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Assess the part played by socialisation in the development of gender roles and identities

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Introduction

Assess the part played by socialisation in the development of gender roles and identities My scorn-bound edition of Chambers Concise defines socialisation as "the act or process of socialising: the process by which infants and young children become aware of society and their relationship with others1" Haralambos and Holborn2 are more comprehensive in their definition: socialisation applies to individuals and is a collection of lifelong actions and changes. Social studies of socialisation's impact upon gender roles and identities have been carried out in the modern western world3 and amongst the less densely populated and differing culture of the tribespeople of New Guinea4. The purchasing of toys, clothes, linguistic application and the direction to specified acts of play have been interpreted by Ann Oakley as culturally produced. Margaret Mead concluded from the behaviour of the three tribes she studied, that cultural choice was the driving factor with reference to adoption of gender-active norms and values. This social construct is proceeded by physical construction: obligatory nine month stay in the womb, gene-penning and receiving delivery of testosterone or oestrogen. Goldberg5 and Wilson are proponents of the view that biological determinism has a part to play, with relation to chemical influence on passive/aggressive behavioural development, and on the varying abilities of the sexes. ...read more.

Middle

Pollert print is of the transit of women to manual labour, "immediately painfully aware of the dehumanisation, the mind-destroying emptiness of their jobs"16 Pollert states that chaps readily embrace employment, and are by default blind to this effect. Returning to biological relativity (for the time of a paragraph) and the impact of gender based identity adoption, Seligman stalks the passive and submissive element to find out that they have 'learnt helplessness'. Seligman attempts a through connection that implies the encouragement of acts of dependency are appropriate values for a women. That women are culturally prepared to diffuse stress through the act of sharing is backed up by cultural-behavioural analyses and gender differentials in mortality and morbidity.17 The dull, tedious nature of housework is also often fulfilling, and Oakley comments upon how there is little prestige to the work and role and a lack of bargaining power, Many married woman would agree with Oakley18 although views are constantly changing19 as the years do. The conclusion of symmetrical role balance20 (and thus symmetrical role identity) is one which Oakley solidly opposes, mostly on the grounds of it's financial intimations. The labour-family issue is riddled with colourful concepts, valid and imaginative. J. ...read more.

Conclusion

Margaret Thatcher, the most powerful visible female role model in the UK had at this point begun to hint at her own secret agendas, lunacie, and sent masses of male troops off to the Falkland Islands to die. The final decade of the eighties saw sociological theory based on good research get into the intricacies of observing and observable gender norms and values. Carrigan et al32 identify hegemonic and subordinate masculine image in dominance. Wolf exposes the false ideology that is the beauty myth and it's damaging effects such as the creation of inferiority complexes among older women. With the 1990s only recently ended, I am unable to form quite as crystallised a picture of gender socialisation developing as the years prior. At this point, I have no new studies to mention that haven't already been mentioned in this chronology of gender norms and values. However, Farrell in his 1992 work suggests that that the world is both patriarchal and matriarchal and I quote a weighty note of advanced healthier optimism, "What we need is not a women's movement or a men's movement but a gender transition movement" As strong a signalling for positive socialisation if ever I've read one. c. Andrew Luke 2002 This text may be reprinted as the user sees fit. Feedback on its facility is welcome. Andrew-luke@lineone. ...read more.

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