Gender, Sports, and Beauty

According to contemporary scholars, gender should be considered a social problem worthy of
sociological exploration and research (Connell 1983). Indeed, gender is regularly at the heart of
many current social issues ranging from health, sports, and advertising, to politics, popular
culture, and sex. Often these issues are presented in ways that make gender either highly visible
or completely invisible, even though we know that gender structures almost every aspect of our
behavior and institutions. In this easy, you will synthesize course content from two different
weeks in order to conduct an analysis of a current social issue and explain its relation to gender.

1. Select TWO different weeks from the second half of the course that you feel fit
together well and that you would like to think about and analyze. Regardless of the
weeks you choose, your analysis must be framed through the lens of gender. For
example, if you are interested in beauty and sexuality, your analysis should then focus
on “Gender, Beauty, and Sexuality.” If you are interested in sports and the body, then
your analysis should concentrate on “Gender, Sports, and the Body.”
2. After deciding on two topics, locate a current event/news story that illustrates both
aspects of what you will be analyzing. For example, if you are interested in “Gender,
Sexuality, and Politics,” then a news story about a well-known political sex scandal
would work well as a focus for your analysis.
Your essay must put forth an argument—something you assert in the essay and then illustrate
using course concepts, readings, and your current event/news story. Your essay should aim to
make connections between the readings and concepts from the two weeks (i.e., synthesis), and as
always, you must provide a full and complete explanation of the concepts you introduce in the
essay. Full and complete explanations utilize all of the resources at your disposal and illustrate a
mastery of the course content, lectures, and readings. Once finished, your essay should have
provided a sociological analysis of the current event/news story that helps readers make sense of
the phenomenon more clearly. In other words, your task is to explain the event using the
analytical tools gained in the course, while also showcasing your knowledge of relevant concepts
and readings.
You must cite a minimum of three course readings in your paper, and one supplemental reading.
I will post a variety of supplemental readings on the MyRipon portal that you may use. If you
want to use a reading outside of course texts or those I post online, it must be approved by me
ahead of time (that is, before I grade your paper and see a reading I did not approve). The
supplemental readings I post will cover a range of topics and concepts introduced in lecture, and
will give you more resources for writing your papers. Better papers usually cite more than the
four minimum sources, as they are typically synthesizing additional course information. You
should cite lecture notes when a reading is not available for the concept you are trying to
support/explain. However, lecture notes do not count toward your four citation minimum. The
citation style should be ASA (American Sociological Association), and a link to the ASA Style



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