A Gendered Society: Gender Roles in Education

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So here’s an outline of a chapter that we are assigned to do in my Sociology of Gender class. We are assigned into book groups and there are four textbooks. And we each read a chapter from the book that we have chosen according to the group we are in. So I joined a  group, read the chapter and created an outline. Then we will present it to the class for a grade as well as class discussion. I believe that this is great information since I do believe what it says is true and that this happens on college campuses and in middle and high schools.Seems like gender is everything in America.

This first part talks about students and their educational experiences. The second part talks about the faculty of colleges and what their role and expectations are for each gender. However, I only provide the first part of the chapter and the outline below.

Book: Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture
Author: Julia T. Wood

Chapter 8: “Gendered Education: Communication in Schools”

I.        Gendered Expectations and Pressures Facing Students

A.      To understand the gendered education system that exists today there are three gendered dynamics that plays as a role in today schools; especially on college campuses.

1.      Academics: Both males and females encounter with the gendered expectations and pressure from the time they enter kindergarten all the way through graduate and professional school.

a.       Males

1.      The author points out that in younger grades, the learning environment is feminine since the adult females outnumber the male teachers.  Boys tend to have more physical energy and less impulse to control themselves as they try to adjust to the classroom setting

2.      Males are behind in reading and verbal skills and females are more likely to achieve such skills faster. Furthermore, females are more likely to succeed academically whereas 33% of males are likely to drop out.

3.      After high school, females are 22% more likely than males to plan to attend college. Today women make up 58% of students in two- and four- year colleges. Minority women are twice as likely to as minority men to earn college degrees.

4.      Choices of how to spend time whether studying or doing extracurricular activities plays an important role of both genders level of accomplishment. In schools, they discourage boys and men to develop traditional feminine skills such as caring for others and entering fields traditional for women.

5.      Sex combine with race can help cause disadvantages for some male students.  Low expectations towards African American males are communicated from the teacher.  They are targets of teacher disapproval and unfavorable treatment than their white peers.  Therefore, African American males drop out in higher numbers than white males or females of any race.

a.       Females

1.      Women are faced with the bias and barrier of being less skilled in the field of math and science education that could decrease them getting a career in said fields.  Faculty and their peers feel as if they are less able than males in the fields. Women earn 22.6% of undergrad degrees in physics but only 15.5% of doctorates. They earn nearly half of undergrad degrees in mathematics and less than that in getting doctorates.

2.      Cultural stereotype of femininity do not include women being skilled in science and math; therefore they are being disapproved are judged incompetent if not extremely successful and perceived as cold, selfish, and manipulative, and not liked they are successful.

3.      Sex-related differences in the brain allow males to have slight edge in math and science skills than females. Males are likely to be encouraged to peruse careers in these fields and females should have careers that involved being interacted with people.

             B.  Gender-Stereotyped Curricula

1.      Gender stereotype still exist in the curriculum in schools. For instance, history is taught and only males are the spotlight of lessons and very seldom are the women are noted to their contributions. This is like a lesson that talks about war battles and military leaders.

2.      When women are mentioned in the curricular they fall under two categories:

a.       The women who fit traditional stereotypes of women: For example Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag.

b.      Women highlighted in curricula distinguished themselves on men’s term and in masculine contexts: Mother Jones was a powerful organizer for unions. Women in this category tend to represent as exceptional cases or remain hidden.

3.      1974: Researches identify a hidden curriculum that reflects gender stereotypes and sustain gender inequities by giving less attention and encouragement to female students than to white male students.

4.      Historical events are taught in terms of what men did and their effects rather than highlighting the women. They neglect their impact on women and minorities. The major events are not taught on how women gained more opportunities, were considered inferior because they were assumed to have limited capacity to reason and how the Industrial Revolution changed women’s lives, work, and relationships with their husbands.

5.      Sexism in education intersects in the other forms of discrimination such as racism, classism, and heterosexism. Certain males are presented as the standard typical white, heterosexual, able-bodied, middle- and upper-class men as the norm in textbooks. Women and minorities are still underrepresented in educational materials.

6.      Not only do students learn just only about men and their experiences and perspectives, but they deprived of learning about women and their experiences and contributions to the world.

               C. Athletics

1.      Today females to have plenty of opportunities to participate in sports due to Title IX. This the section of the Educational Amendment of 1972 that makes it illegal for schools that accept federal funds to discriminate on the basis of sex.

2.      Though this is really great, male athletes and coaches of men’s teams receive more support (and financially, too) than female athletes and coaches. Also, the numbers of female athletes have no increased evenly. Only 41% athletes are female and 58% of undergrads are females. And before the passing of Title IX, more than 90% of coaches of women’s sports were women.

