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University Degree: Gender Studies

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  1. Define the following concepts: race, ethnicity and racism. Explain why it is still important to study these concepts in the sociology of sport

    Ian MacDonald (2002) tells of how many authors, put 'race' in inverted commas to alert the reader that they are referring to the 'idea of race', rather than claiming that the term has any objective biological validity. 'Race' is made meaningful within society via the ways in which we imagine it to exist, and subsequently organize our lives and identities around it Cambridge (2003) defines ethnicity as "of a national or racial group of people "whilst Giddens (2006) definition "refers to the cultural practices and outlooks of a given community of people that set them apart from others.

    • Word count: 978
  2. How can gender be thought of as performative and regulatory category

    Butler's main metaphor for this is "drag," i.e. dressing like a person of the "opposite sex." All gender is a form of "drag," according to Butler; there is no "real" core gender to refer to. (Butler 1993) Butler believes that masculinity and femininity are not traits that we inherently have, rather they are effects that we perform by the activities we partake in. Butler argues that gender and sex are socially constructed concepts - concepts used to control people. She argues that we do not possess a gender identity.

    • Word count: 925
  3. As we can notice, in the novel the cement garden, within the subject of gender, a struggle in the boys, (Jack and Tom)

    Nevertheless they take different paths as alternatives to this. While Tom took as an example their older sisters, Jack based his manhood on a character of a novel he was reading called Commander Hunt. As we have read in chapter four, (pg. 47), "Tom want(s) to be a girl"; this is, at first glance, mainly because he was beaten up at his school by an older boy and he claims that "you don't get hit when you are a girl", however, if this statement that he wishes to be a girl is analyzed more deeply, we can see that there are many factors affecting this decision; such as that; like already mentioned, the only people to whom he can look up to are his two older sisters.

    • Word count: 723
  4. "The Mismeasure of Woman" by Carol Tavris, focuses on a society where all standards of normalcy are set by men, thus women will always be considered abnormal.

    "In western society today, there are three competing versions of the mismeasure of woman."(p.21) The first view, man is the norm, and woman is lesser "the problem". In this view they try to discover why women to not share the same behaviors as men. The study reveals that women have less confidence in their performance compared to men. The male ideal of seeming confident inhibits males from being unable to acknowledge help. After years and years of women trying to measure up to the man it is finally over. This view suggest that women are better, here the female qualities and female life experiences have been revalued and commemorated.

    • Word count: 667
  5. Reflection on the debate between Nature and Nurture concerning Gender

    However, what convinced me that there are more shortfalls than merits to this theory is that even up until now, no human behavior has been proven by any researcher to be connected to genetic factors (NARTH, 2002). Furthermore, I have an intention of challenging the notion that men have natural qualities that render their aggressiveness. In Singapore for example, increasing cases of maid abuse have been reported; most of the abuses were inflicted by female employers of foreign domestic helpers.

    • Word count: 920
  6. The "John/Joan" Case and its Impact on the Treatment of Intersexuals According to a booklet put out by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

    This case is important in many aspects of treating intersexuals. Even though John was genetically born a male (hormonally normal, with gonads intact upon birth), he was essentially "robbed" of his maleness once his penis was destroyed in the botched operation with the subsequent removal of his testis to facilitate his sexual reassignment. Even with the profound physical transformation of his external characteristics, his psychic sense of self was manifested and set biologically from birth. At an unfathomable cost, the serendipitous, yet tragic act of changing "John's" gender has gone on to provide an intimate look of the pathology of the nature vs.

    • Word count: 751
  7. Am. State & Local Govt. - Affirmative Action.

    An example of this includes colleges and universities. Quotas should not be set as a "goal" in which a percentage of a given gender or race must fill to create a more "diverse" learning institution. Many ivy league schools are required to have a percentage of students of each gender, race and nationality, regardless of their capabilities in comparison to their peers. If a student were enrolled in the institution based on these ideas it would not be fair to other "advantaged" students who meet the academic requirements.

