Title

Challenging Gender Stereotypes in the Classroom: How Students Respond to "Dreamworlds"

Date of Award

12-1-2006

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

Abstract

Students do not arrive in our classrooms as blank slates. When we, as Iructors, attempt to challenge them with a new wav of thinking about a topic, it's often difficult to know the impact of that exposure. It is even more difficult to cjliscover how students integrate the new information. This study explores the integration of Dreamworlds II: Desire/Sex/Power in Music Video into the lives of nineteen undergraduates. Dreamworlds II is a film concerning music videos and how they present images of women. It challenges the viewer to think about the cortsequences of these images and the alternatives that could be shown.

This film was shown to 200 Introduction to Sociology students. Students who were interested volunteered to be interviewed after viewing the film. Ten wolmen and nine men were interviewed. The interviews were unstructured and the Principal Investigator attempted to have conversational flow concerning the ilnK and the personal thoughts and experiences of the participant. Interviews were transcribed and explored using four specific intentions of the filmmaker, these intentions concerned the main ideas he was trying to convey.

The findings of this paper primarily address the fact that the filmmaker's challenges of music videos' hegemonic messages concerning women are defended against by two other underlying hegemonies - the myth of dichotomous female sexuality (good girls vs. had girls) and the sense of security provided to good girls by “bad" events, like rape, only happening to bad girls.

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