Week 3

[Header image by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya.]

Week 3 - due by 5pm on Friday 9/17, uploaded to section Canvas

Conversation about Gender

This week I'm asking you to have a conversation with someone who is at least 20 years older than you are. That conversation should focus on gender, broadly, and discuss how your experiences with gender overlap or diverge.

Please use the following questions to get the conversation started:

Where and when did your interlocutor grow up?
What is their gender identity? (E.g. male, female, non-binary, etc.)
In your opinion, what other identities intersect with gender for your interlocutor? (E.g. class, race, ability, citizenship, religion.) Can you craft a question that explores their intersectional identities?
How did they learn about gender?
Do they remember moments when they figured out gender differences, or when gender suddenly became obvious to them?
When they were growing up, can they remember any particular moments when they were taught about gender? What was said or done in those lessons?
When they were younger, did they ever want to do something that they weren't supposed to do because of their gender? What happened?
How have they experienced gender in the course of their lives? Has it changed over their lives? (This might be a hard question because it's so big, so think about how to explain or rephrase it, if necessary.)
Do they think gender norms are different now than previously? How so?
Do they feel like their life was restricted by their gender? Why or why not?

In general, the goal of these questions is to a get a sense of how your interlocutor learned about, experienced, and imagined gender at an earlier moment in time. You are welcome to add questions or revise these to better get at that picture. Before you have this conversation, please look forward to next week's assignment, which asks you to reflect on this conversation. You need to make sure this conversation gives you enough information to answer those questions.

I expect this conversation will take about 45 minutes. Please either ask to record the conversation - you must explicitly ask the other person if recording is acceptable to them! - or take very good notes as you talk. Use these questions as a jumping off point to start a conversation, but it can go in whatever direction you find most interesting.

Other than age, there are no restrictions on who you pick for this conversation. If you want, you can:
talk with someone you know very well or are related to;
talk with someone who is much more than 20 years older than you;
talk with someone who shares a gender identity with you, or someone who does not;
have this conversation in a language other than English, although you will need to translate all details in next week's response into English.

This week, please submit to Canvas your interlocutor's name, their relationships to you, and when you plan to talk with them. You are not required to have the conversation by 5pm on Friday, but please turn in these details by then. It will be graded as credit / no credit.