Rhetorical Analysis (Paper 2)
In the article, “Becoming Members of Society: Learning the Social Meaning of Gender,” the author, Aaron Devor, is trying to convince his audience that gender shapes how we behave and relate to one another. He does this by using an educational approach, describing gender stereotypes, and making cultural references. These rhetorical devices serve his larger goal of getting readers to reflect on how their childhoods formed their genders. “Maleness and femaleness seem “natural,” not the product of socialization.” (Devor 527) Throughout his article, he makes us wonder whether or not gender is recognized through socializing.
To begin the piece, Devor takes an educational approach by giving us some background on why gender is important and how we learn about gender through our first few years of life. “Gender identities act as cognitive filtering devices guiding people to attend to and learn gender role behaviors appropriate to their statuses.” (Devor 527) As toddlers we learn the differences between female and male. When we begin to determine which gender we are, our attitudes and actions quickly take shape. According to Devor, children by the age of two usually understand that they are members of a gender grouping and can correctly identify other members of society. I was astonished to learn that our brain can process information like that at such a young age. Devor made me think back to my childhood and how I acted as a little kid. One memory stood out to me. A good friend of mine when I was about five or six years old was a girl and we always played with dolls. On a rainy day when Allison and I were playing inside, my good buddy Jack Scherer came over and secretly told me that playing with dolls was for girls. Knowing that he was a boy, I immediately stopped playing with dolls and converted to the “cool” thing to do, play Pokemon. Because of this experience, I quickly came to the conclusion that this statement of Devor’s is true.,...
Cited: Devor, Aaron, ed. Becoming Members of Society: Learning the Social Meanings of Gender. New York, 1995. Print.
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