Soc 101+Experiential+2 - Soc 101 Experiential #2 Gender and...

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Soc 101 Experiential #2 Gender and Race Across Generations In one generation I interviewed a male and a female, Nancy and John, both over the age of fifty. The interviewee’s answers were both very similar, yet very different. Both had alike answers to which career men aspired to, but John failed to mention what career women of his generation aspired to. John showed me right off the bat his clear expectations of a woman’s role. By failing to mention what kind of career women aspired to was kind of gendering at the very first question of the interview. Gendering is the process by which certain roles, activities, qualities, traits, or emotions acquire masculine or feminine meanings. The answer for both Nancy and John on men was that they mainly aspired a general business degree, specialty degrees such as accounting, law, and the medical profession, sales, oil and gas, or starting their own company. Nancy named careers her friends aspired to such as teachers, advertising, retail, and interior design. She also mentioned that many women wanted to work for a few years, get married, and then stay at home to raise a family. In John’s family the mother or housekeeper was responsible for all of the housework, while his brothers and sisters would often do chores. His father did not do any housework since he was the “breadwinner” of the family. In Nancy’s case, living with out a mother allowed for Nancy and her sisters to spend time with their father cooking, but the girls and a maid mainly did housework such as laundry, cleaning, etc. Her father had always been proud of his yard and worked outside as often as he could. When they were young, TV and magazine ads mainly consisted of cigarettes, beer, cars, or household appliances. Nancy seemed to be the only one to say that ads were not near as provocative or inappropriate as they are today. Difficulties in high school included what to wear and how to act accordingly with friends and the opposite sex. This is almost identical to my generation, at least for me. What girl doesn’t still fret about having the right outfit? There has always been peer pressure to look good, whether because it’s what was and still is expected of women, or because we’ve learned it through socialization. I think this will always be something women struggle with, the pressure to appear beautiful, and it can cause a lot of damage. Dating was fairly different than it is now, in their opinion, as they mainly went out on several dates as couples and not groups and expectations of respect were much higher. In Roy and Natalie’s generation, things progressed towards experimenting with going past where you shouldn’t. Natalie talked about knowing not just a few girls that either got pregnant or had an abortion. That was a drastic change from Nancy’s generation who said that she only knew of a few people that had sexual intercourse before marriage and only one that had an abortion. People have become more open to every type of sexuality; the
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2011 for the course SOC 101 taught by Professor Cornwell during the Spring '08 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Soc 101+Experiential+2 - Soc 101 Experiential #2 Gender and...

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