(SOC 225, Section 01)

(Cross Listed – Gender Studies)

Spring Semester 2003

132 Bey Hall

M/W 11:30-12:45


Instructor:  Dr. Nancy Mezey

Office Telephone:  732-263-5631

Email Address:

Office:  Rm. 234 Bey Hall

Office Hours:  Tuesday 10:00-12:30, Wednesday 1:00-2:15, and by appointment



Course Description

This course examines gender inequalities and the pervasiveness of gender as a way of structuring social life.  It emphasizes how the social constructs of race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect to legitimize power and privilege for women and men in the United States.  In this course, we will critique conventional models of sociology and cover a broad spectrum of topics using critical sociological and feminist perspectives.  Topics include the debate between nature versus nurture, intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality, and social institutions such as family, education, work, and sport.  We will pay particular attention to the connection between social structure and human agency - how people's lived experiences are both shaped by social forces and reshaped through human action.



Required Readings 

Baca Zinn, Maxine, Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, and Michael A. Messner (eds.). 2000.  Gender Through the Prism of Difference, second edition. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.


Kimmel, Michael S. and Michael A. Messner (eds.).  2001. Men’s Lives, fifth edition. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.


Several handouts to be distributed in class



Attendance = 25 points

Discussion Facilitator = 15 points

Discussion Panelist = 20 points

Class Participation = 10 points

Preliminary Paper = 40 points

Final Project = 45 points


Total number of possible points = 155 points


Final grades will be determined using the following scale:

A = 143-155

A- = 136-142

B+ = 132-135

B = 126-131

B- = 121-125

C+ = 118-120

C = 115-119

C- = 110-114

D+ = 107-109

D = 104-106

D- = 100-103

F = 99 and below


Attendance:  Students are required to attend class so that they can learn from lectures and participate in class discussions/activities.  If you cannot attend a class, you should email or call the instructor.  However, emailing or calling does not ensure an excused absence.  You are allowed to miss two classes without any penalty.  After that, one point will be deducted for each class you miss.  Barring ABSOLUTE EMERGENCIES (which do not include minor illnesses, vacations, cars breaking down, or other ordinary excuses), no excuses will be accepted, so plan your absences carefully.  Missing half a class counts the same as missing a whole class. (25 points)


Discussion Facilitator:  Each student will lead a class discussion on one selected assigned reading.  You should come to class prepared with a brief summary (1-2 paragraphs) of the article and five to six questions.  Questions should be designed to generate interesting discussions and critical thinking about the reading.  Students will turn in their typed discussion questions and summary at the end of the class for which they were discussion facilitator.  (15 points)


Discussion Panelist:  Each student will sign up to be a panelist for TWO different class periods.  As panelists, students will come to class prepared to answer the questions asked by the discussion facilitators.  Students in the class who are not panelists will also come prepared to answer questions about each reading assigned for that class period (i.e., you all must do the readings for the assigned class period).  Panelists will be graded on their ability to answer the questions asked. (20 points)


Class Participation:  Students are expected to be active participants in class discussions.  When not a discussion leader or panelist, students will still answer discussion questions and generate new questions pertaining to the discussion and the readings.  (10 points)


Midterm Paper:  In preparation for your final project, you will hand in an initial three to five page paper.  The paper will consist of a discussion of multiracial feminism and a specific topic you choose for your final project.  It will also include two of the five articles you will be using for your final project.  If you are not satisfied with your grade on this paper, you will be allowed to re-rewrite and re-submit the paper with your final project.  (35 points)


Final Project:  For the final project, you will use a multiracial feminist perspective to analyze and critique five (5) magazine or newspaper articles, advertisements, and/or Web sites concerning a particular aspect of gender in contemporary society.  (40 points)


For this assignment, you will:


1)      include your revised midterm paper with the assignment IF you want to re-submit it for a new grade.  If not, you do not have to include this with your final project.


2)      collect five media items (newspaper or magazine articles, Web sites, advertisements) from popular media all pertaining to one theme area concerning gender.  Each article must come from a different source and no more than two sources can come from the Web. Academic journals and Web sites from academic organizations do not count as popular media. 


3)      for each article, write a summary of the article/advertisement, highlighting main points that pertain to your discussion.  You will then include a one to two page analysis/critique of the article from a multiracial feminist perspective (that you already explained in your initial paper).  You should include a discussion of what the article includes and omits.  You should also discuss the author's perspective and how that perspective agrees or disagrees with a multiracial feminist perspective.


