Gender Identity in a Family

Gender Identity in a Family

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The topic of our group presentation was A Dialectical Model of Family Gender Discourse: Body, Identity, and Sexuality. The goal of our article was to propose a dialectical model representing gender discourse in families. .The focus of my research paper is also the same with a focus more on gender and identity in a family. The articles that I research comply with this topic quite well, touching especially on gender and identity in the family. I used three articles that touched on my topic; "Gender, Identity, and Language Use in Teen Blogs," by David Huffaker, and Sandra Calvat, "Sociologist looks at gender roles in evangelical families," by John Bartkowski, and "Gendered Discourse about Family Business," by Sharon Danes, Heather Haberman, and Donald McTavish. "Gendered Discourse about Family Business" mainly focused on identifying discourse styles and also changes in the family structure. "Sociologist looks at gender roles in evangelical families, focused on the gender roles of the husband and the wife. In the last article, "Gender, Identity, and Language Use in Teen Blogs," examines the issues of online identity about their gender and identity. All articles prove to be somewhat different but focus on the roles of Gender and Identity.
"Gender, Identity, and Language Use in Teen Blogs," by David Huffaker, and Sandra Calvat the article explores the concept of the World Wide Web and its usage among tees, male and female. The internet is one of the most popular and common assets to teens, and probably one of the most used activities out there. "While physical constraints such as the body, biological sex, race, or age can have a profound effect on self-definition and self-presentation, many of these attributes become flexible in online environments"(Calvart & Huffaker p 26). This leaves a very flexible chance for adolescents to explore their identity and play with it through different language. On the aspect of language use and gender the traditional roles reveal the male role as agentive, self-expansion, and individuality are the rule. The female is said to be communal, embodying emotional expressiveness, and dependent on the needs of others. The traditional roles I just explain go along with the Psychological perspective of gender discourse that my group and I discussed in our presentation, that "sex differences have been an often reoccurring theme in American psychology, which is generally, characterized by essentialist explanations of gender and individualistic understanding of self.

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" The research shows that on the web the females tend to be shy and show less confidence, they stray away from profanity, and they don't' give strong opinions. The male is just the opposite; he uses profanity and is not concerned with politeness, and they use more fact-oriented language on the net. The use of language on the net clearly ties into the traditional roles of men and women.
There was a study that took place within this article and that examined the gender similarities among webblogs created by teenagers. The focus was how teenagers present their identities online, and how they use language to express experience and their feelings. Their hypotheses was; females will use more emoticons to express their feelings, males will provide personal information of their identity such as their age name and location, males will use more aggressive language than females, females will use more passive and cooperative language, and females will discuss more intimate topics like their sexual identity more than males. The results were almost identical with their hypotheses, but the males were surprisingly carrying on the female traditional roles somewhat, for example, a small amount of males used expressive language and talked about intimate topics. The study is a clear example and supporting evidence of the traditional gender roles.
The next article was brief but to the point. John Bartkowski's article titled "Sociologist looks at gender roles in evangelical families," is about the gender roles of the husband and wife in an evangelical family. She states in the opining sentence, "In describing the roles of husband and wife in conservative families, such phrases as "breadwinner" and "helpmate", or "stay-at-home mom," have been said" (Bartkowski p1). These terms could fall into the categories of a gendered, un-gendered or non-gendered family. Bartkowski claims states that families with heavy religion may be far more dynamic and complex than stereotypes suggest. His research shows that in families where there is a husband and wife and they are said to follow traditional roles, the realities ca be somewhat different. The wife may actually make n\more than the husband, and there may also be some tension between their understanding of roles and responsibilities in their household. He found that in the evangelical family the traditional gender roles can be somewhat different. In his research examining 50 evangelical families and how they define their roles, he found a difference of opinion. "Some families argue for ‘wifely submission' to the husband, while others prefer what they call ‘mutual submission'," Bartkowski said. The evangelical families prove to differentiate in different households they don't always go with traditional gender roles. He concludes that "in practice, the language reflects much about how relationships are organized, and he added, "They're more complex and contradictory than we may have thought" (Bartkowski p2).
"Gendered Discourse about Family Business," by Sharon Danes, Heather Haberman, and Donald McTavish is mainly about language patterns in the workplace amongst males and females. The article provided a study that took place identifying discourse styles, they study explored the differences in language patterns used by male and female family business owners as they talked about their family businesses. Their hypotheses stated that they felt male and females discourse style would differ. Both genders tend to refer to things they like and they consider good, but the women did this more often. The would say things like "I like being my own boss, " and "I really like to see everybody is productive and I feel good about what's happening" (Haberman & McTavish). Men tended to have more references to timing that the women did. Examples were "As far as long-range planning and major purchases and all that kind of stuff, we all make those decisions together pretty much (Haberman & McTavish). Women used pronouns more tan men suck as "we" and "they" and they also used more words representing good like; pleasant, enjoyable, and memorable." (Haberman & McTavish). Once again the traditional gender roles played huge part in this study, with the woman being the care-taker and the passive emotional one and the man being the aggressive one.
I've learned that the traditional sex-roles are carried out in all aspects of life, whether it's the workplace, the internet or in our households. Just like my group and I concluded in our presentation, traditional studies of sex typing many developmental and social psychologists have assumed that sex differences exist. This definitely showed in each article. In "Gender, Identity, and Language Use in Teen Blogs," by David Huffaker, and Sandra Calvat, the article summed up the research about teens and how they differ in identifying themselves on the World Wide Web. They behave in ways that go along with traditional roles from what they learn and can display this on the net freely. In contrast with my group's presentation our research on the psychological perspective we gave an example that developmental psychologists have established predictable sequences of children's understanding of self beginning with sex related categorizations moving to knowledge of sex-typed behaviors or self and others and then top the presumed realization that sex is stable or constant. No matter what they teens will act within their roles and that the reasons the results of this study comply with the traditional roles.
In "Sociologist looks at gender roles in evangelical families," the traditional roles are not quite as they seem within the evangelical families; they seem to differ from your common families. This could fall into our research that every family evolves a set of shared assumptions that serve to organize both their family level discourse and their experience of the larger cultural discourse, as stated by social constructivists. Their traditional roles may have evolved from their own personal values.
Lastly in "Gendered Discourse about Family Business," by Sharon Danes, Heather Haberman, and Donald McTavish the traditional roles completely comply to the study about family owned businesses male and female. Each finding about the male and female's habits and actions went along with the male and female traditional roles. All the texts have a significant focus but tie into the everyday traditional roles which have yet to be changed. There are some exceptions to the roles for example the study on the evangelical family, but they are not a commonality. This ever-changing male and female society may exist this way forever.
Gender Discourse about Family Business
Sharon M Danes, Heather R Haberman, Donald McTavish. Family Relations. Minneapolis: Jan 2005. Vol.54, Iss. 1; pg. 116, 15 pgs.

Gender, Identity, and Language Use in Teenage Blogs
Huffaker, D. A., and Calvert, S. L. (2005). Gender, identity, and language use in teenage blogs. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication,
10(2), article 1.

Sociologist looks at gender roles in evangelical families
University Relations, News Bureau (662) 325-3442. Contact: Maridith Geuder. May 11, 1999.
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