Archive for May, 2011


References

De Niro, Robert (Producer), & Roach, Jay (Director).  (2000).  Meet the Parents (Motion Picture).  United States:  Universal Studios.

Lieberman, Todd (Producer), & Fletcher, Anne (Director).  (2009).  The Proposal (Motion Picture).  United States:  Touchstone Pictures.

Barnathan, Michael (Producer), & Levy, Shawn (Director).  (2003).  Cheaper by the Dozen (Motion Picture).  United States:  20th Century Fox.

Woodall, Alexis (Producer).  (2009).  Glee (Television Series).  Los Angeles:  20th Television.

DeFrancisco, V.P., & Palczewski, C. H.  (2007).  Communicating Gender Diversity.  Thousand Oaks, California:  Sage Publications.

OLPC Women in Judaism.  (n.d.).  Retrieved May 19, 2011 from Wiki. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Judaism

Symbolic interactionism – symbolic interactionism and family studies read more: symbolic interactionism – symbolic interactionism and family studies – gender, theory, definition, development, research, role, self, socialization, processes, and conflict http://family.jrank.org/pages/1677/symbolic-interactionism-symbolic-interactionism-family-studies.html#ixzz1njqqebut. (2011). Retrieved from http://family.jrank.org/pages/1677/Symbolic-Interactionism-Symbolic-Interactionism-Family-Studies.html

Eden, M. (2008, April 29). Grand theft auto iv: the consequences of gamer culture . Retrieved from http://startthinkingright.wordpress.com/category/grand-theft-auto/

This was my most favorite project to do within my communication major thus far here at CNU because I loved picking out the artifacts and writing about what I wanted about gender.  Learning about the theories in class and observing the representations I encountered in this project has given me a broader understanding of how much gender plays apart in our culture.

Firstly, I used my personal experiences to relate to many theories we learned in class.  Theories included the social learning theory, cognitive development, and anthropology.  Dr. Stern has used our journal entries to think about personal experiences; however, I did not post many of those entries on my blog.  I felt more comfortable posting the personal experiences for this portfolio instead.

When I first started thinking about this project, I thought that I wanted to embed as many media clips as possible because my life basically runs through the media.  However, I have never really thought about the gender examples that occur within the media.  It was easy to find gender norms and violations of gender norms within media representations.  I used sources from movies, television and song lyrics.  I felt the song lyrics were the most difficult to interpret because I had to think through the artist’s mind about what he or she was trying to say within his or her song.  Throughout the media representations, I connected the clips to social institutions such as education, work, family, etc.  I thoroughly enjoyed researching and finding media examples that represented gender concepts.  During my presentation, I hope to show these media clips and describe which concepts and theories play a part in it.

My artifacts mostly supported the concepts and ideas from our text.  There were a few artifacts that didn’t mesh with the gender norms.  Some of the artifacts overlapped with one another because it related to the same concept, theory, or idea.

After creating this portfolio and learned the different concepts and theories throughout the class, I now have a better understanding of gender roles and gender representation.

As a member of the Jewish faith, I’ve recognized some of the differences Judaism outlines between men and women.  They both contain different positions in religious life, which leads to different religious responsibilities.  “Reformers within the Orthodox tradition believe that some of these differences are not a reflection of religious law, but rather of cultural, social, and historical causes” (Wiki, 2011).  I am not as religious as I used to be, however, I have witnessed many of these differences within temple as a young boy.  In my opinion, men are more socially active in Judaism than women.

At an early age, Jewish children are entered into Hebrew School, where they will learn writings and teachings of the Torah and other prophets.  Men were needed to learn much more about other prophets than the women because the women only needed to learn specifically about the Torah.  Women who learned from the Torah needed to understand the responsibilities in running a Jewish household.  Additionally, in an event of a Jewish holiday, bar mitzvah, or bat mitzvah, the men are the only ones who wear yarmulkes.  “Orthodox rabbis discourage women from wearing yarmulkes” (Wiki, 2011).  Women’s participation in temple is very limited.  Usually it is the men who give the readings of the Torah to the public.  Also, most Jewish rabbis are men.  This is partly because women are not amongst the individuals in the profession of rabbis and priests.  Nonetheless, women are not totally dismissed within the synagogue.  Some synagogues contain mechitzots, which are benches equal distance to the Torah.  Men are on one side and women are seated on the other.  This shows that everyone is equal, as the women are not further away from the Torah as the men.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Judaism

Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro star in the comedy Meet the Parents (Roach, 2000).  The clip above (at 36 seconds) represents the trailer from the film.  It illustrates that Gaylord, known as Greg in the film (Stiller), is in fact a male nurse and is criticized for it.  In one of the first scenes of the movie, a hospital patient mistakenly refers to Greg as one of the doctors on duty for the day, but Greg corrects him and tells the patient that he is just a nurse.  During the movie, Greg is forced to visit his girlfriend Pam’s parents.  Pam’s father (De Niro) creates a conflict between Greg and Pam.  Throughout the majority of the movie, De Niro and other family members tease Greg because of his occupation.  It is not until the very last scene of the movie that De Niro accepts the fact that Greg wants to be a nurse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK_pm70Ij1U

