Midterm for Gender and Communication

Gender and Communication COMM 2010: Spring 2023Midterm

This exam is broken down into two parts. The first part asks you to provide definitions while the second part asks you to respond to hypothetical scenarios. Unlike previous course assignments, this one is more practical and interventional. Your objective is not to repeat information from course readings, but to apply them in everyday or common situations or to explain them in your own words while also negotiating a specified length constriction. Type your answers in double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font and attach them on blackboard.

Part A

Below are pairs of terms from our course. For each pair, pick one term and define the term in your own words; do not simply repeat the textbook’s definitions; additionally, not every term may have a clear textbook definition. Limit each answer to 1 or 2 sentences. You may provide an example to help explain your definitions; the challenge here is to provide examples that both match your own words and the definitions from our course using your own language (5 points each):

Feminism & Patriarchy
Gender/Sex & Gender Performativity
Intersectionality & Self-Reflexivity
Postcolonialism & Queer Theory
Gender Spectrum & Cisgender

Part B

Part of this course’s objective is exploring how gender impacts our everyday lives and the lives of those around us. Of the following 3 scenarios, pick 2 to respond to using what you have learned in class. Address each hypothetical situation below like you would in real life using the information that we have learned thus far, while also considering that many people may not be familiar with the concepts. Provide each answer in a maximum two paragraphs per answer. Explain what is incorrect about their assumption and then offer suggestions of ways to approach the issue differently (25 points per answer):

1. A female colleague, who is white and regularly brags about going to an Ivy League school, complains that women only earn $.77 to a man’s $1. You know, however, that her approach to gender and the wage gap doesn’t take into account privilege and differences in race, employment type, culture, and earnings. How do you approach this with your colleague in the moment? What conversations do you think may be necessary with your supervisor or work team to address conversations about gender intersections and employment?

2. Your brother mentions that he caught your nephew (his son) playing with dolls last week and disciplined the boy by saying “Dolls are for girls. What are you, weak?” He then mentions that he doesn’t want to raise a gay son, saying it would make him uncomfortable. You are sure that your brother would still love his son if he was gay, but you also know that his linking of toys, sexuality, and gender is not completely accurate. How do you address this situation? What interventions would you use for your brother and what interventions would you use with your nephew?

3. You are working on a history project with a group member, and they mentions that throughout history there have only been two sexes, and that this “transgender phase” that popular culture is obsessed with is going to expire soon. Your teammate does not seem to understand how binaries of gender/sex operate and that their understanding of transgender folks and intersex folks is lacking. How do you address the team member’s lack of reflexivity without alienating them? Further, how do you use this moment to shape group norms about inclusivity and intersectional perspectives?

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