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BSOC-107: Sociology of Gender

BSOC-107: Sociology of Gender

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

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Assignment Code: BSOC-107/ASST/TMA/2023-24

Course Code: BSOC-107

Assignment Name: Sociology of Gender

Year: 2023-24

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment - I

Answer the following in about 500 words each.

Q1)Explain how gender is a form of diversity as well as a hierarchy.

Ans) The concept of gender functions as a multidimensional construct, functioning as a hierarchical system as well as a type of diversity itself. The recognition of the complexity of gender, which includes societal, cultural, and individual elements, is necessary for gaining an understanding of the concept.

Diversity in Gender:

a) Cultural Variation: Gender roles and manifestations vary from culture to culture, which contributes to the rich tapestry of identities that exist around the world. There are many different societies that acknowledge non-binary, third-gender, and other gender identities in addition to the concepts of male and female, which are considered to be binary.

b) Individual Identity: There are a variety of ways in which individuals within any particular civilization express their gender identification. Individuals who identify with the gender that was assigned to them at birth (also known as cisgender) and individuals whose gender identification is different from the sex that they were born are included in this diversity (transgender).

c) Intersectionality: Gender diversity intersects with other dimensions of identity, such as race, ethnicity, sexuality, and disability, creating a rich mosaic of experiences. For example, a woman of colour may face distinct challenges compared to a white woman due to the intersection of gender and race.

Hierarchy in Gender:

a) Patriarchal Structures: Men have held a disproportionate amount of authority and influence in many countries throughout history and continue to do so today. These societies operate within patriarchal institutions. In many cases, this hierarchical system contributes to the perpetuation of gender-based oppression and discrimination.

b) Gender Wage Gap: There is a hierarchical structure that can be seen in the economic differences that are dependent on gender. Women, on average, earn less than males for employment that is comparable. The disparity in wages is a reflection of structural inequalities that are firmly established in the systems of society.

c) Underrepresentation: In various spheres, such as politics, business leadership, and STEM fields, women often find themselves underrepresented. This underrepresentation signifies a hierarchical imbalance, limiting opportunities for women to reach influential positions.

Socialization and Gender Norms:

a) Norms and Expectations: Societal norms dictate how individuals are expected to behave based on their gender. These norms often perpetuate stereotypes, reinforcing certain behaviours as acceptable for men or women. This can limit personal freedom and perpetuate a hierarchical structure.

b) Socialized Roles: From a young age, individuals are socialized into gender roles, learning what is deemed appropriate for their assigned gender. This process can perpetuate a hierarchical understanding of gender, reinforcing traditional power structures.

Gender-Based Violence:

Violence as a Tool of Control: In many cases, power disparities are the core cause of gender-based violence, which includes sexual assault and domestic abuse. For the purpose of exercising control over victims, perpetrators resort to violence, which reflects a hierarchical dynamic.

Legal and Institutional Discrimination:

Legal Gender Inequality: The discriminatory laws and regulations that have been in place for a long time in certain legal systems have historically contributed to the perpetuation of gender inequality. The elimination of hierarchical structures and the addressing of these inequities frequently call for the implementation of reforms.

Q2) Discuss the interrelationship between masculinity and violence.

Ans) An intricate and multi-faceted phenomenon that is firmly rooted in cultural, social, and historical settings, the interaction between masculinity and violence is a complicated and multi-faceted phenomenon.

In traditional conceptions of masculinity, the male gender role is frequently associated with characteristics such as strength, dominance, and aggression. Within the male population, this connection has the potential to contribute to the normalisation and maintenance of aggressive behaviours.

Socialization and Gender Norms:

Norms of Aggression: Young males are frequently trained to conform to stereotypes of aggressiveness and toughness, and this process begins at a young age. The expression "boys don't cry" reflects the societal expectation that males should be stoic. This expectation can lead to the repression of emotions, which in turn can increase the possibility that men will resort to violence as a means of providing an outlet for their feelings.

Hegemonic Masculinity:

Dominance and Control: The notion of hegemonic masculinity was first presented by the sociologist R.W. Connell. It is a term that describes the dominant form of masculinity that exists within a specific society. As a result of the fact that this type frequently places an emphasis on characteristics such as dominance, control, and physical strength, it reinforces the notion that men should express their power through force if it is required.

Cultural Representations:

Media Portrayals: Cultural representations in media often depict men as action heroes or warriors, reinforcing the connection between masculinity and violence. These portrayals can contribute to the glorification of aggressive behaviours and influence societal perceptions of what it means to be a "real man."

Violence as a Form of Masculine Identity:

Social Status: In some contexts, engaging in violent behaviour may be perceived as a way for men to establish or maintain social status within certain groups. Acts of violence can become a means of proving one's masculinity or toughness, especially in environments where hypermasculinity is valued.

