07 SES 10 B, Gender Stereotypes, Sexual Harassment and Discrimination
The main research questions explored in this paper are the following: Which gender stereotypes are present in the novels that are on the required reading list for the second cycle of primary education? What socialization role do they have considering the age and educational experience of students? Implications and recommendations derived from the findings examine the possibility of introducing gender perspective into the mother tongue school program, answering the question of how to teach students to interpret the school readings outside the strict framework imposed by an androcentric interpretative community.
Therefore, the main objective is to document the presence and frequency of gender stereotypes in the required readings for the second cycle of primary education (for students aged 11 to 14, fifth to eighth grade) and to identify, classify, describe and analyze these stereotypes. The additional goal is to develop models for integrating gender perspective into the analysis of these readings in classes, in order to put an end to the reproduction of patriarchal gender ideology through school readings and encourage students to develop a critical attitude towards gender stereotypes, as well as to enrich primary school literature programs with new interpretations. Given that the school readings can also be considered as a canon, the aim of this paper would be to challenge the values, ideas and beliefs related to gender-sensitive issues and promoted in the school readings. This paper, in fact, is a critique of the canon/school reading from the gender equality perspective.
The starting point of this paper is the fact that gender stereotypes have a significant influence on creating the concepts of femininity and masculinity and establishing the social category of gender. Even when someone’s beliefs about the gender differ from reality, these can still have an important role in their behavior and the way in which they view themselves and the others (Brannon, 2000). The same behavior is often interpreted in different ways in women and men. Stereotypical portrayal of gender roles influences child’s attitudes and understanding of gender acceptable behaviors in society, and teaches them not to challenge the existing social relations. For that reason, examining stereotypes is crucial for understanding how the category of gender shapes our daily life.
The theoretical framework of this paper is the feminist literary criticism developed within the second wave of feminism, in the 1970s in the United States, with the main representatives being Milett, Ellmann, Rich, Fetterley, Gilbert&Gubar, and Showalter, although the works of their forerunners Woolf, Wollstonecraft and Beauvoir are also taken into account. The feminist literary criticism seeks to discover stereotypical portrayals of women in books written by men. It represents a new reading of old literature works based on the category of gender. The feminist reading focuses on the relation between gender and power and attempts to answer several questions: what is the number of female and male characters in a book? How are they depicted? What are the relations between female and male characters? What are their attitudes towards the predefined gender roles? (Gordić Petković, 2007). In Serbia, however, the feminist literary criticism did not start as a critical reading of predominantly male literature, since it established itself as gynocriticism from the very beginning (Slapšak, 1997).
Brannon, Linda. (2000). Gender Stereotypes: Masculinity and Femininity. www.feminish.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Brannon_ch07.pdf [8. 4.2016] Gordić Petković, V. (2007). Na ženskom kontinentu. Novi Sad: Dnevnik. Kalezić Đuričković, S. (2008). Nastavno proučavanje romana u osnovnoj školi. Podgorica: Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva. Milett, K. (2000). Sexual Politics. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Rosandić, D. (1979). Metodički pristup romanu. Sarajevo: IGKRO Svjetlost. Slapšak, S. (1997). Kradljivice jezika. Beograd: ProFemina. Andrić, М. (1996). Metodički prilozi književnoumetničkom delu. Beograd: Društvo za srpski jezik i književnost. Bajić, Lj. (2004). Odabrane nastavne interpretacije. Beograd: Društvo za srpski jezik i književnost. Ilić, P. (2006). Srpski jezik i književnost u nastavnoj teoriji i praksi. Novi Sad: Zmaj. Nikolić, М. (1988). Metodika nastave srpskohrvatskog jezika. Beograd: Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva.
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