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MANE-004: Gender and Society

MANE-004: Gender and Society

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for MANE-004 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Gender and Society, you have come to the right place. MANE-004 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in MAAN courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: MANE-004/ASST/TMA/2022-2023

Course Code: MANE-004

Assignment Name: Gender and Society

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Attempt a total of five questions. All questions carry equal marks. The word limit for 20 marks question is 500 words and for 5 marks question it is 125 words. Attempt at least two questions from each section. 20x5



Q1) What do you understand by patriarchy? Discuss the theoretical perspectives on the origin of patriarchy.

Ans) Gender roles, or the collection of social and behavioural norms that are thought to be socially appropriate for people of a particular sex, are intimately tied to the concept of patriarchy's roots. Understanding why males are expected to pursue professional fulfilment outside of the home and women are traditionally assumed to inhabit a domestic position has received a lot of attention. This division of labour is frequently represented as a social hierarchy, where men's freedom to leave the house and assumed authority over women are viewed as superior and powerful.


A system of political, social, and economic interactions and institutions built around the gender inequality of socially defined men and women is referred to as patriarchy in analysis. Women are collectively denied full involvement in political and economic life in patriarchal interactions. The political, social, and economic systems that organise gender inequality between men and women are known as patriarchal systems because they are built on a set of relationships, assumptions, and ideals. While qualities viewed as "masculine" or belonging to males are given preference, qualities seen as "feminine" or belonging to women are devalued.


According to Lerner, the establishment of patriarchy was a historical process that took place in the Near East between 3100 and 600 B.C. She asserts that the intertribal practise of exchanging women for marriage, in which the women "acquiesced since it was practical for the tribe," is one reason patriarchy developed. An early evolutionary psychology theory offered an explanation for the origin of patriarchy that begins with the idea that females almost always invest more energy into producing offspring than males, and as a result, females are typically a limiting factor over which males will compete in most species. The name "Bateman's principle" is sometimes used to describe this. It implies that females prioritise mating with men who have greater access to resources that will benefit her and her progeny, which puts evolutionary pressure on males to compete with one another for resources and dominance.


Some sociobiologists, such Steven Goldberg, contend that heredity plays a larger role in social behaviour than social training and that patriarchy develops more as a result of this biological predisposition than social conditioning. According to Goldberg, patriarchy is a characteristic of all human cultures. The anthropological studies of every community that has ever been observed explicitly state that these feelings were there; there is virtually no variance, according to Goldberg's 1973 essay. Anthropologists have criticised Goldberg. Eleanor Leacock said in 1974 in response to Goldberg's assertions that there are "feelings of both men and women" that the evidence on women's attitudes are sparse and conflicting and the data on men's attitudes concerning male-female relationships are ambiguous.


According to anthropologist and psychologist Barbara Smuts, conflicts between male and female reproductive interests are to blame for the evolution of patriarchy in humans. She cites six ways it manifested itself:

  1. An absence of female allies.

  2. Development of male-male alliances

  3. Greater dominance of men over resources.

  4. Increased male hierarchy formation

  5. Methods used by women to support male dominance of women.

  6. The development of language and the influence of ideology.


Q2) Discuss socialisation and examine critically the role of schools and peers in the socialisation of a child in the context of gender.

Ans) In feminist discourses, the term patriarchy is used to describe a fundamental systemic element that underlies the structure and content of gender division in society. A crucial step in effectively sustaining and replicating it is gender socialisation. The process of socialisation teaches members of a group or collectivity to adhere to the shared beliefs, norms, values, culture, and ethos of that group, translate them appropriately in their behaviour, and transmit them to others. Examples of such groups or collectivities include family, school, caste, religion, nation, and so forth. Gender socialisation is primarily focused on gender-based distinctions, hierarchies, and identities.



People in the same generational cohort view one another as benchmarks or reference points for their own social position, career performance, personal traits, etc. Peer groups are an important socialisation agent throughout the life course. They serve as mentors and influences in everything from consumer preferences to political and ideological beliefs to socialisation into old life. Adolescents need peer groups more than ever because, at this age, the impact of family and parents begins to wane. Teenagers' peer group influences can lead to divergence from or opposition to the norms they have learned at home or in school, and control theorists believe that such deviance only happens when the social control of the latter decreases.


The female-only peer group places a lot of pressure on girls and women about traditional feminine traits like attire, amorous and sexual behaviour, domestic skills, hospitality and entertainment, profession choice, etc. The mixed-sex peer group creates pressure as well since male conceptions of what makes a girl or woman attractive play a part in socialising for gender roles and vice versa. In essence, the sisterhood idea popularised by second wave feminism was a peer group invention. A feminist consciousness was developed and resistance to conventional ideals of femininity was built through the technique of sharing personal experiences and political opinions in private sessions.



