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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 – Gender Research.docx

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Chapter 2 – Gender Research: Five Examples Case 1. The Play of Gender in School Life  When Thorne started her work, it was assumed children were “socialized” into gender roles.  It was assumed two genders, male and female, with children inducted into the norms and expectations of the appropriate one.  This data was observed through pen/paper questionnaires, but not through actual observation.  Thorne did the observations through fieldwork in 2 primary schools.  Thorne saw gender difference as situational. Created in some situations, overwritten in others.  In the classroom, some situations were gender emphasized (boys vs. girls competitions), and others de- emphasized (teacher vs. student; aka talk-and-chalk).  Borderwork, when activated, means the group of “Boys and Girls” divide into “The Boys” and “The Girls.”  Often, in a game of chase, boys would chase boys, and girls to girls. However, chasing the opposite sex resulted in excitement.  Borderwork in adults is seen via jokes, clothes, speech, etc.  Gender difference is made to happen, and can be unmade or altered.  Games of chase, where girls can chase boys and vice-versa, result in everyone being treated equally. This isn’t always the case.  A rougher version of chase is more common amongst boys, who also “control” more space and are more disruptive.  Boys also treat girls as contamination (i.e. calling lower statused boys, “Girls,” or playing the cootie game.)  Asymmetry exists within the boys and girls. As some boys interrupt other girls’ games, others do not. Some boys are high-statused white others are low. Case 2. Manhood and the Mines  Gender practices were different than the conventional breadwinner/housewife  Men at the mines provided their own domestic labor and had to find new sexual partners
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