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Disscussion Essay

942 words - 4 pages

The Thanksgiving Holiday allows families come together and discuss the many topics throughout their daily lives. This is shown within my family well, since the tradition in my family is to exchange stories about the year. During my story exchange I began a discussion about the documentary seen within Gender and Society titled, Tough Guise. I explained that the main purpose of this documentary was to show masculinity within today’s society through stereotypes, body images and violence. My grandmother, who has always been interested with Sociology, became the main person I spoke with about the topic. This allowed the discussion to be more in depth and informational.
As my grandmother and I moved from the loud family filled room to the quiet living room I continued the discussion with a few facts from the documentary such as, men and women within today’s society feel the need to live up to the stereotypes explained throughout Tough Guise. These stereotypes for men and women differ although they seem to be polar opposites. Men tend to feel the need to be strong, independent and in control of their emotions, while the stereotypes for women tend to show more dependency. I gave the example of men never asking for direction; since we had always laughed at the grandfather for the same reason. I explained that men tend to not ask for direction because it shows dependency, a feminine trait, causing a less masculine appearance. My grandmother then asked the question, “who creates these stereotypes?” I was shocked to hear this question since I had planned for almost every possible question except this one. Tough Guise alone could not answer this question so I added in other class assignments such as Killing Us Softly and Guyland to answer the question. I explained that individuals have socialization agents which can include the media, family and the peer group. These agents allow individuals to accept these types of stereotypes as norms within the society. In other words, the stereotypes that are expressed through previous generation and the main stream media become seen as norms. These socially created norms change the views of masculinity. Tough Guise showed several images of young males mirroring the actions of the media portrayals of tough rap artists. This example gave a clear definition of how the media can affect individual actions. Using the images of tough rap artists allowed my grandmother to understand how socialization agents can cause stereotypes.
“Tough Guise explains the major changes within body images over the decades as well,” I stated trying to move into the next major topic I wanted to explain. My grandmother began to smile and replied that there could not have been a drastic change in how body image is seen. I...

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