In terms of gender differences in literacy levels, admissions, dropout rates, choice of topics, academic performance, etc., gender studies and gender sensitive policy have placed a lot of emphasis on the field of education, particularly primary education. Even while these patterns are largely related to circumstances outside of the school, some of them show that schools have not yet developed into significant engines of gender transformation. This has caused some people to re-evaluate the role that schools play in gender socialisation.


The school is a primary actor in teaching and reinforcing cultural expectations for males and females, according to research on the micro social processes that occur every day in classrooms and schools. These dynamics are usually thought to be in the realm of socialisation. Nevertheless, despite their part in promoting gender norms, schools are also viewed as places with a lot of autonomy to create new, progressive identities. Another consideration is how the socialisation is perceived by the students. In spite of teachers promoting gender norms, as Abraham's ethnographic study of a mixed-sex comprehensive school, Divide and School, demonstrates, students were actively forming their own subcultures that didn't always fit with preconceived ideas of masculinity and femininity.


Q3) How has gender been studied in anthropological history? Discuss some of its main contributors.

Ans) Younger kids first think that all kids are equal. As they get older, they progressively begin to recognise the biological differences between male and female as well as the disparities between them. There is a widespread assumption today that there is intrinsic inequity between men and women. Some people think this is because there are extremely obvious differences between men's and women's physiologies. It has been highlighted that anthropology in North America has made the biggest contribution to feminist anthropology's notions about sex, gender, and women.


Feminist ethnography's historical evolution can be divided into four distinct phases. They are distinguished by the following times for Visweswaran:

  1. Stage 1 lasted from 1880 through 1920. At this period, gender and sex were considered as being completely interchangeable, and biology was seen to dictate social roles. But it was starting to become a subject of study.

  2. Stage 2 started in 1920 and ran until 1960. Due to the observation that sex did not entirely characterise gender roles, as seen in the writings of Margaret Mead and others, this era saw the separation of sex and gender. Even as they experienced and suffered with similar sex/gender representations in their own civilizations, all of these authors struggled to grasp and resolve challenges connected to cross-cultural understanding of sex and gender.

  3. Stage 3 started in 1960 and ran until 1980. Here, the dichotomy between sex and gender was developed into more sophisticated theories of how other nations' sex/gender systems functioned. In many communities, certain gender roles were established based on biological realities.

  4. Stage 4 started in 1980 and ran at least until 1996, demonstrating that social categories like sex and gender had biases and were thus problematic in and of themselves. As a result, "gender essentialism" was considered to be at play, as in the writings of Frankenberg and others like Michelle Rosaldo, Judith Butler, Nadia Serematakis, Dorinne Kondo, Joni Jones, and Angie Chabram.


An important critique of such discourses begins to take shape at this point because some anthropologists started to assert that feminists were not only alienated from other women in their own countries but also completely different from women's experiences in other nations, particularly in the Third World. One must propose Stage 5 of the development of feminist ethnography in this setting. This time frame would start in 1996 and continue to the present. At this stage, it is possible to demonstrate how the development of sex/gender studies in India followed many paths. There have already been such alternate histories created for India.


Therefore, diversity, difference, and identity questions have elevated to the top of the gender and feminist studies agenda. Power is considered to be a key element, as was previously noted. This is so because identity is created and expressed through a variety of behaviours that are influenced by power dynamics. Queer theory, which has been viewed as a post-structuralist reaction to normalcy in the realm of gender and sexuality, is one field where such research have produced great findings. The idea that only heterosexual partnerships and the accompanying social institutions are normal is contested by this strategy. Queer theory demonstrates that socially constructed sexual behaviours and identities have a wide range of different elements.



Q1) What do you understand by ethnicity? How is ethnicity connected to gender? Discuss.

Ans) Despite the fact that race and ethnicity are occasionally used synonymously, they have distinct connotations when used in academic contexts. Race can be defined in terms of outward physiological variations like skin colour and physical type, whereas ethnicity can be defined in terms of other cultural features like dress, language, lifestyle, etc. The concept of race and gender has been described in terms of African and African American black women, and there is a wealth of literature on "black" feminism, although racial categories are not only understood in terms of white and black.

In addition to being distinct racial categories, some racial categories, like Mongoloids, produce distinctive ethnic groups with their own customs and way of life. Muslim women, Indian women, and other ethnic groups have their own cultural traditions and mores. The concept of ethnicity provides the concept of race greater vitality, allowing for a number of ways to perceive gender within it. Due to the wide range of factors, it offers, including language, area, culture, etc., ethnicity can be studied to better understand the interactions between race and gender or ethnicity and gender.


Gender Roles and Ethnic Relations

The terms "race" and "ethnicity" are difficult and frequently used synonymously. Originally, these phrases were used to denote "ethnicity" as a cultural phenomenon and "race" as a biological characteristic. Similar efforts have been made to differentiate between sex and gender. However, there is minimal consensus on the fundamental differences between race and ethnicity, unlike "sex" and "gender." Giddens underlined that the idea of racial or ethnic minorities, which is frequently used in sociology, entails more than just numerical data.


