Some would argue that cultural cohesion requires everyone to conform to norms of language, gender, and culture, and the authors in this module give examples that suggest there is sometimes a heavy price to pay for failing to do so. (Recall, for example, Butler’s description of a teenage boy who walked with a “swish,” Tannen’s examples of women judged as impolite for using directness versus indirectness in conversation, or Brooks’s example of young boys who are classified early on as “uncommunicative testosterone-driven cretins” because they cannot sit quietly in school.) But some of the authors in this module also suggest that there is an equally heavy price to pay for complying with norms pertaining to language, gender, identity, and culture; complying in some cases, they suggest, is akin to giving in to the pressures of social coercion.
Compare two authors’ examples (of themselves or others) in which individuals dare to defy social norms in specific social settings, and briefly relate the consequences those individuals face. Then, based on your own experiences and/or observations, describe one concrete example of a time when it seemed advisable to comply with language, gender, or cultural norms, and then offer another example describing a time when you or someone you know found it necessary to speak out or take action against such norms.
You may use a variety of outside ‘texts’ as well as including videos we saw in class (commercials, or documentaries) as sources of examples.
- Tuesday Feb 17: Know which texts you will be using and find examples from each to support your thoughts.
- Wednesday Feb 18: Organized outline of an essay, including paragraph topics and which examples will be used in each paragraph/topic to support your overall ideas.
- Friday Feb 20: Rough Draft due. In Google Docs, shared with email@example.com
- Monday Feb 23: Peer Edit. Another person must have edited your document (either in Google Drive using Suggestion Mode or by hand and submitted in hardcopy on Monday.
- Wednesday Feb 25: Final Draft Due