Power Dynamics:

Power Imbalances: Violence is often about asserting power and control. In societies where traditional gender roles are strictly enforced, men may resort to violence as a way to maintain perceived power over women and other marginalized groups.


Race and Class Dynamics: The intersectionality of gender with race and class adds layers to the interrelationship between masculinity and violence. Men from marginalized racial or socioeconomic groups may face unique pressures to conform to certain ideals of masculinity, potentially leading to increased susceptibility to violence.

Patriarchal Structures:

Enforcement of Gender Hierarchies: Societal structures that uphold patriarchal norms may inadvertently perpetuate violence as a means of enforcing gender hierarchies. Men who feel threatened by challenges to traditional gender roles may resort to violence to maintain the status quo.

Social Consequences:

Impact on Mental Health: The pressure that men feel to conform to restrictive conceptions of masculinity and the normalisation of violent actions can have severe repercussions for the mental health of males. The suppression of feelings and the use of violent behaviour might be factors that contribute to mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and substance misuse.

Assignment – II

Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.

Q3) Discuss the issues and challenges for the Women’s movement.

Ans) The worldwide women's movement faces several hurdles despite development. Some major obstacles are:

Gender Inequality:

a) Pay Gap: Gender pay gaps indicate economic inequity.

b) Occupational Segregation: Women tend to work in lower-paying, less-prestigious fields, adding to occupational segregation.

Violence Against Women:

a) Domestic Violence: Many women, regardless of socioeconomic status, experience domestic violence.

b) Sexual Assault: Many sexual harassment, assault, and rape instances go unreported or have inadequate legal penalties.

Reproductive Rights:

a) Access to Healthcare: Family planning and safe abortions are often unavailable to women.

b) Stigmatization: Social stigma over reproductive health can affect women's autonomy and decision-making.

Underrepresentation in Leadership:

a) Political Underrepresentation: Women are underrepresented in political leadership, limiting gender equality efforts.

b) Corporate Leadership: Corporate leadership discrepancies restrict women's impact and growth.


Multiple Marginalization’s: Intersectionality recognises that race, class, sexual orientation, and ability affect women's lives. Women with intersecting identities must address their unique difficulties.

Cultural and Legal Barriers:

a) Discriminatory Laws: Some legal systems discriminate based on gender, influencing inheritance, divorce, and property rights.

b) Cultural Norms: Cultural norms and stereotypes perpetuate gender-based violence and discrimination.

Challenges in Education:

a) Access to Education: Some places restrict girls' education, limiting their personal and professional growth.

b) Gender Stereotypes: Educational curricula may reinforce gender stereotypes, influencing societal expectations and perceptions.

Health Disparities:

Maternal Health: Disparities in maternal healthcare contribute to higher maternal mortality rates in certain regions, reflecting inadequate access to quality healthcare services.

Technology and Online Harassment:

Cyberbullying: Women often face online harassment, cyberbullying, and the non-consensual sharing of intimate images, affecting their safety in digital spaces.

Q4)What do you understand by embodiment?

Ans) Embodiment is a concept that refers to the fundamental integration of the body into our experiences, cognition, and understanding of the world. It recognizes the intricate connection between the body, mind, and environment, emphasizing that our perception and interpretation of the world are deeply rooted in our bodily experiences. Several key aspects contribute to the understanding of embodiment:

Sensory Perception: Our sensory experiences, such as touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell, are integral to how we comprehend and engage with the world. The body's sensory organs provide the raw data that shapes our perceptions.

Motor Skills and Action: The ability to move and act in the world is a crucial aspect of embodiment. Our motor skills, ranging from simple movements to complex actions, influence how we navigate and interact with our environment.

Emotional and Affective States: Embodiment involves the connection between the body and emotional experiences. Emotions are not just cognitive responses but are also felt physically, manifesting in bodily sensations and expressions.

Spatial and Temporal Orientation: We experience space and time through our bodies. How we perceive and traverse physical space and temporal factors affect our embodied experiences.

Cognitive Processes: Traditional conceptions of mind-body separation are challenged by embodiment. Memory, perception, and reasoning are influenced by our physical interactions with the world.

Cultural and Social Dimensions: The perception of embodiment depends on culture and society. Social conventions, cultural practises, and interactions impact body image and relationships.

Philosophers like Maurice Merleau-Ponty and phenomenologists helped define embodiment. Merleau-Ponty believed that the body is a living and subjective presence that shapes perception.

Q5)Does the gender division of labour contribute to women subjugation.? Discuss

Ans) The gender division of labour plays a significant role in contributing to women's subjugation by reinforcing traditional gender roles, perpetuating inequalities, and limiting women's opportunities for social, economic, and political advancement.

