SOCI 3345 – Media Ethics and Gender
Today’s popular media tell a vast array of stories about men and women. This course is a Sociological study of gender representations in the contemporary American cinema and its effects on our own gender identities. We’ll explore the bro-mance and chic-flick, action heroes and “chicks with dicks,” the fairy princess and Prince Charming, pretty boys and mean girls, bros before hos and the “mad Black woman” in American movies. How have the roles of men and women and the meanings of masculinity and femininity in the movies evolved overtime, and what effects have these evolutions had on how we, as a culture, see gender?
This is an active, discussion-oriented course, and therefore is largely dependent on students' preparation and motivation for discussion. Course requirements will include: daily discussion questions over the readings, a content analysis of a movie of your choice, and one exam.
Dr. Debra Branch received her Ph.D. in Sociology at The Ohio State University, where she specialized in gender, race, and class inequalities. She has taught undergraduate and graduate level coursework related to gender since 1999. Dr. Branch is in her fifth year in the Sociology department as SMU, where she teaches the Sociology of Gender, Research Methods, Social Problems, and Environmental Sociology.
Examining the mass media as an institution of socialization as well as a reflection of a culture’s reality is a common thread throughout each of Dr. Branch’s courses. Analyzing how the media contributes to the construction of reality is vital to a Sociological understanding of patterns of human social behavior, including gendered identities.
Learning Outcomes and Benefits
- Gain a Sociological understanding of how the mass media, as an institution, shapes our attitudes, identities, and behavior in regards to gender.
- Be able to evaluate theoretical perspectives of gender and the media, including how gender is socially constructed and maintained within this institution.
- Be able to recognize the intersection of gender with race/ethnicity, class, and sexuality in the media.
- Be able to apply their knowledge and critically analyze one form of mass media, the American Cinema.
- Learn content analysis and apply this research methodology to a movie of their choice.