Gender construction


We continued our discussion of ‘gender as a social construct today’ and reviewed our understanding of the information on pg.252 -257 of the text book.

The following website is particularly useful for exploring gender from a sociological perspective:


At the end of the lesson you were given the following extract from Giddens (2006):



This adds some more ideas to our understanding of how theorists might explain gender socialisation.

Today we also started talking about ‘hegemonic masculinity’ – a term coined by R.W Connell. We will look at this term in some more detail next lesson.



Identity construction: gender


The aim of today’s lesson was to continue to understand the process of identity construction. In other words, understanding how socialisation leads to the creation of identity (i.e. a sense of self).

We talked about how, what Durkheim might call, ‘social facts’ such as gender, religion, class and ethnic background, affect our concept of self.

From these ‘social facts’, gender was selected for further study. During the lesson we emphasized the fact that sex and gender are different. While someone’s sex is biological, their gender is ‘learnt’ through socialisation; as we noted in class ‘Traditionally, sociologists view gender as a social construct.’

We looked at the role that family, particularly parents, play in shaping our gender through the toys that they encourage us to play with, and through the differing expectations they have of our abilities (see BBC documentary: Is your brain male or female? 2015). We tried to apply functionalist, conflict and interactionist theory to the idea of gender socialisation.

We also read pg.252-257 of the Germov & Poole textbook to deepen our understanding of the concept ‘gender’ in sociology. We also made attempts to connect what we were reading with theory. See student examples below:

Interactionist theory: Erving Goffman

We are social actors

Today we revised concepts learnt in a previous lesson, as well as adding to this list (e.g. roles and ascribed/achieved status). The following handout provides some clear definitions of some of these concepts and will be useful for the upcoming assessment task:


We briefly looked at the stages of socialisation (e.g. primary, secondary and tertiary)


We also started delving into our first piece of sociological theory: interactionist theory (also known as symbolic interactionism). Our focus was the work of Erving Goffman. The following PowerPoint slides refer to this. It is also important to ensure you have read pg.42-44 of your textbook (the title of the section is ‘‘Erving Goffman and the sociology of everyday life’)

Goffman (PowerPoint)