Methods of (Gender) Socialisation: Knowledge Organiser

Blank KO Template. Click to download.
Blank Template

While putting together the Agencies of Socialisation PowerPoint I came across a related document – a kind of proto-knowledge organiser, circa 2002 – that I must have once worked-on and then, for whatever reason, abandoned.

In basic terms, the document can be used to organise ideas about, in this instance, gender socialisation (it could probably also be used to organise other forms of socialisation) into four main categories:

1. Selective Exposure: boys and girls are selectively exposed to different ideas, behaviours and practices seen as appropriate to their sex.

2. Modelling: boys and girls are encouraged to model their behaviour by observing and to some extent copying the gendered behaviour they see around them – in their families, peer groups, schools, media and so forth.

3. Rewards and Punishments: although the idea of social sanctions, in the form of rewards for conformity and punishments for deviance, is a standard aspect of our understanding of socialisation processes what might be more-interesting to think about is whether different types of male – female behaviour are rewarded and punished and whether each gender is rewarded / punished differently for displaying the same behaviour?

4. Identification and Nurturance: Identification and nurturance involve a stronger form of modelling in the sense that where boys and girls are encouraged to identify with adults of their sex, the latter are potentially more-influential in nurturing the social traits and behaviours they see as desirable in children of different sexes.

While these categories seem vaguely-familiar, I can’t remember their original source. A Google search only produced one article that mentioned “6 methods of socialisation” (I presumably conflated reward / punishment and nurturance / identification for some reason) and this links to a set of American University Notes. I think it’s unlikely I got the categories from there, but if there’s an original out there somewhere I don’t know who created it.

Family KO. Click to download.
Family Knowledge Organiser

Be that as it may, the Methods of Gender Socialisation Organiser takes the form of a simple Word Template that asks students to think about each of the above categories and apply ideas and examples to illustrate differences in male – female socialisation. You can do this for a range of different primary and secondary socialising institutions, from families, through schools to the workplace.

For some reason I only created 3 example Organisers, covering family, peer group and media gender socialisation. As you might expect they’re a little out-dated in some of the examples they use (the media organiser, for example, has no-mention of the Internet or social media) but since they were only created to encourage students to compile their own organisers it’s easy enough for them to supply more-current ideas and examples.

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