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Sociologists argue that gender is not “natural”—instead, people teach, learn, resist, and practice being feminine and masculine every day of our lives. In this post, you’ll look at lessons we learn about how to and how not to do gender. Choose a domain of objects—for example, greeting cards, dolls, athletic wear, toys, bedding, or hygiene products. Examine the objects carefully, looking for the subtle and not-so-subtle lessons they provide in how to do gender. According to the objects you examine, what are the rewards and punishments for adhering to or violating those lessons? Consider how the how-to and how-not-to lessons are race, class, sexually and otherwise culturally specific—for example, how are they particular to Asian-Americans? To gay men? To people in the upper-middle class?
To do an excellent job (i.e., to earn an “A”) on this section (20 points), you will do the following:
Briefly describe the domain of objects that you analyzed and explain how you gathered the information about your chosen objects;
Discuss the “lessons” these objects provide about gender expectations and the consequences of violating and satisfying those expectations (be sure to provide specific examples);
Analyze the patterns to these lessons—what’s the overall how-to or how-not-to lesson about gender—again providing detailed examples;
Link your insights to the readings we’ve done and provide in-text citations to the articles or textbook.
Draws from class material and not from personal opinion
Avoids egregious errors or misinterpretations of course concepts
Avoids excessive grammatical mistakes