dr. Cristina Carpinelli


Cristina Carpinelli is a sociologist/politologist. She deals with research works, from economic and social point of view, concerning Central-Est Europe (Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland), South-Est Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, balkan Countries), Russia and all Former Soviet Union Countries. She has also become an expert on social welfare and gender and family politics in Countries mentioned above. She can't answer the questions relative to other geo-economic and political areas or about other questions outside her competence/knowledge. She lives and works in Milan (Italy).


Cristina Carpinelli wrote many articles and essays on the Ussr and on the transition of the Fsu from a planned economic system to a free market one. She wrote some books published by Nuovi Autori, Franco Angeli, Achab, Sedizioni, Zambon, Mimesis, Amazon.

She is a Scientific Committee Member of CeSPI (International Problems Study Center of Sesto San Giovanni - Milan ) as an expert on CEE (Central-Eastern Europe) and South-Eastern Europe (including Russia), and a monthly contributor to “noidonne” Magazine for gender and family politics in CEE (including Russia). She is part of the team experts of the U.S. Site “AllExperts” for the categories: “Sociology” and “Russia (News & Politics)”. She was part of the teaching staff for the training module “Objective Russia” (professional diploma for economic operators - ISPI school; module suspended from 2015) and now She is part of the teaching staff for the training module “European Union and ethnic and national minorities” (diploma in “European Affairs” - ISPI school). She is a member of the Italian Association for History Studies on Central and Eastern Europe (AISSECO - Since May 2015) and a member of the editorial staff of Mitteleuropean Social Watch (OSME - since January 2016).

La società sovietica negli anni della perestroika (Nuovi Autori, 1991); Donne e famiglia nella Russia sovietica (F. Angeli, 1998); Donne e povertà nella Russia di El’cin: l'era della transizione liberale (Franco Angeli, 2004); “Identities in Transition: Fsu Countries after the Collapse of Real Socialism” (CeSPI, 2004); La Russia a pezzi (Achab, 2008); “L’allargamento dell’Europa ai paesi dell’Est” (CeSPI, 2008), paper presented at the Conference “Quo vadis, Europe?”, organized by Municipality of Sesto San Giovanni - Milan, November 18, 2011; “Paesi Baltici tra integrazione europea e ‘apartheid’” in: Ripensare l’Europa dalle fondamenta, Mimesis, 2014 (Conference proceedings “Ripensare l’Europa dalle fondamenta”. Conference was organized by CeSPI and Municipality of Sesto San Giovanni - Milan; November 30, 2013); “Ucraina: un paese spaccato in due” (CeSPI, 2014), paper prepared for the Conference “Crisi Ucraina: quali possibili chiavi di lettura?” (May 16, 2014) organized by the Municipality of Sesto San Giovanni (Milan) and by CeSPI; “Nato, Ucraina, Russia” (CeSPI, 2014); L’Unione Europea e le minoranze etniche: Case Studies: Ungheria, Romania e Paesi Baltici, co-author Massimo Congiu (CreateSpace - an Company, May 18, 2016). Coming soon: Russia as told through the history of its mass media.

Cristina Carpinelli graduated during the academic year 1983/84 with the thesis "Alcuni aspetti del processo di invecchiamento della popolazione in Unione Sovietica: demografia, previdenza sociale, occupazione e salute" (Some aspects of the ageing process of the population in the Soviet Union: demography, social security, jobs and health) - State University of Milan, Faculty of Political Sciences (Statistics Department). The thesis of degree was elaborated in the Ussr, at the State University Lomonosov of Moscow.

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