Faculty: Communication and Media Studies Department: Journalism & Media Studies
Course Code: CMS 303 Unit(s): 2 Semester: First
Course Title: Gender & Communication
Lecturer: Programme: B.Sc.
(A). BRIEF OVERVIEW OF COURSE
This course is approached from two perspectives: (1) communication about women and men, in terms of language and media depictions of the sexes, and how such language and depiction influence our understanding of biological sex as well as gender as a cultural construction; and (2) communication between men and women, that is, gender communication in a variety of relationships, such as friendships, romantic partnerings, family life, relationships in educational settings, and workplace relationships. The course further discusses the concepts of gender and communication with a view to providing an understanding of the fusion between the two key concepts. It examines the difference between sex and gender, the intersection of gender and culture, and theories of gender studies. It further examines how gender role constructions have impacted media content, exposure, information processing and dissemination, including ways in which social and political meanings attached to gender are communicated in various cultural institutions, practices, and contexts. At the completion of this course, students would have learned the ways in which gender relations are impacted by culture, conventions, policies, communication and media as well as other dynamics in society. Students will also develop an increased awareness of gender communication in their lives and the central role of communication in understanding and enactment of gender in society.
(B). COURSE OBJECTIVES/GOALS
By the end of this course, students will have learned:
1. Definition and explanation of key concepts associated with the study of communication and gender studies
2. Identification and explanation of basic theories, issues, and research trends in gender communication
3. Communication about women and men, in terms of language and media depictions of the sexes
4. How language and media depiction of sexes influence understanding of biological sex as well as gender as a cultural construction
5. Gender communication in a variety of relationships, such as friendships, romantic partnerings, family life, relationships in educational settings, and workplace relationships.
6. The concept of gender from the holistic perspectives
7. The fusion between gender and communication
8. To think critically about how gender is related to various cultural institutions, practices, and contexts
9. To assess critically the ways in which culture shapes gendered communication as well as how gendered communication shapes culture.
10. Understand how gender impacts media landscape and communication process
(C). METHOD OF LECTURE DELIVERY
- Practical Classroom Sessions
(D). COURSE OUTLINE
1. Course Introduction and Overview
- Introduction and Historical Context
- Understanding basic concepts – sex, sexuality, gender
- Gendered Communication
- Gender Identity
- Gender Landscape in Nigeria
2. Theories of Gender
- Meaning of key concepts (theory; theory of gender)
- Relevance of theory in gender studies
- Theories of gender (feminist theory; post-modern and post-structural theory; standpoint theory; intersectionality; literary theory; queer theory; theories of the body and sexuality; postcolonial theory; psychoanalysis; law and bioethical theory; critical race theory; affect theory; feminist new materialism; performativity, Object Relations Theory, Hegemonic Masculinity, Patriarchal Dividend, Heterosexual Matrix)
- Social theories of gender
- Biological theories of gender
- Theories of gender identity, e.g. biological, social, and cultural
- Application of these theories in gender studies
3. Gender and the Media
- Introductory overview of gendered media landscape (Print, Broadcast, Film, Music, New Media, Advertising, Public Relations)
- Diversity across audiences, content and producers of media
- Stereotypes of gender, race, class, and sexual identity in media portrayals
- Gender and social construction of reality by the media
- Gender and social media
4. Gender Culture
- Concept of culture
- Cultural meaning of gender
- How Culture Shapes Gendered Communication
- Gender and contemporary culture
- Gendered communication in contemporary culture
- Popular culture and gender
5. Gender, Sexuality, Identity and Space
- Conceptual introduction: meaning of space and place in gender studies; concepts of spatial exclusion and spatial purification in gendered communication
- Relationship between gender, sexuality, space and place
- Processes by which sexual and gender norms are spatially constructed.
- The importance of gender and sexuality within broader struggles for spatial and social justice
- How the spaces we occupy are never empty or neutral, but are imbued with history, identity and meaning
- Why certain bodies are understood as ‘naturally’ entitled to certain spaces, whereas others are excluded and positioned as ‘out of place’
- Why certain spaces are seen as ‘masculine’ and others ‘feminine’
- Rigid ideas about ‘appropriate’ gendered identities and sexualities which have historically resulted in the exclusion of certain groups such as LGBT communities and sex workers
- Importance of intersectionality when thinking about the relation between identity, embodiment and place
- Complex interplay of sexism, homophobia, transphobia, racism, classism and abelism
- How domestic space has traditionally been designed for the nuclear family
- How cities shape our sexual lives (what would a non-sexist city look like?)
- Key contemporary debates concerning the relation of space, gender and sexuality
6. Communication and Gender Competence
- Meaning of gender competence
- Relevance of gender competence in communication campaigns
- Gender competence and the society
7. Issues in Gendered Communication
- Gendered Language
- Gender and Relationships
- Gender and the body
- Gender in the workplace
- Gender communication in educational settings
- Gender stereotypes
8. Class Activities
- Practical exercises, group activities, and case studies
1. Umaru, Pate, Nwabueze, Chinenye, and Idiong, Nsikak (2012). Politics,
Culture,& the Media in Nigeria. Ibadan: Stirling-Horden.
2. Bordo, S. (1993). Reading the slender body. In Unbearable weight: Feminism,
Western culture, and the body (pp.185-212). Berkeley, CA: University of California.
3. Cooper, Brenda. (2002). “Boys don’t cry and female masculinity: Reclaiming a life
and dismantling the politics of normative heterosexuality.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 19, 44-63.
4. Piontek, T. (2006). Queer alternatives to men and women. In T. Piontek, Queering
gay and lesbian studies (pp. 67-80). Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
5. Fudge, R. (2006). “Everything you always wanted to know about feminism but
were afraid to ask.” Bitch, 31, 58 67.
6. Berry, K. (2007). Embracing the catastrophe: Gay body seeks acceptance.
Qualitative Inquiry, 13(2), 259-281.
7. Greenberg, R. (2000). “Escaping the daily grind for life as a house father.” In
Ashton-Jones, Olsen, & Perry (Eds.), The gender reader (2nd ed., pp. 391-393). Allyn and Bacon Publishers.
8. Kimmel, M. (1996). Introduction: Toward a history of manhood in America.
Manhood in America: A cultural history (pp. 1-10). New York: Free Press.
9. Kimmel, M. & Messner, M. (1990). “Men as gendered beings.” In S. Ruth
Issues in Feminism (56-58), Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.
10. Orbe, M.P. (1998). Constructions of reality on MTV’s “The Real World”: An
analysis of the restrictive coding of black masculinity. Southern Communication Journal, 64, 32-47.
(E). IMPORTANT LINKS
GENDER AND COMMUNICATION IN NIGERIA: IS THIS THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY? By Dr. Chinyere Stella Okunna
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