4)      include a 1-2 page conclusion that sums up what you have learned and what you want your reader to have taken from your multiracial feminist analysis of the articles/advertisements.


5)      attach a separate reference page, with a full citation of each article, advertisement, and/or Web page you have critiqued. 





All written assignments must be typed.  The grade for written assignments will depend on your knowledge and incorporation of the course materials and on your ability to write a coherent, well organized, and grammatically sound product.  For the midterm paper and the final project, you are expected to provide citations for all the sources you use.  A grammar and citation guides will be provided during class. 


Policy about Make-Ups for Assignments - Make-ups will only be granted in extremely extenuating circumstances.  The granting of any make-ups is at the instructor's discretion. 


Special Learning Needs

Monmouth has a policy of non-discrimination.  Students with disabilities who need special accommodations for this class should meet with the instructor or the appropriate disability service provider on campus as soon as possible.  In order to receive accommodations, students must register with the appropriate disability service provider on campus set forth in the student handbook.  They must also follow the University procedure for self-disclosure as stated in the University Guide to Services and Accommodations for Studies with Disabilities.  Students will not be afforded any special accommodations for academic work completed prior to disclosure of the disability or prior to the completion of the documentation process with the appropriate disability service officer.


Academic Honesty

All work in this course must be the sole work of the student whose name appears on that work.  Students must clearly identify any group work with the names of all participants.  Students must observe the University standards of academic honesty and comply with any additional regulations announced by the instructor.


The last day to withdraw with a “W” grade is Monday, March 31, 2003.






(NOTE: You should complete the assigned readings prior to the day they will be discussed in class).


Week 1


Wednesday, January 22 – Nuts and Bolts of the Course



Week 2




Monday, January 27 – Introduction to Gender Studies and Sociology

            Baca Zinn et al.:

Introduction: Sex and Gender Through the Prism of Difference (pgs. 1-8)


Kimmel and Messner:

Introduction (pgs. ix-xvii)


Wednesday, January 29 – Nature vs. Nurture

Baca Zinn, et al.:

Article 1 – Judith Lorber, “Believing is Seeing:  Biology as Ideology” (pgs. 13-22)


            Kimmel & Messner:

Article 4 – Yen Le Espiritu, “All Men are Not Created Equal: Asian Men in U.S. History (pgs. 33-41)



Week 3


Monday, February 3 – Culture and the Formation of Gender Identities

Baca Zinn, et al.:

Article 45 – Melissa Klein, “Duality and Redefinition: Young Feminism and the Alternative Music Community” (pgs. 452-460)


Kimmel and Messner:

Article 5: Philippe Bourgois, “In Search of Masculinity: Violence, Respect, and Sexuality among Puerto Rican Crack Dealers in East Harlem” (pgs. 42-55)





Wednesday, February 5 - Early Feminist Perspectives

            No readings, but come prepared to participate in a class activity.



Week 4


Monday, February 10 – Video: “Boys and Girls Are Different”


Wednesday, February 12 – Multiracial Feminism and Centering Difference

Baca Zinn, et al.:

Article 2 – Maxine Baca Zinn and Bonnie Thornton Dill, “Theorizing Difference from Multiracial Feminism” (pgs. 23-29)




Week 5


Monday, February 17 – discussion of midterm paper and final project


Wednesday, February 19 – Gender and Class

            Baca Zinn et al.:

Article 35 – M. Patricia Fernandez-Kelly, “Delicate Transitions:  Gender, Home, and Employment among Hispanic Women” (pgs. 313-322)


Kimmel and Messner:

Article 23 – Lois Weis, Amira Proweller, and Craig Centrie, “Re-examining ‘A Moment in History’: Loss of Privilege Inside White Working-Class Masculinity in the 1990s” (pgs. 268-282)



Week 6


Monday, February 24 – Gender and Race

            Baca Zinn et al.:

Article 27 - Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” (pgs. 247-250)


            Kimmel & Messner:

Article 12 – Martin Espada, “The Puerto Rican Dummy and the Merciful Son” (pgs. 134-140)


Wednesday, February 26 - Gender and Sexuality

            Baca Zinn et al.:

Article 16 – Deborah L. Tolman, “Doing Desire: Adolescent Girls’ Struggles for/with Sexuality


Article 19 – Cynthia Enloe, “It Takes More Than Two:  The Prostitute, the Soldier, the State, and the Entrepreneur” (p.188-199)


            Kimmel & Messner:

Article 38 – M. Rochlin, “The Heterosexual Questionnaire” (pg. 407)



Week 7


Monday, March 3 – Video: “The Times of Harvey Milk”


