LANGUAGE, GENDER, CULTURE

Report
Module 2 – 12A
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Note: “norms” means
In this module, we’ll interrogate gender norms
and the ways social pressures enforce those
norms. In addition to reflecting on a range of
topics including gender, identity, race, and
culture, you will consider how norms of behavior
are enforced through language and social
interaction and analyze the ways you may have
been silenced or witnessed others being
silenced. The final writing assignment invites
you to transform their own silences into
language and social action.
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After examining the meanings of the words
below, put a definition in your own words for
each of the words listed under Activity 1.
Language: refers not just to the general
language one speaks (such as English, Spanish,
etc.), but also the way a person speaks it, which
reflects their culture and identity—or, how
someone sees themselves and how they
represent themselves to others. For example, a
person who says “ain’t” or “chillin’” or “turn up”
reveals something about the culture with which
they identify.
Gender is not the exact same thing as someone’s sex
(which, based on genitalia, could be male, female, or
intersex). Instead, it is the social assumptions placed
on someone based on that genitalia. In some cases,
gender may not align with ones sexual anatomy
(leading frequently to cultural conflict).
 Culture can mean a particular group of people, as well
as their inherited beliefs, values, and knowledge which
make up their shared bases of social action. It refers to
the attitude and values that inform a society’s actions.
For example, most cultures have specific beliefs about
what it means to be/act like a male/female
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Reflect on the following under Activity 2 in your
activities template:
Characterize some of the differences you have
observed between how American men and
women generally walk. What aspects of walking
behavior or style make a person’s walk seem
“feminine” versus “masculine”? (Consider speed,
size of steps, carriage of the shoulders and hips,
gaze [focus of the eyes], etc.) Describe an
example of any individuals you’ve known whose
walk could be characterized as typically
“masculine” or “feminine.”
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Using the vocabulary and synonym table on your
activities template, review the list of key
vocabulary words for Butler’s video. Then,
brainstorm an additional 2-5 synonyms in the far
right column for any of the key vocabulary words
or phrases. You can do so by asking a classmate or
using online databases.
Note: this activity not only helps with your
comprehension of the video, but it also develops
the synapses in your brain between words and
significance (i.e., it makes you smarter!)
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Judith Butler—This YouTube video clip is from an
interview uploaded to YouTube in 2007.
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Judith Butler is a Professor in the Departments of
Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of
California, Berkeley. She received her PhD in Philosophy
from Yale University. She is the author of many books,
including Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of
Identity and Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits
of “Sex.” She is also active in gender and sexual politics
and human rights, anti-war politics, and Jewish Voice for
Peace. She is presently the recipient of the Andrew
Mellon Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement
in the Humanities.
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Reread the quickwrite you wrote for Activity 2,
and then answer both of the following
questions.
Though you may not know any examples as extreme
as the one described by Butler, have you seen or
heard of similar instances in which gender norms
have been enforced through violence or bullying?
2. How does this story deepen your understanding of
the relationship between identity, gender, and
culture?
1.
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Deborah Tannen—“His Politeness Is Her Powerlessness” is
excerpted from You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in
Conversation (1990; 2001).
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Deborah Tannen earned a PhD in Linguistics from the University of
California, Berkeley. She is Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown
University and author of many books and articles about how the
language of everyday conversation affects relationships. She is
best known as author of You Just Don’t Understand: Women and
Men in Conversation, which was on the New York Times best seller
list for nearly four years. This book brought gender differences in
communication style to the forefront of public awareness.
Deborah Tannen is a frequent guest on television and radio, and
she has written for many major newspapers and magazines,
including the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today,
Washington Post, and People.
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Using the vocabulary and synonym table on your
activities template, review the list of key
vocabulary words for Tannen’s article. Then,
brainstorm an additional 2-5 synonyms in the far
right column for any of the key vocabulary words
or phrases. You can do so by asking a classmate
or using online databases.
Note: this activity not only helps with your
comprehension of the chapter, but it also
develops the synapses in your brain between
words and significance (i.e., it makes you
smarter!)
After reading Tannen’s text, consider the
following and write your responses in your
activities template.
1. What surprised you within the chapter?
2. What, if anything about this piece, still
confuses you?
3. Write a single sentence in your own words
that summarizes Tannen’s main argument.
LOGOS
1.
What is Tannen claiming, specifically about male and female
behavior?
2.
What evidence does Tannen offer to support her claims?
3.
What counterarguments has she addressed?
ETHOS
4.
What can you infer about Tannen from her article?
5.
Why does she refer both to her own research and the research of
other authors?
6.
What does Tannen’s style and language tell the reader about her?
7.
Does Tannen seem trustworthy? Why or why not?
PATHOS
8.
Do you think Tannen is trying to manipulate the reader’s emotions?
In what ways? At what points?
9.
Does Tannen use humor or irony? How does that affect your
acceptance of her ideas?