3.      Division I colleges pay male coaches more than women coaches and a few women’s sports are actually coached by women. Originally the law required schools that receive federal funds to provide equal opportunities to female and male students to participate in intercollegiate competition. To meet this requirement, most schools had to show evidence that their programs accommodate both male and female students’ interests and abilities.

4.      In 2005 a court case of this law stated that all colleges had to send students a survey and one even by e-mail about their athletic interests and abilities. If they don’t reply it was assumed that they were satisfied with the present policies.  A lot of questions were raised by critics of the new ruling. They worry that not all non-responses indicate satisfaction with athletic opportunities on campus.

                     D. Gender Socialization in Peer Cultures

1.      Once children begin to interact with other children, peers exercise strong influence on gender attitudes and identities. The culture of most campuses today put gendered pressures both men and women. This is the case since men are encouraged to conform to social views of masculinity, and women to social views of femininity. College campus is a training ground for adult gender and peer groups are for socialization.

2.      Males are much more insistent that boys do boy things than females are that girls do girl things. Boys learn that in order to fit in they have to be strong though, and aggressive. If they are not up to this standard they are insulted with phrases such as “You’re a sissy!” They are not to show any signs of femininity. The cultural message that masculine is more valuable than feminine: Boys may not act feminine, but girls may act masculine.  Male bonding reinforces masculine identification in most boys

3.      Males are often engage in drinking and sexual activity to demonstrate their masculinity; especially fraternity brothers. The frat brothers embody extreme versions of masculinity wit heavy drinking, having sex with many women as possible, and talking about women in demeaning ways.

4.      Girls often make fun of or bully other girls that may not wear popular name bran clothes or weigh more than what is ideal. Fitting in with the popular crowd is a cornerstone of self-esteem. Children and adolescents do whatever it takes to get approved and acceptance of their peers.

5.      Women feel compelled to achieve effortless perfection which is the need to be beautiful, fit, popular, smart, and accomplished without any visible effort.  Some college faculty treats women students in gender-stereotyped way such as compliments on appearance instead of their academic work to offers of higher grades for sexual favors.

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Social Linguistics

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According to the journal article, “Sociolinguistics is the study of language as a social and cultural phenomenon.”  Sociolinguists make a definite distinction between DESCRIPTIVE and PRESCRIPTIVE grammar. 

Descriptive grammar is more a type of informal language since it does not really focus on strict rules in different ways in the language of grammar and language. With this in mind, this type of grammar is generally use with writers and speakers in according to exactly the way a sentence is structure, the use of grammar, and not whether the words and sentences are structured correctly with meaning. Descriptive grammar is understood to be our natural language, regular speech. The nonstandard use of English can be stated in the example in casual chat. For example, two students are using slang while having a conversation that shows or gives away their social or cultural status. In other words, this is a good example because not every person may use the Standard English to which the conversation can be used to understand language.

On the other hand, prescriptive grammar is known as the proper English because a person must know the set of rules dealing with the structure and meaning of sentences and language. Linguists believe that prescriptive English have rules that define what is correct and incorrect.
Unlike descriptive grammar where you are able to use it at anytime in different settings, prescriptive grammar is the type of structure English (Standard English) that people should be using. If you think about it, this type of grammar is very similar to what is taught in schools. An example that shows how prescriptive grammar is used can be related to job interviews. This is a good reason because the people that will be hiring the applicant will be expecting the person to know important and correct grammar and not using slang or incorrect English. Also, importantly the dress code will give off the vibe about your job status or personality. With the use of prescriptive grammar and knowing that it should be used in job interviews or formal settings, it will help.

There is much debate currently going on in the Nashville area regarding the “English Only” debate. Historically, increased levels of immigration have given rise to concerns about English as an official language.  What traditionally has happened to the heritage language of first and second generation Americans?

I would have to say that the languages they are popular in the respective country should be on a societal scale and also those other languages that may not be known but are in this country. That is, have information and provide every language be given support in every aspect of life. Although English is the language of the United States, it is not official, but to continue to go on with the belief of the country being a melting pot of all cultures, we should not leave anyone out. There are so many languages, but every language that is spoken should be supported. You often see the different product manuals in different languages and in most cases every other thing in Spanish and then maybe French. I remember writing an essay in English 1010 about this issue and I forgot which side I had supported, but it may have been that English should be the official language (I still have a copy of the essay). Nevertheless, I guess the as this country advances, people will reflect on how the past was and how things are now; comparing and contrasting the way of life. Sometimes the heritage language may die out or be overlooked because of other popular languages. In some cases first and second generation Americans could lose their identity or feel as if they did because of how this country is advancing. They think their language is fading away and everyone is being Americanized and the trends are starting up and that they may be left behind.

