gender and socialization

Describe and analyze how gender organizes individual life—yours or a character froma selected film or novel (see below).  You may do this in two ways:


  1. You may do an auto-ethnography in which you describe a particular moment in which you came to understand yourself as a gendered being—that is, a moment you remember of clear socialization to gender. You are looking in memory for an instance of what sociologist Arlie Hochschild’s (1994: 4) has named “magnified moments”: “episodes of heightened importance, either epiphanies, moments of intense glee or unusual insight, or moments in which things go intensely but meaningfully wrong.  In either case, the moment stands out; it is metaphorically rich, unusually elaborate and often echoes [later].” To do this, you may want to recall the moment writing in the present tense.  Then, step back, refer to yourself in the third person to get some distance, and analyze what you have written using concepts and referencing readings from the course.  The use of at least two concepts, properly defined and applied, is critical to the assignment.
  1. You may select a character from one of these novels–Brick Lane by Monica Ali, A Thousand Splendid Suns by KhaledHosseini, or Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn; or from one of these films-The Hunger Games by Gary Ross, 2012; Juno by Jason Reitman 2006; Little Miss Sunshine by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, 2006; Mean Girls by Mark Waters, 2004; Pride and Prejudice by Joe Wright, 2005; Social Network by David Fincher 2010.


You must use at least two course concepts, properly defined and applied, and reference course readings.




Essays will be evaluated in terms of the following expectations:

  1. Focus–the essay does what is assigned—see descriptions above
  2. Facts–the essay presents empirical evidence that is appropriate, vivid, and sufficient for the analysis.
  3. Theory–the essay uses and defines correctly the sociological concepts studied in class as a way of analyzing gender.
  4. Authority—the essay cites effectively from course notes and readings.
  5. Insight–fact and theory are combined to answer fully the question posed.
  6. Effectiveness in expression and organization–you find a clear and compelling way to make your argument. (This means clear organization, word choice and sentence structure and typographical devices like sidebars, boldface and italics to create a reader friendly document.)


Note: All essays should use ASA Style in references and citation.



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