Fill in the information in your activities template under “Activity 8” as you
watch the videos and read the introductory notes
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Note: different from the word compliment
(meaning, a gesture of flattery toward
someone), the word complement means
something that completes. It’s the second
part of something. In terms of grammar, it’s a
word or group of words that completes the
meaning for a subject in a sentence
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF9ogQdj5RY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNuieiLjMq8
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SUBJECT COMPLEMENT
 Linking verb: any form of verb “be” (is, are, were,
was, will be, might have been, are being, etc.)
 Some verbs are occasionally linking verbs, for
example: appear, grow, become, look, feel,
prove, remain, smell, sound, turn, taste
 How do you know? Try replacing the verb with
an = sign. Does the sentence still make sense?
 Examples:
 Michelle felt sick
 Michelle felt her forehead but did not have a fever.
SUBJECT PRONOUNS
OBJECT PRONOUNS
I
We
Me
Us
You
They
You
Them
He, She, It
Who
Him, Her, It
Whom
It was I who woke you from your nap.
I didn’t pull your ponytail. It was he!
Remember the amazing guitarist I met? This is she.
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Unlike subject complements, object complements modify
(describe/complete) a direct or indirect object (NOT the
sentence’s subject – hence, the name)
 Direct objects are nouns that follow action verbs (pretty much
anything that isn’t a linking verb)
 Sometimes direct objects need some help, so we add an object
complement
In general, verbs which have to do with perceiving,
judging, or changing something have objects that take
object complements:
 Examples:
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 Paint it black.
 The judge ruler her out of order.
 I saw the Prime Minister sleeping.
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Subject complements follow a linking verb
and provide extra info about the subject of a
sentence
Object complements follow a direct object
and provide additional info about the direct
object
Examples:
 Marie is the treasurer.
 The class appointed her treasurer.
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Complete the exercises listed under activity 9
in your activities template.
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Understanding of subject and object
complements is crucial for understanding the
last two sentence patterns of this semester:
inverted sentences.
MODULE SHIFT
Now we turn our eyes to the interactions between
race, culture, and identity.
 To assist, you’ll be split into 6 groups. For the three
readings:
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 3 groups will write a rhetorical précis for their assigned
article or website
 3 groups will choose 5 of the most important quotes,
statistics, or points to take away from their assigned
article or website and fill out a “Say, Mean, Matter” chart
for each. If you don’t know what this is, I’ll help you out!
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You may write your part on the activities template,
and fill in the rest when each group presents
Answer the following in your activities template
1. Based on what you learned from the Jigsaw
Reading, how might cultural expectations affect
students at Lindsay High School?
2. What is the most fascinating new understanding
you take away from these texts? Why?
3. Review your notes from this module’s 5 texts. In a
minimum of two paragraphs, reflect on what
you now understand to be the relationship
between language and gender, between gender
and culture, and/or between cultural
expectations and identity.
Fill in the information in your activities template under “Activity 12” as you
read the introductory notes.
“Powerful you have become. The dark side I sense in you.”
Pattern 15
 Remember those Subject or Object
Complements?
 At times in your writing, you can invert your
sentence to stress some part of the sentence
that usually comes after the verb
 Inversion is like adding invisible italics or stress to
particular words (and, by the way, you should never
use italics in an essay unless it’s to show something is
a book/magazine)
 CAUTION: if you invert it, read it aloud to make sure it
sounds graceful, not awkward.
Pattern 15:
 With a direct object:
 His kind of sarcasm I do not like.
 Satisfied with his first draft, good grades he will
never have.
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With a subject complement:
 No friend of snakes is my sister.
 Famous and wealthy an English professor will
never be.
Still don’t get it? As Yoda says,
“Patience you must have, my young Padawan.”
Pattern 15a (complete inversion)
 Sentences in which the verb comes before the subject
is completely inverted (it’s a complete flip, as opposed
to the “yoda” speak, where subject and verb are still in
traditional order
 This is done to put more emphasis on the verb.
 Conjugation must agree with the SUBJECT no matter
what.
 Examples:
 There are 30 people at the party.****use sparingly!
 In that barn live 4 horses.
 There is an idea somewhere in this sentence. ****use
sparingly!
 What is his name?
Complete the exercises listed under activity 13
in your activities template.
You will also be required to use these sentence
patterns in your final writing assignment.
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Among other issues, each of the articles in this module considers how
we might respond to the ways that social environments and norms
constrain us. Perhaps there is a middle ground: something between
suffering silently to fit in, and rebelling. Instead, we could try to speak
out, using language and action to change, not just rebel against, the
social conditions of our lives.
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After considering this, write a public service announcement (PSA) –
script and 30-second video that proposes meaningful change in your
community related to the issues raised in these readings, or a cultural
issue of your choice.
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This will count as the research-based rhetorical modes essay for your
senior project.
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For further instructions, download the “final writing assignment”
document at lhsenglish.com  12A  language, gender, culture
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Download the MLA introduction document
and the MLA practice worksheet (this is your
activity 14)
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Before turning in this module, complete
activity 15: the checklist and metacognitive
reflection

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