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University Degree: Gender Studies

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  1. How and why is there a gendered division of labour?

    This can be justified by saying that biological differences provide a mean of differentiating social roles. Talcott Parsons believed that "nuclear families are the most effective form of household in industrial societies" and claimed that "stable supportive families are the key to successful socialisation". Parson stated that families work most efficiently with a "clear-cut sexual division of labour in which females act in expressive roles and men act in instrumental roles." These 'expressive' and 'instrumental' roles play a key part in the functionalists approach towards gender and the division of labour.

    • Word count: 1675
  2. The issue of homosexuality in Portnoy's Complaint is raised as a corollary to Portnoy's sexual identity. Throughout the book he speaks

    Much of the text plays around Portnoy's relationship to Judaism and his loathing of the strict laws that are placed upon him by his mother. As we have previously discussed, Judaism and homosexuality are often compared and it can be understood that because Portnoy is so ashamed of his Judaism he is overcompensating through sex. It is as if he wants the world to know that he is a "muscle Jew," masculine in all ways, and full of sexual prowess.

    • Word count: 1036
  3. Drawing from your understanding of Vivian de Klerks The role of expletives in the construction of masculinity (1997) and Finlaysons Womens language of respect: Isihlonipa sabafazi

    I will also continue by discussing the other factors which play a role in constructing gender identities, namely urbanisation, social expectations, primary socialisation, religion and the way in which both, de Klerk and Finlayson have conducted their research- data capturing methods. From the time we are taught to speak, we are told that girls do not swear and that it is accepted for boys to use faul language. Finlayson says that using expletives makes men to feel that they are in control, that they have power (72).

    • Word count: 1826
  4. Find a suitably ambiguous picture and record how at least 20 people respond to the question: 'What is going on in this picture

    In the same way iconic paintings in many galleries are viewed and studied differently, whereas only the artist has true knowledge of its meaning, each individual can also interpret the TAT card differently. The first Thematic Apperception Test cards were developed at the Harvard Psychological Clinic in the 1930's by Christina D Morgan and Henry A Murray and are still used in psychoanalysis today, thus proving the tests' efficiency. 'Nobody takes the same picture of the same thing so photographs are evidence not only of what's there but of what an individual sees, not just a record but an evaluation of the world.'

    • Word count: 1815
  5. "The Gender Agenda has been conflated with Women's Agenda

    At first glance it may seem that the Gender Agenda has been conflated with women's issues. One of those reasons seems to be that men have always been assured their place in society. There seems to be in existence an unwritten script that holds consensus among both male and female, about the superiority of men in society. This script is surely unwritten because in comparison to the writings on Women's Agenda, spearheaded most times by feminists, the writings on men seem to be few and far apart.

    • Word count: 1415
  6. Deborah Tannen and Dale Spender, explore the idea that men and women inhabit two distinct cultures. Is this still the case in the twenty-first century?

    From this they concluded that babies could discriminate gender, even before they begin to talk. Parent's great investments in encouraging their daughters to be sociable, they smile and to them more, encouraging them to smile they tend to be more verbally affectionate towards girls. Using terms like, 'honey', 'precious' and 'angel'. With boys, less time is spent on these embryonic conversations and more on stimulating them to be more active and outgoing. The different ways in which boys and girls are treated maybe a response to the infant's behaviour; parents may spend more time talking to girls because, girls respond better to that sort of stimulation whereas boys respond more to physical activity.

    • Word count: 1578
  7. Compare and contrast the descriptions of Hero and Leander which open Marlowe's poem. How does Marlowe construct gender?

    Alternatively, an interpretation of these lines could suggest that Marlowe, in using such an extreme example, is ridiculing the extent to which importance is placed upon feminine beauty and may slyly be mocking the conventions of contemporary Renaissance women, where lavish costume and adornment were prevalent. The blood stains could therefore be symbolise the corruptions of society and the hypocrisy of its conventions. A following passage describes how Hero wearing a veil covered in "artificial flowers and leaves whose workmanship both man and beast deceives" These lines are suggestive of what Marlowe may perceive as the covert or duplicitous nature of femininity.

    • Word count: 1132
  8. "You can never have too many" by Jane Smiley And "Thank heaven for little boys" by Ana Veciana-Suarez

    As well masculinity and femininity roles "change over time and with different cultures or groups within cultures." (Ackley, 2003, p.347) In Ana Veciana-Suarez's article Thank Heaven For Little Boys," and Jane Smiley's article, "You Can Never Have too Many," we will see how they observe gender roles and from their opinion, how they are developed from birth and are influenced from our families, society, and the media. Both genders are influenced by families, society, and the media, the only difference is that they adapt roles that fit into their specific gender.

    • Word count: 1101
  9. "It is not the case that fashion and clothing simply reflect an already existing sex and gender identity, but that they are part of the process by which attitudes to and images of both men and women are created and reproduced." Discuss with examples.

