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Men & The Socialization of Masculinity Assignment

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Added on: 2022-12-05 12:52:58
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Men & The Socialization of Masculinity *

Note: You may have heard some public discussion over the topic of masculinity in recent years. You may see some things floating around the internet as well. Sometimes those conversations are misinformed or taken out of context. When you hear a critique of masculinity, it doesn't mean that men are bad, or that all forms of masculine gender norms are bad or problematic. Sometimes people get offended because they assume that is the point being made. The academic examination and social critique is mainly over whether society is pushing too strongly for males to define masculinity primarily by power, success, and strength--and whether that excessive push is doing more harm than good. Some of the ways we socialize boys and the expectations and roles that society places on them have set-backs, in the same way that some of the gender roles and expectations of femininity has set-backs for women. Psychologists, behaviorists, sociologists, criminologists, and those in other fields have been researching and taking a look at the primary portrayals of men that society uses as a guide to socialize boys, and through much examination, finds that the way we define and socialize the concept has some negative consequences, and is linked to major social issues.

A CALL TO MEN: Tony Porter 1) In the opening of Tony Porter's speech he discusses some of the things he learned as a young boy about what it means to be a man. In doing so, he also learned some things about women. What are some of those things? 2.) Porter discusses what he refers to as the man box. The man box is a list of roles and expectations that society has deemed as appropriate norms and behaviors for males. What are some of the things included in the man box?

  • Porter shares his own behavior in how he responds to both of his children when crying. What did he say about how he differentially approaches them when they come to him for emotional support?
  • What happened at his brother's funeral that stands out to him?
  • Porter also discusses an equation, tied to learned notions of masculinity that leads to the epic proportions of violence against women. What is the equation?
  1. BE A MAN: Joe Ehrmann

6.) What are the positive aspects of the role of sports in this country that Joe Ehrmann talks about in the opening of his speech about society's expectations of men?

  • Ehrmann talks about the 3 Myths of Masculinity. What are these 3 things? (a) (b) (c)
  • Ehrmann is concerned with the alarming statistic that 80% of American men suffer from some form of alexithymia (American Psychological Association). (a) What is alexithymia?

(b) Where does he think this comes from? (c) What are some of the potential social problems associated with this phenomenon?

  • Ermann argues that masculinity comes down to 2 things for all men. He says these 2 things become apparent upon reflection on one's death bed. What are these 2 things he discusses? (a) (b)
  • Pozzobon says, We see grown men living in pain as a definer of what it means to be a man as a result of being socialized to suppress feelings about what happens to them. We can see much of this sentiment in the current society, where there tends to be a growing trend of ridiculing or mocking the thought of having or expressing natural human feelings. This is a detriment to society, as emotions are natural to our human existence, and working through them effectively is a form of mental evolution and advancement. The more emotional intelligence we have, the higher capacity we have for effective problem-solving whether it be for ourselves and individual circumstances or for social problems. Ignoring them can amplify many social ills that impact all of us as a collective. Examining masculinity, in regards to emotional intelligence, is important for psychological well-being and mental health. This is important for females as well- all humans. However, the focus of behavioral scientists (sociologists, psychologists, etc.) is largely on males and masculinity because they have seen that these drastic differences in our socialization (differences in the way gender is socialized of males and females) is a prominent factor contributing to the higher suicide rates, higher rates of violent crimes, physical and mental health problems, stress-related illness, premature death, and lower life-expectancy among males. Take a minute to think about some of these problems. Think about the talks you have just watched. Think about how YOU might be reproducing the social norms that contribute to the formation and perpetuation of these issues.

Now that you are more aware of masculine gender expectations and how they play a role in the shaping of identities and formation of certain consequences, what are some things that YOU, as an individual, in your everyday life, can do to help reduce these social and personal issues faced by males? Explain.

OPTIONAL EXTRA CREDIT (+5 points)

BREAKING THE CODE OF MASCULINITY: Bill Pozzobon 11.) Pozzobon refers to the roles and expectations of males as a code. Generally, what are the things that make up the code? 12.) Pozzobon mentions 3 different areas or ways in which males face negative consequences for stepping outside the boundaries of their masculine social expectations/the code. What are they?

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  • Posted on : December 05th, 2022
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