Titel: Beauvoir’s Myths as a Concept for Analyzing Gendered Asymmetries
Autor: Claudia Gather and Regine Vogl
Can the concept of myths, as developed by Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex, help us to better understand and sociologically examine social inequalities in heterosexual couple relationships? Beauvoir has shown how women are defined as the Other. Her conceptualization of myths plays an important role in the production of asymmetry between men and women. How can we translate these myths, to a sociological micro level to examine couple relationships? We illustrate the feasibility of this approach through the comparison of two qualitative research projects from the 1990s and 2020s with dual-earner couples in transition to retirement. We try to find out how femininity and masculinity are defined in couple relationships, how they relate to each other, and whether asymmetry is at work. What has changed over time and are women (still) defined in a subordinate and derivative way from men?