    (Braudel 1981) can be seen to support Rouse's theory by his own idea that fashion began by noblemen, squires and the bourgeoisie wearing tunics 'so tight that they revealed what modesty bids us to hide.' The reason for doing this can be seen as a show of male masculinity thus creating an unconscious link between this way of dressing and their power in society as men and as the Elite ruling class. (Wilson 1985) suggests that it began in the 14th Century with the changing of a series of styles that was determined by the Royal court right up until the 18th Century.

    • Word count: 1473
  10. 'Patriarchy explains the widespread nature of violence against women'. Discuss with reference to particular societies.

    However with the current separation of work between the sexes it has led to unequal positions being assumed by man and woman in terms of prestige, power and wealth. In spite of the advances made by women in many countries across the world, gender differences persist to serve as the foundation for social inequalities. Sociologist have therefore developed new concepts to analyse gender inequality (Abercrombie 2002, pg, 193) since it would able the interconnectedness of the different aspects of gender inequality to be captured.

    • Word count: 1617
  11. Trends and Issues in Psychology.

    These learned attributes are what make up gender identity and determine gender roles". But do people "learn" what gender they are, or does it happen as a natural instinct? What I intend to examine in this essay is how psychologists have treated gender differences and gender deviations over the past decades. Where does a gender bias occur within the practice of psychology? Historically, males have dominated the psychology profession. This leaves women open to discrimination, being regarded as "all women are the same", and different to, or "below" the male norm. It can also be very convenient to categorize people according to gender.

    • Word count: 1858
  12. Discuss the nature of women's history and the reason why women are mostly absent from most historical accounts.

    An analysis of women was thus underdeveloped and neglected, a subject, which male historians refuse to consider on its own. Perhaps the myopia of male scholars only contributes to the absence of women from historical accounts. The cultural norm of society placed women in a subordinate position. Riley rightly suggests that women were absent from historical accounts because women were defined in history as 'the other'. The notion of 'the other' differentiates women with reference to men, but not he with reference to her, unlike male subjects she is the incidental, as opposed to the male subject who is assumed to be essential.

    • Word count: 1953
  13. Examine the Factors that Influence Gender Identity.

    The first stage of male or female development begins with the inheritance of sex chromosomes. Females have two X-chromosomes (XX); males have XY. Human's always inherit one X from their mother, and then either an X or Y from their father. The Y-chromosome inherited by the father controls the development of the testes from the foetal gonad, via a series of instructions. If after 12-13 weeks no instruction has been given, that is there is an absence of a Y-chromosome, the foetal gonad develops into an ovary. The hormone MIH controls the Mullarian system, which influences the development of the female internal genitalia; Androgens, particularly Testosterone, control the Wolffian system which influences the development of male internal genitalia (Corning, 1921).

    • Word count: 1588
  14. For this essay I have chosen the short story done by Ann Eggley as my primary source document.

    This text provides a short summary of the working life and the working conditions for Ann working during the early eighteen hundreds. Ann is only Eighteen years old and had been working moving coal wagons underground for eleven years already. She is uneducated, and does not known how to read, does not known her letters enabling her to even spell her own name. She had never gone to a church or chapel because there was no church or chapel closer than a mile of where she had lived. She had never heard of Christ or of what a prayer was.

    • Word count: 1118
  15. The development of animated cartoons as a form of entertainment on television in Pakistan.

    However, the first cartoons to be televised in Pakistan were by PTV in the 80s. The classical Mickey Mouse, Tom and Jerry or Felix the Cat featured in the early transmissions. Such cartoons were the earliest form of animation and revolved around the basic theme of implicit comedy. Apart from this, PTV aired Sesame Street in the evenings. Sesame Street, being the most universally watched educational preschool children's program in the world (Davies 83), was a delight to watch and proved to be a useful experience. The primary boost in cartoon entertainment came with the Network Television Marketing (NTM)

    • Word count: 1060
  16. Describe Some of the Ways In Which Gender Catagories Can Be Used To Explain the Formation of Gender Identities In Young Children?

    So to some extent there is a choice involved. Turner and his colleagues (Turner et al., 1987) came up with the theory of self-categorisation. This claims that people look at social categories and decide if they are in that category or not. If they are in a certain category that category becomes part of their identity. So as in the example above a man could devide people into categories of men and women but he identifies more with the category of women and considers himself a member of that category.

    • Word count: 1539
  17. In the struggle to create equality and diversity in America's workforce and learning institutions, affirmative action has become another struggle in the pursuit of true fairness.

    that we set out to eradicate"(Steele 328) with the implementation of affirmative action over thirty years ago. Steele then argues that the supplementation of these laws to promote equality have, in turn, nurtured a "victim focused identity in blacks...[made] scapegoats of the very people they seek to help...[and made] whites look better than they are and blacks worse, while doing nothing whatsoever to stop the very real discrimination that blacks may encounter"(Steele 330-331). The effects of affirmative action are more detrimental to society than they are beneficial as the general public is negatively affected due to the denial of opportunity to the deserving -- consequently resulting in the abuse of law and power by the government.

