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Nanda, Serena and Richard Warms (Essay Sample)

The source is Nanda, Serena and Richard Warms Culture Counts Chapter Eight: Sex and Gender (Pages 179-202) show your point of view and discuss it source..
Destabilizing erstwhile stable categories: the emergence of new insights on sex and gender
In the long course of philosophical inquiry and theoretical productions in the social sciences, the issue of sex and gender has been one of the most intriguing. What with the proliferation of multiple "types" of sexes and genders nowadays, scholars and ordinary people alike are constantly sharing their two-cent worth on the subject. Moreover, several researches and elaborate dissertations have been made in an attempt to contribute in the existing discourses about sex and gender. The distinction between the two terms "sex" and "gender" in fact has gained most of the concentration in these inquiries.
Traditionally, sex and gender are distinguished from each other by stating that the first is determined biologically (that is, by one`s biological genitals) while the latter is decided upon by culture. The seemingly simple yet actually broad description of gender provides one of the more advantageous sites where discussions about gender and its relation to "sex" can be forged ahead. In short, sex is usually denominated as part of nature while gender belongs to the culture area. This is underpinned by the nature/culture distinction which also does not escape the investigations of philosophers and scholars CITATION Nan08 \l 1033 (Nanda & Warms, 2008).
At the heart of this nature/culture idea is where the most prominent contemporary thinkers comes from in forwarding their critique. Michel Foucault, one of the more renowned scholars to have emerged in the 20th century provides some of the more entertained novel insights about sexuality and gender. For him, body is a site "where discourses are enacted and contested" (Mills: 2003) Still, he is utilizing some of the major ideas he has developed in his earlier works. In designating the body as a discourse and as a manifestation of our sexuality, he is pointing out that the body is a container of meaning which most likely results from our interpretations of it. Tied with the idea of body-as-manifestation-of-sexuality, he purports that the interpretation of sexuality we accord to our body (i.e. having a penis or big muscles is masculine, having a vagina or big breasts is feminine) is only part of a discourse in a society. As such, these interpretations are not natural and in fact might just be intertwined in the attempt to naturalize certain discourses that are faithful to the establishment or sustenance of power. In his "Archaeology of Knowledge," Foucault asserts that knowledge is not objective and in fact is limited by the interests of those who have the ability to produce and reproduce it (McNay: 1994). Knowledge does not pertain to all the information that we must know or are relevant to us as individuals; it is a filtered collectio...
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