Briefly describe your idiolect.  Where are you from?  What unique vocabulary do you use? 

I have lived here in Memphis now for a good handful of years; however, I am originally from St. Louis. I say that my idiolect is somewhat different than my peers and those in my age range. I will have to say that often time people may not understand what I am saying because I am talking at a rate to where I sometimes say words not fully or I have problems pronouncing certain words since I did to go speech classes in elementary. I guess the vocabulary I use may not be words or language people around my age may not use and use words such a “nifty” and “totally wicked.” Also my favorite word is “pragmatic” which may slip in conversations. Certainly, I my idiolect is could be distinctive different from others.

How is dialect different from accent? 

Dialect is different from accent because to do with the style of language of a person or group of people. It deals with the use of vocabulary, grammar, common words, and the way you speak. On the other hand, accent deals with the way someone pronounces words and the sound of their speaking. Accent (the way speech sounds from a particular person) helps to give someone their unique speaking tone or characteristics. Dialect is the way you deals with language and vocabulary; meaning whereas accent deal with sound and pronunciations.

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Mexican Americans

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The United States is known as the melting pot because of all the vast amount of people from different racial groups and ethnical backgrounds. There are also different type of systems in our country – government, education, healthcare, and societal rankings of people. As more international people come from other countries and into the United States they have to adapt to the American way of living how the systems work here. One of the largest subordinate groups, Mexican Americans, is known to have different stereotypical views against them, being employed with jobs that have low pay wages that someone else may not want, the group that have big families with a lot of kids, and they are also viewed as immigrants as they assimilate into a foreign culture and lifestyle in this country.

Mexican Americans are known as immigrants because of the economical and political conditions in their county that creates a driving force that they can no longer withstand that causes them to immigrate to the United States. After the Spaniards try to conquer what is known as Mexico and the southwestern part of the U.S., Mexico won their independence as a country from Spain in 1821. Anglo-American immigrants moved to what is not as Texas once this happened and adapted to the Mexican lifestyle. Before Mexico won its independence from Spain, the Spaniards wanted to take over the country for the reasons of agricultural and mining businesses would make money (J. Feagin and C. Feagin, 173).

Mexican immigrants have always lived or came to the United States, dating back to 118,000 during the 1850s. Unlike to the English colonists moving into the land of Native American territory to take over and impose their culture onto the Native Americans, presently Mexican Americans migrated to the United States because they voluntarily wanted to move into a country because of number of different factors such as poor economic system, lack of education, jobs are scare and political conflicts. And they sought this country for better way of living and possible to have a job. To them America is the land of dreams and opportunities.

The peak immigration periods have been 1910-1930, 1942-1954, and 1965 to the present. Today, 54 percent of immigrants from Latin America live in the U.S and then there 31 percent of Mexicans-born immigrants that are included with the foreign-born population (Tomas, 93). The effect of the living conditions that push Mexican Americans from their own country such as Mexico, for example, has caused many illegal immigrants to find a way to cross the borders. These are immigrants who are undocumented. However, not immigrant come to the United States by cheating the system, you have the immigrants who are official citizens and have Green Cards.

On the opposite scale of Mexicans being known as immigrants unlike most other racial groups, some Mexicans are over here to work and send money back to their family from Mexico. For example, in 1942, the Emergency Farm Labor granted many Mexicans work permits at the employers request; however, this helped for more documented immigrants to come to the country. Today we see many Mexicans working at fast good restaurants and doing other small jobs that plays a part in lives every day that no one else may not want to do. Often times Mexicans are grateful to be able to work and make money. Congress passed an act in 1996 that restricting legal immigration and undocumented immigration called the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (J. Feagin and C. Feagin, 177). Today Mexican immigration occupies a hot topic in the U.S. legal system and in U.S. public opinion.

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Work Cite

Feagin, Joe, and Clairece Feagin. Racial and Ethnics Relations. 2nd Custom Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2008.

Tomás, Jiménez. "What Different Generations of Mexican Americans Think About Immigration from Mexico." Generations 32.4 (2009): 93-96. Web. 6 Dec 2009.

Englekirk , Allan, and Marguerite Marín. "Mexican Americans." Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America. 2nd ed. vol. 2. Detroit: Gale Group, 2000.

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My 22nd Birthday is TODAY!!

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It’s my birthday… my 22nd birthday! I’m so grateful to be turning (or have turned) 22 years old. I can not believe that I at that age. Put your Mr. Rogers sweater on because it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood and a cold one at that. Happy birthday to me!!

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