AZ 1201 ASSIGNMENT 2 -19B0064

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Name: Dk. Nur Saidatul Athirah Pg Shamsor BhariRegistration Number: 19B0064How does sociology explain the formation of male and female identities? Discuss. Gender refers to the individual’s identity that are socially constructed by the society where it labels and categorize the differences of being a male and female. However, it is different from the term sex where it refers to the biological differences between male and female. Many sociologists claim that gender’s identities are constructed by society itself rather than biological factor. For instance, family, schools, media and workplace which will be discussed in this further essay. One of the sociological explanations of formation of male and female identities is according to social learning theory, through the gender socialization. Lorber (1994) argues that “gender socialization is powerful and gender typed expectations are fulfilled and reproduced in everyday life”. Male and female experience different gender socialization and has different expectations. Firstly, from primary socialization. It is based on the interaction of family members such as parents in showing their children the characteristics of being a male or female. Infants were unable to label themselves as a boy or a girl because they do not have any knowledge yet. The parents play a role in providing toys, books and language based on their gender. For instance, girls are given feminine toys such as barbie, cooking games and make up material compare to boys, they are given toys such as video games and cars. Other than that, in terms of language, girls are label as ‘pretty’ or ‘soft’ where as men are label as ‘handsome’ or ‘tough’. There also differences in doing chores. For example, girls are expected to do domestic work such as cooking and cleaning the house where as boys are expected to wash a car or fix a bulb. However, in modern society, even though it is still common to teach the differences of being a male or female, some societies would prefer their children to be neutral which is not defining their gender. For instance, in England, Hobert Humphrey, 38 and Jake Johns, 35 raised their 17 months old baby to be neutral and will not let their family and friends to know the gender. Other than that, in 2015, boy and girl toys section were no longer separated in Target. This shows that some parents choose to raise their children as neutral rather than labelling their gender identity to challenge the norms and stereotypes. Another sociological explanation can be seen through secondary socialization. It is based on other institutions in which the individuals learn norms and values other than their family. Firstly, from institution such as school, plays a role in defining the formation of being male or female. For example, in terms of rules and regulations, they have different dress codes for both genders. Male are expected to wear trousers and t-shirts and female wear skirts and shirts that are considered as appropriate. Other than that, both genders are also taking different subjects. For instance, most of the male students are taking mathematics, science and engineering and female students are taking essay subjects such as sociology or history, they are also expected to take cooking course which is similar to their role in doing domestic work. However, in modern society, the expectations are changing. Male and female have their choices to take any subjects that they are interested. Many female students are taking science and engineering to pursue their dream job that are equal as men. Also, in United Kingdom, there are increasing number of schools that are adapting gender neutral uniform. Hence, the formation of gender differences is getting lesser in some societies. Moreover, sociological explanation the formation of male and female identities can be seen in media. Media shows messages that are different about male and female. Haraway (1991) argue that “internet plays a role in presenting the opportunity for individual to explore gender identity” For instance, advertisements about fashion attracts the female more. For example, having slim bodies like supermodels. Marxists and radical feminist argue that this female is in false consciousness. They also argue that fashion and beauty is a product of capitalism to control and restricts women. Women are also tended to be portrayed as mothers, wives doing domestic works such as giving reviews about using cooking utensils or vacuums. This message is related to their role as female. McRobbie (1993) argue that “girls and women magazine define and shape women lives and expectations at every stage of their lives from childhood”. Ferguson also argue that magazine shows the ‘cult of femininity’. However, media shows different messages about male. For instance, playing football, having economic success or leisure such as partying. Katz (1995) found out that training machines and nutritional supplement are advertised that could attract male to develop muscle for their physical strength. This shows how the media give the message about being ‘masculine’ for males. The media rarely shows about male being a ‘father’ figure in taking care of children or domestic work. Hence, this shows that media helps to explain the formation of male and female identities. In contrast, in modern societies, it is changing. For instance, youtubers such as James Charles do reviews about makeup, which challenge the norm of gender identity but most societies have considered this action as normal. Lastly, workplace also plays a role in formatting male and female identities. Both genders tend to have different position assigned. Males tend to have a higher position than females and dominated more than female. Male are often expected as the breadwinner according to structural functionalist theory. In historical context, male tend to hunts for food while women responsible for domestic work but it did not stop female from having a job such as working as a nurse or teacher which involves with ‘expressive’ role and ‘supporting position’ such as planning an event, being a secretary or a clerk. However, in modern society, these expectations have changed. According to Hawke, after the second world war, men return and wanted to reclaim their jobs however, many women did not want to quit their job which lead to the imbalance of gender roles from functionalist perspective. Talcott Parsons argue that male as a breadwinner and female taking care of domestic work is functional and shows the ‘clear division of labor between spouse’. Contrarily, Marxist disagree with the view. They argue that female taking care of domestic work are considered as unpaid labor. On the other hand, some legal issues have been made. For instance, some organizations offer both genders to have the same promotional job opportunities. Civil Rights Act 1964 prohibits organization or a company from restricting one of the genders from applying for a job. Another example is Equal Pay Act 1963 where there are equal wages for male and female in the same employment. Therefore, there were used to have differences between both gender in workplace. In conclusion, the formation of male and female identities is mostly socially constructed by the society which is primary and secondary socialization such as parents, schools, media and workplace in labeling gender identity. For instance, female is expected to do more domestic work whereas men are expected to be the breadwinner and the economic support. There is restriction of being a male or a female. Gender identity are decided since birth. However, in modern society, fixed gender identity is fading. Female can act as masculine and male can act feminine. The norms of gender identity are changing and varied in most societies. REFERENCES Ian Marsh, Mike Keating – Sociology – Making Sense of Society 3rd Edition Prentice Hall (UK) (2005).Richard P. Appelbaum, Deborah Carr, Mitchell Duneier, Anthony Giddens – Essentials of Sociology – Child Being Raised Genderless to Protect From ‘Unconscious Bias’ – What It’s Like to Be Raised Gender – Gender Differences Within the – Gender Differences in The Workplace