    • Word count: 802
  8. Is gender behaviour learned or innate?

    Instead there is the belief that our 'gender' is shaped by our societal environment. From the moment someone is born people conform to the gender stereotypes, particularly the parents. A classic example would be the conception that girls wear pink and boys wear blue. From this other people will start to treat that individual according to the 'norms'. Baby girls are almost always handled with great care whereas baby boys are often handled in a much more physical manner such as throwing and catching them.

    • Word count: 593
  9. Gender Bending Party Reflection

    I was called 'little brother', 'mister' whenever I was out in my casual wear. I am so used to 'be a boy' or 'have a male's identity' that I would not feel embarrassing when the others misjudge my sex. My mother asked me if I needed a transgender operation or not. This is a very inspiring question indeed. I agree with some of the 'trans' revolutionists that male / female norms are no longer objectively defined by the sex organs a person was born with, but subjective and socially constructed (LaBarbera, 2001). Here, the word 'socially' is the focus.

    • Word count: 939
  10. Female Juvenile Delinquency.

    Girls and their problems have long been ignored. Thus, few theorists have considered the possibility that some, if not many, of the girls arrested have different sets of problems when compared to the boys. For example, in terms of status offenses, for which girls are over represented: well over half of the youth referred for running away from home (two thirds of whom were girls) and 92 percent of the youth charged with ungovernability(over half of whom were girls) were referred by non-law-enforcement sources, compared to only 9 percent of youth charged with liquor offenses (72 percent were male).2 After reviewing the statistics I began to wonder why there was such a disparity.

    • Word count: 766
  11. The Mass Media reflects rather than creates stereotypical images of women! Evaluate the sociological arguments and evidence for and against this view.

    Most people as their main source of information use television. Women's role in society has changed fairly drastically, for example nowadays there are more women filling roles that in the past were dominated by men. People of varying race, gender, class, age and so on are represented through the media, especially by forms such as the television and newspapers, and because identities are constantly altering, a huge focus is placed on these alterations. It is thought that most of what we learn about gender comes by studying the way in which they are portrayed on television.

    • Word count: 610
  12. Philosophy of Sex Essay: 'Explain Mackinnon's critique and critically assess it."

    The liberalist view of pornography is 'a defence not only of force and sexual terrorism, but frees male subordination of women.' By the very aesthetic of pornography it encourages the male viewer to perceive women as objects to be obtained and used by men. Pornography, in MacKinnon's view, creates an 'accessible sexual object, the possession and consumption of which is male sexuality.' MacKinnon also rejects obscenity as the relevant category for thinking about pornography, stating that 'their obscenity is not our (feminists)

    • Word count: 927
  13. Three main religions were discussed in Mathieu's Critique of faiths that are dominated by males. These three religions include Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. In these three religions how are gender roles allocated?

    Individuals with a greater intellectual capasity will not be expected to perform any task involving hard labor. Still the most significant standard used in determining which individuals will perform which task is gender. Furthermore, males must perform a specific set of tasks, as do females. Women must occupy a certain space in society. Traditionally, women were only permitted to hold jobs as teachers, maids, or secretaries. Why is it that any woman would adhere to this type of gender stereotyping? Mathieu states that it is instilled in the minds of women that they must occupy these roles.

    • Word count: 744
  14. What does it really mean to be a "male" or a "female"? Are gender identity and sexual preferences genetically determined?

    Femininity characteristics are emotional, caring, nurturing, preoccupied with beauty and relationships, distrusting or less capable of logical thinking. In the society, there are many females who hold high position in companies and they have the assertiveness and aggression that some of the male counterparts does not have. Similarly, there are a lot of cosmetics products in the market that are for men. Who says that being a male, beauty is not important, as everyone would want to bring the best out of themselves in all areas? Social constructionism approach believes that gender is a process and that people work not only to establish who they want to be but also help to construct the social and biological categories themselves.

    • Word count: 843
  15. Political Parties.

