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"Are gender roles changing or being reinforced"?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Introduction In answer to the question, "Are gender roles changing or being reinforced"? I would definitely say yes. My reason for this supposition is from the information gained from the account of work and women in the middle ages that can be seen in the historical background. In researching this topic, I got most of the information from the book, the changing role of women. I also found a bit of information from the internet, more precisely www.askjeeves.co.uk. Some terms and definitions I found during the itinerary of this coursework are the difference between sex ad gender and socialisation. Sociologists use the term sex to describe the biological state of being male or female. For example, male humans have xy chromosomes whereas female humans have xx chromosomes. This should not be confused with gender, which means the way in which males and females behave. The way in which we learn how to behave as male and female is called socialisation. In this essay, I will attempt to establish whether or not gender roles are changing or being reinforced. Historical background During the course of the century, the work of men and women has changed. The aim of this historical background is to provide a detailed account of the work of men and women in the middle ages, the industrial revolution, the Second World War and today. ...read more.

Middle

In June 19 1838, John Roebuck, a Member of Parliament, described a visit to a cotton mill in a letter to his wife, "Amongst other things I saw a cotton mill a sight that froze my blood. The place was full of women, young, all of them, some large with child, and obliged to stand twelve hours each day. Their hours are from five in the morning to seven in the evening, two hours of that being for rest, so that they stand twelve dear hours. The heat was excessive in some of the rooms, the stink pestiferous and in all an atmosphere of cotton dust. I nearly fainted. The young women were all pale, sallow, thin yet generally fairly grown, all with bare feet - a strange sight to English eyes." This tells me that attitudes to women's work by 1800 were more of denunciation than of support. The work of men and women during the Second World War. During the Second World War, so many men had gone away to fight that women were needed to do their jobs. As a result, the number of women working in industry increased enormously. The war made it acceptable for women to work in shipyards, collieries and brickyards, as they had done a century or more earlier. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although the evidence for gender stereotyping is all around us, we still sometimes found it difficult to complete research. I think this was difficult because the industrial revolution happened about two centuries ago. Although it was quite popular, I quickly found out that not many authors were keen on writing on this very subject. However, some research was easy to complete. A good example would be the historical background. I found many books that contained a lot of information on the subject. Some few examples are The changing role of women, the Hutchinson Educational Encyclopaedia, etc In the coursework, I have learned that there is still a lot of gender stereotyping, for example in toys; when advertising toy products on TV I have found that the manufacturers often present the product to a particular gender (girls are shown playing with Barbie or Sindy whereas boys are shown with Action man). Most things have changed from the Middle Ages, for example when a man hears of a woman doctor he will merely raise an eyebrow or may not react at all although this would have been very different some years back where such a thing as a woman doctor was unheard of. In conclusion, I would answer the question by saying; yes, traditional gender roles have definitely changed. HUMANITIES COURSEWORK 1 EMMANUEL KORANG 10 DH ...read more.

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