Sociology as Essay

640 Words Oct 28th, 2012 3 Pages
Examine the ways in which sociologists can contribute to our understanding of how social identity is shaped by gender. (24 marks)

An identity is who we are, this is made up of how we see ourselves and how others see us. Social identity is based on one's membership to particular groups in society. This essay will examine the way in which sociologist contribute to our understanding by providing theories and ideas of how social identity is shaped by gender.
Ann Oakley, a feminist sociologist suggested that there are four ways in which gender socialization takes place during primary socialization. These are manipulation, canalization, verbal appellations, and different activities. Manipulation is when parents encourage behaviour that is
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Parents direct their child interest into certain behaviour according to their gender, for example when boys are younger they are encouraged to play football and be aggressive and they are discouraged from crying. And girls are encouraged to play with dolls and to look after their appearance. Feminists believe this is how an individual's social identity is shaped by gender.
However post-modernists sociologists criticize the feminist theory. Post-modernists believe that due to social and economic changes, female role and identities are changing. The changes in the job market has led to a decline in traditional labour jobs that employed men and new jobs in the service sector are increasing. These jobs in the service sector are aimed at employing women. As women are going out to work their values are changing so female identities are changing.
Similarly today's idea of masculinity is different, there are other types of masculinity today, and it is viewed differently. Bob Connell, a Post-modernist sociologist believed that men have become more in touch with their feminine side and there are now more househusbands and New men. A househusband is a man that is more involved at home. So the man would take care of the children, and does the chores as well. Also the fact that celebrities such as David Beckham, a male who is more concerned with his image, has led to men believing, this is how they should act and behave as well, it gives men something to look

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