    As highlighted in Figure 1, the 62.8% of Americans that felt the economy was doing worse voted to change administrations and elect President George W. Bush as our new president. In contrast, only 30.2% of American's who felt the economy was doing worse, voted to keep the democrats in power, and elect Al Gore. This supports the idea that a person's view on how well the economy is doing can effect how they vote for the presidency.

    • Word count: 760
  16. This essay plan will attempt to uncover the ways in which people consume television within their own homes and will be comparatively based on David Morley's research on the subject.

    In terms of who decides what to watch and when, it would appear that men are in charge and in most instances the dominant male will have control of the viewing procedures. This would appear to relate very strongly to orthodox interpretations of gender role which suggest the male as head of the household and hence everything in it, including television viewing. Indeed, it would appear that according to Morley the only time women watch television without multi-tasking is when the household is empty and time can be spent watching alone.

    • Word count: 785
  17. 'According to Crompton and Le Feuvre women experience both horizontal and vertical segregation of work. How is this explained by Sylvia Walby and Catherine Hakim? What evidence would each of these key thinkers use to support their claims?'

    These are horizontal and vertical segregation. Horizontal segregation refers to the sectors in which people work for example the different sectors of work. There is a lot of evidence to explain and prove horizontal segregation to exist. The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) in 1996 concluded that women in the public sector were mainly employed in health and education, especially teaching. Nursing and primary school teaching is almost exclusively female. In the private sector women are over-concentrated in clerical, administrative, retail and catering.

    • Word count: 998
  18. Is gender behaviour learned or innate?

    Lionel Tiger and Robin Fox (1972) however believe that the difference in behaviour of both males and females can be explained in part by hormone production. As hormones are so closely related to the actions of the nervous system, this would then mean that hormones affect sexual behaviour, personality and emotion. Increased levels of testosterone and androgen in the human male can make them more boisterous, influencing change in their physical self as well as their psychological self.

    • Word count: 639
  19. Critically discuss 3 examples of contemporary family diversity.

    Class diversity seems to show that middle-class families have a greater interest in the education of their children, and pass on advantages and values which help their children through the education system. However, even if working-class families are just as child-centred, material deprivation would limit how much help they could give their children.

    • Word count: 418
  20. How Is Gender Identity Influenced by social structures?

    This recognition and the feeling of belonging it generates can be described as being "hailed" by that identity. Its like saying "That's me! I can see myself" (Althusser, 1971). Identifying with an image is much exploited by advertisers who use aspirational images of life styles to promote products. There are many influences on identity. These include: Upbringing, class, peer pressure, aspirations, opportunities, occupation, race, nationality, gender and politics. There are two key forces that produce identity: agency and social structures. Agency involves personal choice, motivation and action. Social structure is the framework of organisations and traditions that direct, mould and constrain behaviour by their influence.

    • Word count: 859
  21. To what extent have changing gender identities affected the performance of girls and boys at school in the contemporary UK?

    Hence a woman may have a typical masculine characteristic yet still be a woman and vice versa. We do as individuals have a degree of agency over the decisions and choices we make, however there are structures in society, social, cultural and economic factors which influence these choices. When social change occurs this can cause uncertainty and dversity in our identities but can also offer opportunities to form new identities. Lets considr how the roles of men and women in society have changed since the 1950'. Men at this time were seen as the breadwinners, working in the manufacturing industries, coal pits or steel works.

    • Word count: 860
  22. Discuss how the twins' behaviour could be explained by the cognitive theory.

    Janet and john use to enjoy their shopping trips with their mum, as they were both influenced to go out with her. At this time, when they both enjoy the trip, they have both been through the first and second stages of Kohlbergs cognitive theory. The first is, 'Gender Identity', this is from the ages of two to three and a half, when the child can identify his/her sex but isn't yet aware that it's fixed. The second stage, 'Gender Stability', is when the twins are at the age of three and a half to four and a half and they realise their gender is fixed, but is largely determined by superficial characteristics such as clothing.

