Do Schools and Mass Media Contribute to Stereotyped Gender Roles in Chinese Society?

1586 WordsFeb 23, 20186 Pages
Gender role is defined as the social position and behavioral norm that is considered appropriate for an individual of a specific gender in the society (Liu, 2003). Every society has its unique culture and gender role is one of the products of a society’s history and culture. It is not set up by a single person within a short period, but by countless people in the society for thousands years. Parents started to shape their children’s gender by dressing and naming them according to their gender soon after birth. (Eckert and McConnell-Ginet) As children grow elder, they are exposed to a wider world and are then socialized by agents outside their family, such as schools and media companies. This essay investigates whether schools and the mass media contribute to stereotyped gender role in the Chinese society. It is believed that they are the two major socialization institutions promoting and manifesting gender stereotypes in the society. Under the strong influence of Confucianism, male-centred gender values have been deep-rooted in the Chinese society since thousands years ago. Those values are reflected in many Chinese classical literatures which are still taught in school nowadays. Liji, the Book of Rites (475-221 BC) advocates the doctrines of “three obedience and four virtues” that girls should be confined at home and learn skills of housework to prepare for raising a family after marriage. They ought to behave in submissive, modest and humble ways and obey the seniors
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