Gender norms have been violated in this example.  Gender stereotypes portray the majority of women as being nurses, teachers, etc; they display qualities of being supportive and helpful.  In hospitals, nurses tend to aid the patients in ways such as providing medication, providing food and comfort, etc.  These duties aren’t normally satisfactory for men.  This media example describes one of the five structural aspects of work.  Invention and Reproduction of Cultural Images of Work represents Greg Focker as a male nurse because culturally and stereotypically, women are the roles of nurses.  In the sequel Meet the Fockers (Roach, 2005) there is a representation of a “nurse reading card” that is used to teach children how to view and read a nurse.  On the photo card shows a female.  The card was only made for one gender because the profession of a nurse resides in the gender of a female.  Finally, Greg portrayed as a male nurse represents an unmarked term.

Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds star in the romantic comedy, The Proposal (Fletcher, 2009).  In the film, Bullock is the chief editor of a publishing company.  Her personal assistant, Reynolds, has been with her for three years and is desperately awaiting a promotion.  Bullock’s coworkers are more than intimidated by her.  In the clip (at 21 seconds) below, her coworkers are shown mingling and talking amongst one another.  When Bullock walks in the door and arrives at work, everyone stops mingling and talking and quickly sits at their desks and pretend like they’re working.  This shows that Bullock has the majority authority over everyone in the work place.

The beating that Reynolds’s takes from Bullock is reversed when she faces deportation for an expired visa.  She plans a case in which she marries Reynolds, however, Reynolds finally gets his promotion in return.  They go to visit Reynolds’s parents in Alaska, and the film turns into a love theme.

This is another example of Invention and Reproduction of Cultural Images of Work.  Bullock violates the gender role women partake in the work place.  “The stereotype is that women are more emotional than men” (DeFrancisco & Palczewski, 2007).  The only emotions that Bullock displayed were love emotions with Reynolds near the end of the movie.  Within the work place, Bullock showed no signs of emotion, even when she was attacked by one of her workers because of a firing.  She later stated in the movie that she went to the bathroom to cry because she didn’t want her coworkers to see that side of her.  She portrayed too much of a masculine role in the work place to cry in front of her coworkers.  Additionally, women are seen as unequal to men’s wages for the same job.  In this film, Bullock was paid substantially well, as shown in her apartment in Central Park West.

It’s tough keeping a hold on twelve children, especially if you’re the only parent there and even more especially if you’re the father.  In the film Cheaper by the Dozen (Levy, 2003), Steve Martin plays a father in which he must balance his coaching job and twelve children at the same time while his wife is on a book tour.  Things get hectic as Martin soon realizes that he can’t do this job on his own and things are getting too out of control.  In this clip (at 40 seconds) Martin shows his struggles around the household and how his kids don’t listen to him as they do their mother.  Mothers are the parents who generally look after the house and the children.  They take care of everything in and around the house, and the men stereotypically are the individuals who bring home the labor.  Since Martin doesn’t do anything around the house and hardly spends time at home, he sees what his wife has to deal with, and eventually he can’t overcome it.

In this film, Martin observes the difference between paid vs. unpaid labor.  His paid labor resides in his college football coaching, and his unpaid labor resides in his around the housework while his wife is away.  Stereotypically, children must be close with their mother, and the mother can’t do without her children.  This example is shown in the film when Martin’s wife calls room service for twelve pillows to be delivered to her room to make her feel like she’s back at home.  Another structural aspect on display is the Invention and Reproduction of Cultural Images of Work.  This aspect is demonstrated through Martin’s portrayal of a “house dad”.  In conclusion, this film displays both family and work as a social institution of gender.

I am a very gifted person when it comes to remembering things.  I am always referred to as “rain man” by my parents.  At the age of four, I can remember all the things my parents and I did together while we lived in New York.  At that time, my Dad was playing minor league ice hockey for the NYFD (yes that’s an actual team, not the fire department).  He had been playing ice hockey since he was little.  He also enjoyed playing soccer and basketball as a teenager so he was very athletic.  When I was a toddler, my Mom would go watch every game he played in while my sister and I were babysat at home.

So, at the age of four, I remember one of the first hockey games I had ever been to, and my Dad was playing in it!  All children aspire to be just like their Mom or Dad so I in fact used the social learning theory.  In our textbook, “this theory examines the socialization process whereby children internalize many identities and norms of behavior, not just gender.  The theory portrays socialization as a passive process in which children learn by watching and imitating others” (DeFrancisco & Palczewski, 2007).  I demonstrated this theory because I wanted to be just like my Dad after watching his game.  This is when I first started to play ice hockey.  Days later, I had a hockey stick and goal in my driveway.  My Dad was one of the “bad boys” on his team, so he would exemplify aggression and determination.  In my driveway, I would make up game-like scenarios and use aggression and determination to score an “imaginary” goal.  Even though I do not play ice hockey anymore, I used what I observed from my Dad in the past to my advantage and turned out to be a pretty talented ice hockey player.

The cognitive development theory can be best shown in my life through athletics.

