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Gender being socially constructed

After our discussion in class about the 5 main socially constructed views on masculinity and femininity, I began to ask myself is this how we really view the roles of a man and a women in society?  I for one think that it becomes a little old fashioned to carry around the notion that women are the natural care givers whereas the men are the breadwinners.  I think that further down the road people will surely see a different view of what constitute feminine and masculine behaviour according to society and the media.  I believe that more people will learn that men and women are becoming more equal as the generations go by.  Eventually we’ll get to the point where men and women are pretty much seen as equal in the home setting as well as in the working world. 

When I hear the term socially constructed I always think about the medi because I think the media has influenced society in so many ways that it affects peopls understanding and of the real world.  I for one think that culture plays an important role in the view we socailly construct gender.  So i’m trying to find out what you all think about the social constructed views of gender.  Does the media really have a dominant say in the way we view gender?  Does perhap our parents teach us the  roles we associate to gender as we grow up?  Do you agree that in the near future the social construction of gender will change or remain the same?

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2 Responses

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  1. michaelyoon says

    I believe that what environmental or situational factors that we are exposed to truly shape how one views gender. Considering the fact that those who live in a common society must be exposed to several common cultural factors thus creating a socially constructed point of view. This is mainly due to the assumption that in order for people to function in one society all members must have some sort of common ideology or belief for the group to persist and grow.
    This is why gender roles in Asian countries may defer from those in African countries or even the Western culture.
    Having said that, as globalization continues to mushroom outwards to every corner of the world, different cultural views will mix and be shared, thus resulting in new social constructions of gender. For instance, in Eastern Asia, young males are dressing more Metrosexually (Sporting androgenous looks, and are using more cosmetics). This may catch on within the Western culture or maybe the Western culture will overcome and impose our standards of masculinity on these “feminine” concepts of “masculinity” in East Asia.
    But then again what do I know… I am just saying it how I see it from being stuck between Western culture and South Korean culture.

  2. ashley says

    I find the media does play a huge role in constructing our perception of gender, alongside what our parents teach us. Just watching commercials or any television show will make these gender roles evident, even in today’s world. Take Everybody Loves Raymond for example. The husband is the breadwinner, and his wife stays at home with the kids. It’s a current television show (or at least it hasn’t been off the air that long), but it demonstrates old fashioned gender roles. Of course, there are examples of the wife being career oriented as well. One example would be Family Ties, although that show is from the 80s. Interesting how we seem to be moving forward as a society, yet there are some TV shows that are reverting back those fashioned gender stereotypes. The “husband = breadwinner” and “wife = caretaker” is still apparent is some TV shows, but one stereotype which was brought up in class and that I see in almost every TV show is how the wives are always aesthetically pleasing. In comparison, the husbands are almost always way more goofy and not as physically attractive. Some examples: Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens, The Simpsons, Two And A Half Men (although not husbands/wives, but just men/women… and the only “unattractive” woman is seen as comic relief and not a desirable character). I see it mostly in sitcoms that revolve around some type of family unit. I do hope in near future that this social construction of gender through the media will become obsolete, but what I see on TV doesn’t give me much hope.

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