SOCI-161 Gender Roles
Fall for 2017-2018
TR 11:00am - 12:15pm
WAL 390

Gender Roles is an introduction to the sociological study of gender. Sociologists of Gender argue that gender is a major organizing principle of everyday life. We will be investigating the social construction and maintenance of gendered – and transgendered – identities in a gender-stratified society. The topics we will examine include: cultural definitions and expectations regarding gender identity and roles; childhood socialization; intimacies and sexualities; gender inequalities in relationships, including marriage and families of choice; inequities in work and the economy; religion; power and politics; and social reforms and possibilities for all individuals. Variations based on race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class are considered throughout the course. The focus is primarily on contemporary American society, although global issues will also be explored.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None


SOCI-161-01 Sociology of Gender
Fall for 2017-2018
WF 9:30-10:45AM

Course Objectives
This course aims to address the following goals:

1) Students will be guided to connect the substantive topic of gender roles to their own lived experiences and observations.

2) We will put the course topic of gender roles in sociological contexts, in order to understand gender roles more fully. For example, what does it mean to think sociologically about gender roles in times of rapid social change?

3) How do we use sociological theories to move from describing gender roles in societies to explaining gender roles in societies?

4) We consider many varied sources of data about contrasting gender roles and societies in order to deepen our understanding of gender roles.

5) What are the implications of sociological research findings for individual and collective actions re: gender experiences, gender policy proposals, solving gender problems, dealing with controversial gender issues, etc.?

6) How do gender roles in societies affect people at different levels of sociological analysis: personal, family, community, social class, gender, racial/ethnic group, societal, and global?

7) Which particular sociological theories give us the most viable explanations of gender roles?

8) How do different research methods affect our interpretations of social facts about gender roles and societies?

9) How do we benefit from learning about major social influences on gender roles and societies?

10) How can we be agents of constructive social changesn gender roles and societies?

Scope of Course
This course examines changing gender roles in the United States, as well as shifts in power relations between men and women in the United States. We will also explore gender issues in cross-cultural and international contexts.

Sociological perspectives are used to analyze specific aspects of the personal and public lives of men and women, and historical/cross-cultural data illustrate trends in diversity and social change. Each student is responsible for retrieving and presenting some historical or cross-cultural data to show complexities and contrasts in gender relations.

Feminist and masculinist social movements are considered, as well as definitions and patterns of patriarchal and feminist values. Institutionalized gender arrangements are another focus of class discussions, as well as different sexual orientations. For example, we will examine heterosexual and homosexual patterns in men's and women's participation in families and the work place. Special topics include gender roles in communications, education, careers, housework, parenting, care-giving, athletics, violence, and the media.

Case studies are used to more fully understand the impact of gender role socialization on behavior and social structures, and the impact of power relations and power structures on men and women. Each student is required to collect life-history data to illustrate the gender role socialization of one man and one woman. Research methodologies for constructing these life histories of gender socialization are reviewed early in the semester.

After studying social sources of gender inequalities, we examine collective efforts which try to reduce gender inequalities, as well as resistance to these attempts. Advocacy themes are articulated and used to assess current changes in gender roles and gender relations.

Research papers about gender roles may include fieldwork in Washington D.C. Local community organizations are possible sites or topics for research on particular aspects of power relations between men and women, as well as library materials.

Required Readings
Hall, C. Margaret. 2013. Social Intelligence and Gender. Tamarac, FL: Llumina Press.

Kramer, Laura and Ann Beutel. 2015. The Sociology of Gender: a Brief Introduction. Fourth Edition. Oxford University Press.

Students are also required to compose their own bibliographies for their research papers.


Schedule of Readings
Readings must be completed by the dates listed. Students will lead some class discussions on required readings and related topics.

Lectures are not necessarily based on the readings of the day. Sometimes there are special topics, reviews of readings completed, and orientations for future reading. Required readings are used as sources for the midterm exams, as well as for the research papers.

Research Papers
Throughout the semester students design and write up research based on specific aspects of gender roles. Class readings and discussions refine the theoretical perspectives of students' studies and methodologies. Some life history data may be used in analyses of the central questions of the fifteen page research papers.

Students' research and writing about gender roles is guided by Hall and class discussions. Library research, historical data, life history data, oral histories, interviews, participant-observation, and content analyses are some of the research methods used to substantiate students' research and applications of gender roles issues. Progress reports and findings related to individuals' projects are presented in class during the semester. The final copies of students' research papers (i.e. hard copies, no email or faxes) are due in Hall's office before 10 a.m. on Monday, May 4.

Audiovisual Presentations
Audiovisual presentations are given in February in the classroom:

F Feb.13 Divide of the Sexes: Gender Roles in Childhood.
F Feb.20 Life at 7: Peers.
F Feb.27 Gay Couples: The Nature of Relationships.

Course Grade
20% Midterm Exam 2 essays typed as take-home exam: distributed in class on W Feb. 25; due in class on W Mar.4.
No extensions, no emails, no faxes.

60% Class Participation Includes reviews of required readings; research paper outlines, reports, and drafts; annotated bibliographies of books and articles selected by students as research paper sources.

20% Research Paper 15 pages; due in my Sociology Department office before 10
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
SOCI-161-02 Sociology of Gender
Offered academic year 2016-2017
MW 12:30-1:45 PM
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
More information
Look for this course in the schedule of classes.

The academic department web site for this program may provide other details about this course.