Field Observation 1
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Observe real people in a social/acquaintances setting and take notes about their behavior. Submit a 1-2 page journal entry that summarizes what you’ve observed and discuss your observations, using one of the theoretical frameworks in your textbooks. In other words, share your observations then explain what they mean using concepts from your course readings. The field of gender studies employs theories from many academic disciplines including communication, linguistics, psychology, and sociology, and scholars of gender studies have developed their own theories as well. Each theory provides a slightly different perspective of the whole field, but together, they give us a composite understanding of what gender is and how people deal with it. To understand why there are so many theories, think of a photographer who snaps the same image from a variety of angles. While each shot captures the same basic content, the pictures are different and reveal different ideas and ways of understanding that content. The theories discussed below are by no means the only theories used within gender studies. These are only some of the most prominent theories used. As you familiarize yourself with these theories, please keep in mind that no single theory can explain everything. Many of these theories complement each other, and some are used to understand one very specific aspect of gender identity. This lesson will focus on the four categories of gender behavior and development: Biological theories Interpersonal and psychological theories Cultural theories Critical theories
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