Reinforcement of Traditional Gender Roles: Gendered divisions of labour often assign specific roles to men and women based on societal expectations rather than individual capabilities. This reinforces traditional stereotypes that associate women with caregiving, domestic work, and emotional labour, while men are often assigned roles associated with breadwinning and decision-making. Such rigid roles limit women's agency and contribute to their subordination.

Economic Inequalities: The gendered division of labour contributes to economic disparities between men and women. Jobs traditionally associated with women, such as caregiving and service-oriented roles, are often undervalued and underpaid. This economic dependence can make women vulnerable, reinforcing power imbalances within households and society.

Limited Access to Education and Employment: Gendered roles limit women's education and employment outside conventional fields. Women are expected to prioritise caregiving over work, which might diminish their educational attainment and professional opportunities, perpetuating gender inequality.

Double Burden: Many women have a "double load" of family and employment commitments. Women's physical and mental stress from juggling these obligations hinders their potential and contributes to their subordination.

Societal Norms and Expectations: Social norms and expectations support gendered labour divisions, making deviations from established positions difficult and stigmatised. This restricts women's autonomy.

Reproductive Rights and Control: Reproductive expectations influence gender labour division. Women typically have to take care of their children, limiting their reproductive choices. Lack of reproductive health and family planning services can further oppress women.

Assignment – III

Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.

Q6)What is mean by gender equality?

Ans) Regardless of a person's gender, they should be afforded equal rights, opportunities, and treatment. This is what we mean when we talk about gender equality. It entails challenging cultural norms that promote gender-based inequities and eliminating behaviours that are discriminatory in nature. The objective of achieving gender equality is to guarantee that all people, irrespective of their gender identification, are afforded equal opportunities in terms of education, work, healthcare, and participation in decision-making processes. It covers the promotion of equal chances for personal and professional growth as well as the recognition of the many gender roles that exist. One of the most essential principles of human rights is the concept of gender equality, which places an emphasis on fairness, justice, and the eradication of discrimination based on gender.

Q7)Which activities done by women are unaccounted?

Ans) Traditional economic measurements frequently fail to take into account or undervalue the substantial number of activities that are carried out by women. Unpaid domestic work, which includes providing care, performing duties around the house, and participating in community activities, is typically disregarded. In addition, it is possible that the contributions that women make to subsistence farming, informal economies, and small-scale businesses are not adequately recognised. In addition, much of the emotional labour that is performed, such as offering support and care, is sometimes overlooked. These unaccounted activities make a significant contribution to the well-being of society, but they are not adequately reflected in conventional economic indicators. This highlights the significance of recognising and appreciating the various roles and contributions that women make outside of the realm of formal employment.

Q8)What is human trafficking? Explain in your own words.

Ans) The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of individuals through the use of force, coercion, or deception is an example of human trafficking. The purpose of human trafficking is to exploit individuals for the purpose of forced labour, sexual exploitation, or other forms of involuntary servitude. The exploitation of vulnerable individuals for the purpose of financial gain constitutes a serious breach of human rights. Many times, criminals take advantage of those who are in a vulnerable situation, have a lack of opportunity, or are economically desperate. Given that human trafficking is a worldwide problem, it is imperative that international collaboration be established in order to combat criminal networks and safeguard victims. Efforts are being made to eradicate this horrible crime and to maintain human dignity. These efforts involve prevention in addition to prosecution and support for survivors.

Q9) Do you agree that Khap panchayat adversely affects women’s participation in development.? Discuss

Ans) Yes, Khap panchayats have the potential to have a negative impact on the engagement of women in development. A significant number of these informal community groups, which are common in certain regions of India, frequently adhere to conventional customs and patriarchal ideals, which restricts the autonomy of women. The decisions that are made by Khap panchayats have the potential to limit the rights of women, restrict their movement, and perpetuate behaviours that are damaging to them. This makes it more difficult for them to actively participate in the decision-making processes and activities related to development. In order to empower women and ensure that they have meaningful participation in the development of society, it is vital to overcome cultural conventions that are considered to be negative. In order to combat discriminatory practises and advance gender equality within these traditional organisations, it is required to implement legal and social reforms.

Q10) What is gender mainstreaming?

Ans) Gender mainstreaming is a strategy aimed at integrating a gender perspective into all stages and aspects of policies, programs, and projects. It seeks to ensure that gender considerations are systematically taken into account to promote gender equality. This involves analysing the implications of any action on individuals of different genders and addressing existing gender disparities. The goal is to create a more inclusive and equitable society by considering and addressing the diverse needs, experiences, and contributions of both women and men in all areas of decision-making and development. Gender mainstreaming is a key approach in advancing women's rights and fostering social justice.

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