    • Word count: 1270
  18. What is socialisation and how is it achieved? With reference to sociological research how significant do you think socialisation is to society?

    The child begins to discover the appropriate ways to behave, and the norms and values of society that are necessary for an individual to fit in. Children mainly learn through observation and imitation, they watch their parents and then try to copy this behaviour. Therefore, the child is likely to have many similar social skills to that of their parents. Although it may seem that children are passive and simply absorb whatever information they are given. They are in fact active thinkers, they take the information that they are given, look at it and then decide whether or not to accept it.

    • Word count: 1909
  19. Mate selection in humans tends to follow a naturally established trend that is unconsciously adhered to by both males and females in their search for their 'perfect' match.

    Literature review: In the human race, mate selection tends to take a 'survival of the fittest' fashion. So as to successfully attain a mate for oneself, one has to be the best at what one is, and it should further be what the opposite sex considers 'the in thing'. It has been argued by Rose and Rose that ability to earn, wealth, power, and social status are a few of those traits that have great impact on how prospective mates; both male and female, are appraised.

    • Word count: 1157
  20. For the past few decades the goal of feminism has been to achieve equal rights for women. It began with the efforts of Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who laid the frame for the Women's Suffrage Movement and later movements to come.

    The majority of Dickinson's poetry is based on death, love and eternity. Based on the context of the poem, "She Rose to His Requirements," we will examine the cultural attitudes toward gender, marriage and sexual personae, which exist in the nineteenth century. In comparing these attitudes to those, which exist in the twenty-first century we will determine whether or not equal rights for women is truly a reality. One should take into consideration, Betty Friedan's term, the "feminine mystique." This term is in reference to traditional female roles. During the nineteenth century, the role of women was rather limited and pejorative: the wife, the mother, and the home- maker.

    • Word count: 1262
  21. Compare and contrast the accounts of 'sex' and 'gender' and the relationship between them that have been given by the biological, evolutionary, social constructionist and psychoanalytical perspectives.

    We will now examine the basic assumptions made by each perspective with respect to the concepts of sex and gender. It is important to bear in mind that different perspectives ask different questions and use different methods. The biological factors that are thought to shape sex and gender include external genitalia, sex chromosomes and genes, hormones and lateralization of brain function. The most commonly used way to determine sex is observation of the external (visible) genitals (Hollway, Cooper, Johnston and Stevens, 2003)

    • Word count: 1850
  22. "The dichotomy between the private and the public is central to almost two centuries of feminist writing and political struggle; it is, ultimately, what the feminist movement is about" - Discuss.

    It is from this point where the sense of what is masculine and feminism is created. In feminist thought, I think an initial challenge has to be made to the definite male bias in views of human nature underpinning the public/private distinction. In liberal theory, the qualities needed for public life and for justice are those qualities associated with the rational, impartial, independent autonomous individual, which a man is supposed to traditionally inhabit. Consequently, women being creatures of the body, emotion, particularity, care and nature are suited to the private sphere, according to liberal-patriarchy. Their role for this has "a foundation in nature," (Kymlicka, 2002, 378).

    • Word count: 1465
  23. How the Results were obtained

    As a double check the sum totals were taken and checked against the total number of respondents. For the second section the distribution of length of Unemployment over Gender and marital status was calculated. Again the data was sorted but this time by 'male', 'married' and 'status' so the unemployed respondents could be easily distinguished. This time the range was different, as it was only information from unemployed respondents being used. There are 91 days in a quarter. Therefore again using the 'count if' function, for single males, the cells in the range of 5112:5271 in the tenure row (row G)

    • Word count: 1024
  24. Despite a reduction of gender differences in the occupational world.... one occupational role remains entirely feminine: the role of housewife"

    Gershuny's, "Change in the domestic division of labour in the UK" 1975-1987, was a longitudinal study that found an increase in equality within the home. He found the longer the woman was in paid employment, the more the man helped out with household tasks, Gershuny referred to this as "lagged adaptation". He admitted that although the "dual burden" of women in the home had a long way to go before disappearing that there was an increase in men sharing household roles with women.

    • Word count: 1147
  25. What can the study of gender relations tell us about the 'social construction' of 'human' and 'physical' geographies?

    Feminist geography has a number of concepts; a critical discourse has been developed meaning there is criticism over women's oppression in society and the ways in which this has been represented in theory. The second concept is that of sexism within a workplace or geographical institutions, The third concept that many feminist geographers share a commitment to stimulating knowledge and with the view that interpretations have to be in context and with consideration of other factors rather than universal and detached from other factors that may affect them (Johnston et al 2000).The fourth concept that feminist geographies looks at is the 'interconnections between all aspects of daily life' across disciplinary boundaries of geography (Johnston et al 2000).

    • Word count: 1566

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