“Like psychoanalysis, cognitive development explains gender identity development as a mental process.  Like social learning, it notes that children will behave according to social norms of gender.  Cognitive development theory is different from social learning because the assumed motive for learning gender is not a desire to mimic others or to attain rewards from others but a desire for self development and competency” (DeFrancisco & Palczewski, 2007).

I have used the cognitive development theory in many tennis matches that I’ve played.  When an individual is out on the tennis court, there is no one to help them because it is an individual sport with no form of coaching whatsoever.  If things get tough, players have to rely on themselves to pull them back up.  Finding a will to win in my opinion demonstrates the cognitive development theory.  I have demonstrated this many times when I have come back from a large deficit to become victorious at the end.  This ability and skill I have accomplished cannot be taught or learned.  It comes deep within an athlete’s heart and sole.  Many professional athletes exemplify this competency.  However, there are some athletes who can’t ever figure this out, and that’s one of many things that make sports intriguing to watch.

“Researchers in anthropology have provided evidence of the unique ways in which different cultures construct and define gender.  Anthropological theory encourages a researcher to try to become a part of a given culture to better understand its norms, values, and identities, and posits that each culture will define its norms, values, and identities (such as gender) in unique ways” (DeFrancisco & Palczewski, 2007).  There have been many experiences in my life that have been influenced culturally to my self-development and self-awareness.  There is one instance, in particular that stands out, which represents gender styles culturally different from my own.

Nearing the end of my seventh grade year at Short Pump Middle School, I made friends with an Islamic girl, Sabrina, in my biology class.  We became close as we did multiple dissections as lab partners.  During the last week of school, she came up to me personally and was very nervous about telling me something.  I had no idea what it could be because we were completely comfortable with each other and had no problems whatsoever.  She told me that at the start of our eight grade year, she had to transform into a full Muslim woman, meaning she had to cover the hair on her head and wear a robe to cover her body because Islam believes that a woman’s hair is apart of her and should not be exposed.  This was the start of her transformation into something very different and also a very different human being.

I had realized that Sabrina had become culturally different than me in some ways, but was she also still similar to me?  The clothing that had to cover her hair and body is considered different than my gender style.  In those years, I was wearing sleeveless shirts, shorts and sandals to school.  The hair on my legs, arms and hair were all visible, which differed from her gender style.  One similarity we had in common before her transformation was that we were both very sarcastic.  We would say not so nice things about other people to one another, however we were being totally sarcastic.  After her transformation, we differed in that regard.  I was still sarcastic, while she was very mellow and polite to others.

Sabrina did COME FROM a culturally different society, but I was surprised by the differences that had occurred in her own self.  I was surprised by her attitude and personality shift.  It didn’t bother me that she had to cover her body because that’s what all Muslim women must do.  I learned that my culture that I grew up with was very different from Sabrina’s.  I was not forced to do anything I did not want to do.  I could be free and wear what I pleased…under school regulations that is.  If I were in her shoes, I would have made the best out of my situation.  My attitude and personality would not have changed just because of a little transformation.  I also learned that I am very lucky to have been raised the way I was by my parents.

Image URL:  http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_pkh9t1SEB2k/TF2Kjwah66I/AAAAAAAAAB0/PV3eh0I5zRk/s1600/Cast-Kurt%2BHummel.jpg&imgrefurl=http://histoiredeiznillah.blogspot.com/2010/08/glee-cast-1st-part.html&h=1200&w=1600&sz=203&tbnid=jYvFS7do4kUc7M:&tbnh=113&tbnw=150&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dkurt%2Bhummel%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=kurt+hummel&usg=__3BRZoj7IHzkSseQg5NX_RGCOvgE=&sa=X&ei=ElncTfnZD8uRgQeb_vTzDw&ved=0CC8Q9QEwBQ

“As a form of study, queer theory is the process by which people have made dissident sexuality articulate, meaning available to memory, and sustained through collective activity.  In the process of studying those who do not fit into the neat binaries just outlined, queer theory creates a language that names and makes present those who live outside the binaries” (DeFrancisco & Palczewski, 2007).  Glee (Woodall, 2009) features a high school singing club who use their free time to sing for the sheer joy of it.  They sing in solos and in groups and try to become talented enough to win high school Glee Club nationals.  One of the cast members, Kurt, happens to be one of the best singers in the club.  Throughout the episodes, he’s had a great deal of solos, along with some interesting song selections.  His song selections are in question along with his sexuality.  In Season 1, Kurt has a fear of coming out as being gay.  He holds within him a fear of disappointing his father, who he believes will not accept him as gay.

Kurt eventually comes out and informs his Dad of his sexuality.  His father wasn’t entirely comfortable with his sexuality and the situation, however, he loves Kurt and no matter what he will always be there for him, support him and be proud to be his father.  Not only has Kurt gone against the gender norms, but also all men within Glee Club have gone against them.  Gender norms of men are typically strong, masculine, powerful, athletic, etc.  Within the series, the football team berates the Glee Club many times, showing their form of masculinity.  The effects Kurt feels from the football team on being gay and apart of Glee Club shows that he doesn’t encompass much proxemics, or personal space.  A person of a higher status such as the football team would possess a massive amount of proxemics.