When opportunities and privileges available to one group of individuals are not extended to another, this is discrimination. Minority members feel a certain sense of group camaraderie and kinship. Being the target of prejudice and discrimination typically intensifies feelings of shared allegiance and interests. Minority group members frequently have a tendency to view themselves as distinct from the majority. Minority groups typically experience some kind of social and physical exclusion from the broader community. They frequently concentrate in particular neighbourhoods, cities, or areas of a nation. To preserve their cultural individuality, members of the minority group may deliberately encourage endogamy.


It is hierarchical how important logical distinctions are, notwithstanding disparities. Women and members of ethnic minorities both experience a lot of hostility, prejudice, and discrimination. Stereotypical thinking is the basic mechanism via which prejudice operates. Ethnic groups and women are both widely visible. They appear distinctive. In addition to being smaller and weaker than a male, women are also expected to dress, walk, speak, and gesture differently. Women and members of ethnic minorities are both credited with additional, less visible attributes.


According to Anthony Giddens, the term sex" as it is used in everyday English is unclear because it can refer to both a group of people and to behaviours that people engage in. These two concepts need to be kept apart.


Sexual activity can be distinguished from sex, which refers to the biological or physical differences between genders. Another crucial distinction between sex and gender needs to be made. Gender refers to the psychological, social, and cultural distinctions between males and females, whereas sex refers to physical characteristics of the body. Giddens defines ethnicity as the cultural norms and worldview that set a certain group of people apart. People that identify as ethnic groups believe that they are culturally unique from other social groups. There are a variety of traits that can be used to separate ethnic groups, but the most common ones include language, history or lineage, religion, and dress.


Q2) Discuss in detail the Telangana and Chipko movements emphasizing the role of women in them.

Ans) The social reformers attempted to reshape Indian society at this time by enacting constitutional and legal protections for women and the general public, as well as ensuring that all citizens are treated equally regardless of caste, creed, race, religion, or sex. Among the well-known movements are:


Telangana Movement

Initiated in 1946, the Telangana Movement lasted until 1951. One of India's two main post-war insurrectionary peasant conflicts is this one. The Telangana Movement was a demonstration by citizens in Hyderabad State against the repressive rule of the Nizam, the Patils, and the Jagirdars. They demanded both food and independence. On the Nizam's private domain, the peasants were bound to the sultan. Landlords took from peasants unlawful levies and forced labour under the Jagirdari system. In addition to this, the Deshmukhs and Despandes, or Nizam's tax collectors, seized hundreds of acres of land and turned it into their personal property. As a result, peasants became renters at will.


The Vetti system, which enforced varied degrees of forced labour and exactions on all peasant sections, was one common social phenomena. Each family was required to send a representative to transport supplies, carry mail to neighbouring villages, collect wood for fuel, etc. Landlords were required to provide free supplies of clothing, pots, shoes, and other household items. The practise of keeping peasant girls as slaves in the landlord's home was another prevalent arrangement. The peasants started to rebel when the landlords' demands led to the eviction of the peasants from their land. 1946 saw the beginning of sporadic conflicts with the Deshmukhs of Visunur, Suryapet, Babasahebpet, and Kalluru.

Rape, taking concubines to the married daughters of landowners, and other crimes were common among the bonded class. Because the abuse that upper-class women experienced was not publicised and institutional purdah was strictly enforced by both high caste Hindu and Muslim women, the subjugation of these women went unnoticed. Early widowhood and child marriage were prevalent. Women's education was unheard of. Muslim feudal rule's cultural hegemony in Telangana kept women out of society for a very long time. Women's education was added to the agenda of constitutional reform and civil liberties by the Andhra Maha Sabha, an organisation that was founded to uphold the cultural identity of the people.


Chipko Movement

Advani, a small, hilly village in Uttar Pradesh's Tehri Garhwal region, is the birthplace of the Chipko Movement. In December 1972, the uneducated Adivasi women took charge of this campaign. It disproved the conventional wisdom that forests serve simply as sources of lumber and emphasised how important they are in creating the soil, water, and clean air that are the foundation of human life. This way of thinking helped the movement gain popularity in many nations. In February 1978, the women faced police retaliation and later threatened to be arrested when they wrapped symbolic sacred threads around the trees. Under Sri Sundarlal Bahuguna's direction, this movement persisted in various villages.


In terms of its theoretical foundations as well as its political and economic ones, the Chipko movement is anti-gender. For domestic use, firewood is collected by women and kids. They depend on the forestry to provide them with flammable crop wastes like rice straw. The Chipko women held the view that trees had lungs much like them and could thus breathe. So, it is important to respect trees. The forests produced medicinal plants with curative properties in addition to aiding in agriculture and animal husbandry. In times of scarcity, the hill women used the fruit, vegetables, or roots from it.

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