    • Word count: 593
  23. Jean Paul Gaultier - Le Male advetisement.

    The man still has some "machoness" about him mainly stemming from the stare that he is giving the camera. The unimpressed stare which oozes confidence and stature masculinity is however directly opposed by some of the feminine or homosexual connotations that the image signifies. Another sign showing the machoness of the man is the crossed hands signifieng the man is closed off and protecting himself. The kink in the mans neck is a perfect example of the femmeninity that opposes the hardened (erect) body and portrays a more flaccid standing signifieng the homosexual idea that gay men always have flaccid wrists.

    • Word count: 604
  24. Wage Determination.

    increase. These rise in demands for labour will happen if the marginal productivity of labour increases. This may occur for a number of reasons, for example, productivity may improve due to changes in working practices or new technology, increasing output per worker. Another option is that the price of a product may increase, which would increase the value of each workers output. The price of capital may rise, meaning that it could become cheaper, at least in the short run, to employ more labour than capital. In a perfectly competitive market, labour is supposed to be homogeneous, meaning that labour is perfectly mobile and there are no barriers to entry of a particular trade.

    • Word count: 593
  25. Is the Family the building block for Society?

    or legally (marriage). A Family is refered to a group of people liveing together. The structure of the family varies from society to society. There are two basic family structures and these are the 'nuclear' and 'extended' family. The 'nuclear' family is defined as an adult heterosexual couple and their dependent children. Units larger than the nuclear family are usually known as 'extended families'. There are two basic types of socialisation: * Primary socialisation * Secondary socialisation A primary relationship is one in which the individual has a close, personal, face-to-face relationship.This usually occurs during the early years of childhood (0-5yrs)

    • Word count: 715

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • "Discuss the extent to which traditional masculine and feminine roles are changing"

    "In conclusion, I don't think that traditional roles are disappearing as such, but women are changing their priorities. As women are able to get into the labour force and into the highly paid jobs, they are able to provide economic stability for themselves and their children. Increased childcare facilities are enabling women to work and single mothers to cope. However, it seems that after their day at work, women go home and return to their traditional roles by doing the housework and looking after the children. Men's roles do not seemed to have changed much. More men are staying at home and looking after the children during the day yet it seems that this responsibility is handed over to the wife on her return from work."

  • Discuss the nature of women's history and the reason why women are mostly absent from most historical accounts.

    "This theory is highlighted by the debate between the optimists and pessimists. Sociologists of the 1960's and 1970's and many recent historians have been optimistic in the situation for women prior to the industrial revolution, for example Shorter. They believe that the industrial revolution supported the marital family and an increase in equality between men and women. This resulted from educational opportunities, which encouraged and aided women to enter the labour market, increasing their visibility and freedom. However Marxists and Feminists, for example Clark disagree portraying that as a result o capitalism which created cheap labour, women's position in the home was highlighted. It is possible that the two schools will never agree upon a conclusion of the position of women. It remains questionable whether the past could and will ever be rectified. Women's history remains premature. Roger's highlights women's historiography remains ambiguous because the status of women and their domination in the private arena conceals as much as it enlightens. In Thomas suggests that until more precise categories and clearer questions can be formulated the research will remain incomplete. To date women's history is a social history, which seeks to recover the position of invisible women portraying them both as individuals and as part of a group."

  • Philosophy of Sex Essay: 'Explain Mackinnon's critique and critically assess it."

    "In conclusion MacKinnon seems to over rate the effect of pornography on the everyday social structure and the harm that it causes. Her assumption that it sets the standards for all sexual acts and gender roles is over generalised, neglecting the fact many do not view pornography as a realistic portrayal of gender roles or the sexuality of gender. In the end pornography may not be promoting women's rights to equality, but it is hardly as damaging as she claims. Reference: C. MacKinnon, 'Not a Moral Issue' from Feminism Unmodified, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1987. pp. 146-162. Est 1000 words"

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