Wednesday, March 5 – discussion of video and MID-TERM PAPER DUE




Week 8




Monday, March 17 - Social Institutions

            Baca Zinn et al.:


Article 40 - Karen J. Hossfeld, “‘Their Logic Against Them’:  Contradictions in Sex, Race and Class in Silicon Valley” (pgs. 388-400)


Kimmel and Messner

Article 49 – Lance Strate, “Beer Commercials” (pgs. 505-514)


Wednesday, March 19 - Gender, Work, and the Global Economy


Baca Zinn et al.:

Article 41 – Teresa Amott, “Short-Changed: Restructuring Women’s Work (pgs. 401-407)


Kimmel and Messner:

Article 6 – R.W. Connell, “Masculinities and Globalization” (pgs. 56-70)


Week 9


Monday, March 24 – Slide Presentation


Wednesday, March 26 – Gender and Work in the United States

            Baca Zinn et al.:

Article 39 – Patti A. Giuffre and Christine L. Williams, “Boundary Lines: Labeling Sexual Harassment in Restaurants” (pgs. 372-387)


Kimmel and Messner:

Article 20 – Jennifer Pierce, “Rambo Litigators: Emotional Labor in a Male-Dominated Occupation” (pgs. 225-241)



Week 10


Monday, March 31 – Families and Work

Baca Zinn et al.:

Article 37 – Elizabeth Higginbotham and Lynn Weber, “Moving Up with Kin and Community: Upward Social Mobility for Black and White Women” (pgs. 346-354)


Kimmel and Messner:

Article 43 – Arlie Hochschild, “The Second Shift: Employed Women Are Putting in Another Day of Work at Home” (pgs. 439-441)


Wednesday, April 2 – Families and Parenthood

Baca Zinn et al.:

Article 30 – Patricia Hill Collins, “The Meaning of Motherhood in Black Culture and Black Mother-Daughter Relationships” (pgs. 268-278)


Kimmel and Messner:

Article 46 – Michael C. Hanchard, “On ‘Good’ Black Fathers” (pgs. 467-473)



Week 11


Monday, April 7– Class Activity


Wednesday, April 9 – Gender and Health

Baca Zinn et al.:

Article 8 – Jane Spraque Zones, “Beauty Myths and Realities and Their Impact on Women’s Health” (pgs. 87-103)


Kimmel and Messner:

Article 27 – Gloria Steinam, “If Men Could Menstruate” (pgs. 311-312)



Week 12


Monday, April 14 – Gender and Religion

Baca Zinn, et al.:

Article 25 – Michael Kimmel, “Judaism, Masculinity, and Feminism” (pgs. 239-241)


Article 51 – Walter L. Williams, “Benefits for Nonhomophobic Societies:  An Anthropological Perspective” (pgs. 509-517)


Wednesday, April 16 – Gender and Violence

Baca Zinn et al.:

Article 12 – Jack C. Straton, “The Myth of the ‘Battered Husband Syndrome’” (pgs. 126-128)


Kimmel and Messner:

Article 1 – Michael Kaufman, “The Construction of Masculinity and the Triad of Men’s Violence” (4-16)


Week 13


Monday, April 21 – Gender and Education

Kimmel and Messner:

Article 10 – Ellen Jordan and Angela Cowan, “Warrior Narratives in the Kindergarten Classroom: Renegotiating the Social Contract?” (pgs. 104-116)


Article 15 – A. Ayres Boswell and Joan Z. Spade, “Fraternities and Collegiate Rape Culture: Why Are some Fraternities More Dangerous Places for Women?” (pgs. 167-177)


Wednesday, April 23Gender and Sport

            Baca Zinn et al.:

            Article 15 – Michael Messner, “When Bodies are Weapons” (pgs. 148-152)


            Kimmel and Messner:

Article 8 – Michael Messner, “Boyhood, Organized Sports, and the Construction of Masculinities” (pgs. 88-99)


Week 14


Monday, April 28 - Resistance and Change 

Baca Zinn et al.:

Article 46 – Mary Pardo, “Mexican American Women and Grassroots Community Activists:  Mothers of East Los Angeles” (pgs. 461-466)


Kimmel and Messner:

Article 52 – Robert L. Allen, “Racism, Sexism, and a Million Men” (pgs. 536-538)


Wednesday, April 30 – class activity


Week 15


Monday, May 5 - Class Wrap-up, Evaluations, and FINAL PROJECTS DUE

Note:  Even though you do not have a final exam in this class, students are required to come to class during the scheduled final exam period.