Essay Questions – 2014 Final Exam
1. Research is not an innocent endeavor. The questions that researchers
pursue do not always come out of thin air, but are frequently grounded in what
researchers feel are ‘important,’ or ‘valuable.’ Drawing on Martin’s “The Egg
and the Sperm” reading and Dr. Nakamura’s lecture on race, (1) demonstrate
how research (i.e., questions, results, analysis, and/or interpretation) is
shaped by sociocultural factors, and (2) discuss the effects of such research
on our understanding of gender and race.
2. Abdel-Shehid and Kalman-Lamb (2011) write that "policing the line of the
normal and trying to make others conform is one of the most important means
by which power is maintained" (p. 167-168). Using examples from the
course, illustrate how this policing and this maintenance of power occurs.
3. Stuart Hall (1990) wrote that: Identity is “not a mere phantasm either. It is
something – not a mere trick of the imagination. It has its histories – and
histories have their real, material and symbolic effects” (p. 226). Using the
themes discussed in this course, illustrate how identity, be it class, gender,
sexuality, race, etc., are not mere phantasm and have real effects.
PHANTASM: a figment of the imagination; an illusion or apparition
4. Explain what Professor Humana attempted to achieve with his
presentation on White Privilege, Male Privilege? Why he insisted that neither
the article nor he were bashing white males, as the title of the reading may
suggest? According to him,