Pick from one of the following forms of media, and examine the gendered images and messages created about what it means to be a man and woman in society: magazines (American Girl and Scout Life are great choices), television advertisements, a film, or social media.
- As you examine your form of media, write your answers to these questions:
- What messages are being conveyed about what it means to be a boy or man or girl or woman in society?
- Do the images and messages you see maintain the gender binary, challenge it, or redefine it?
- How are people “doing gender” in this form of media?
2. Have you observed or personally experienced generational conflict? What arguments or accusations have you heard, and in what situations do you think these conflicts usually arise? Who, if anyone, do you think might profit from generational conflict and the sense that one’s own generation is under attack? Consider differences in social, religious, or political beliefs, or consider different responses to major events such as a pandemic.
3. You may have seen dramatic “worst-case” scenarios for global climate change presented in movies such as Geostorm (2017), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), or Waterworld (1995). These depictions typically portray total social collapse as the inevitable result of global climate change, but is this reasonable? Based on your understanding of climate change, identify the social consequences of a realistic “worst-case” scenario of global climate change. What of these impacts might be of the greatest concern in communicating risks to the public?
4. What constitutes a just war? Do you consider recent U.S. wars, such as the war in Afghanistan, the Iraq War begun in 2003, and the war on terror to be just? Why or why not? Are just wars social problems?
5. Imagine a world without prisons. What would it be like to live in that world? Would there be more crime, and if so, how much more? Do you believe it is the fear of prison that keeps most people from violating the law? Why or why not?