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Community College of Baltimore Gender Cultural Product Discussion

Community College of Baltimore Gender Cultural Product Discussion

Community College of Baltimore Gender Cultural Product Discussion


WMST 101

Instructions for Gender Cultural Product Assignment

Purpose: This assignment is intended to help you explore the ways in which gender is socially constructed and maintained through culture, and to illustrate mastery of the core concepts concerning gender theory i.e. difference, power, privilege, gender hierarchy, history of social movements, race, social class, sexual orientation, etc.

Audience: As with all academic writing, your audience is the educated general reader.This means that your paper should make sense to someone who has not taken this class and does not have any particular knowledge about your topic or women’s studies.

Directions: For this paper, you will analyze how a particular cultural product (of your choosing) constructs gender (masculinity and femininity).Whatever cultural product you choose, you will need to focus your analysis on the following questions:

  • What is the male or female learning about masculinity and femininity in that cultural setting?
  • Is there evidence of gender stereotyping and/or gender hierarchy in respect to women and men in positions of power?
  • What messages overt or covert does this cultural product send to men and women about how they are supposed to act and what qualities are valued in men and women?
  • How does your gender cultural product intersect with other social hierarchies related to the cultural product for example race, class, sexual orientation, age, religion, etc.
  • Is there evidence of privilege, objectification, gender ranking, or gender policing?
  • What conclusions can you draw, from doing this assignment, about the way gender is constructed, learned and maintained?

To help you successfully complete this assignment, it has been broken down into several steps to ensure that you are making steady progress throughout the semester and so that I can offer you guidance and feedback at crucial junctures.


Step One: Gender Cultural Product Topic Selection (DUE BY 11/1)

● Identify the gender cultural product have you chosen and explain how you intend to go about you analysis.For example if you are interested in analyzing a particular TV show, how will you focus your analysis – will you look at a particular season or episode or focus on a particular character of relationship?

Cultural product(s) include:

  • Literature— a short story, novel, poem or play
  • Music— a song, album, video or performer
  • Cinema or Television— a film or TV series
  • Advertising— a specific ad or an ad campaign—print, internet, or television.
  • Print media— a specific magazine
  • Fashion— a specific article of clothing or fashion within a specific era
  • Toys— a specific toy or a category of toys (Barbie, Rag Dolls, G.I. Figures, Appliances, etc.)
  • Visual Art: photography, painting, sculpture.


  • Movie Analysis: Analyze how gender is constructed in a particular Disney movie – what does this film teach young boys and girls about gender roles and norms?Does it reinforce gender stereotypes or break them?
  • Advertising: Compare the advertisements in a traditional men’s magazine (ESPN magazine, Men’s Health) and a traditional women’s magazine (Glamour, Cosmopolitan). Or a campaign that challenges beauty ideals or gender norms like Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty.”
  • Fashion: Choose an article of clothing such as the bra, the miniskirt, the thong, high heels, the speedo, and what do these articles of clothing say about what men and women should do and how they should present themselves if adhering to gender norms.

Step Two: Annotated Bibliography (DUE BY 11:22)

To help ground your analysis in gender studies theory and scholarship, you are required to do some research into the topic you are writing about.

You are required to use a minimum of 3 sources, one of which must be a scholarly peer-reviewed source that you acquire through the library databases (such as an article in a scholarly journal). Utilizing scholarly sources—sources from peer-reviewed journals—will improve the level of your analysis. You may use articles from our course text, but not exclusively. You may also use sources from popular media outlets, but their credibility must be evaluated appropriately.

For the annotated bibliography, you will need to list each source that you will use in your paper and write a brief description (annotation) summarizing the authors’ qualifications, research methods, and arguments, and explaining how this source supports the theme of your paper – in other words, how will you be using this source and how is it helpful to you.

Step three: Final Paper (DUE BY 12/6)

  • Minimum 4-6 pages typed in Times New Roman 12-pt font, double-spaced with 1” margins. The Works Cited page is not included in the assigned page length.
  • Remember to integrate the sources into your analysis with appropriate introduction, qualifiers, and to document the sources with academic integrity.
  • MLA style format and documentation for parenthetical citations and a Works Cited page.

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