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SOC 11 (Hirose) - Sociology of Gender: Welcome

Sociology of Gender

This is a guide for Sociology 11 students researching topics related to the sociology of gender.  Tips for locating reference sources, books, periodical/journal articles, audiovisual materials, and web resources are recommended.

Please contact a reference librarian if you need further assistance.  You can reach a librarian for assistance using our 24/7 chat service - just click on the green "Ask LPC Library!" button from the Library's Homepage.

Final Research Paper

In this research paper assignment, you choose a topic from the two topic options below, conduct library research, and write a short scholarly paper (6-page minimum, double-spaced, 30% of the course grade). Your goal is to demonstrate comprehension of relevant sociological concepts and theoretical ideas and apply them effectively to a sociological example related to gender. You must submit your paper using Canvas. 


Option 1: Feminist Theory

Choose a specific feminist tradition (i.e., liberal, radical, socialist) and apply its selected theoretical perspective to analyze a relevant gender-related social issue. 

  • You must choose a specific feminist tradition that can be supported by the existing scholarly literature. In other words, you cannot just write a paper using “feminist theory in general.”
  • Your choice of feminist theory is not limited to those three traditions (i.e., liberal, radical, socialist). As long as you can provide scholarly support, you are free to choose any feminist theory (e.g., Black feminist theory, intersectionality feminism, etc.). 
  • You must refer to at least two required course readings.
  • You must refer to two more outside scholarly sources.
  • Be sure to thoroughly explain the specific feminist theory of your choice. 
  • A specific gender-related social issue must be recent (within the past 5 years)


Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • How would radical feminists analyze the issue of sexual violence against women in the United States in the context of the MeToo movement? 
  • How would the argument by socialist feminists inform the recent debate about universal healthcare in the United States? its
  • In what ways can liberal feminist theory explain discrimination against the transgender community? 

Option 2: Gender Capital 

In the reading for Week 12, “Gender Capital and Male Bodybuilders,” Bridges discusses a concept of gender capital that is specific to the field of bodybuilding. The film Good Hair also seems to suggest the presence of gender capital that is field (or gender regime) specific. Just as you came up with your own example of gender capital in reaction paper 2, you will provide an in-depth analysis of gender capital (you’re allowed to use the same example you used in your reaction paper 2 if you would like). 

  • You must explain the concept of gender capital thoroughly along with the concept of cultural capital (You must refer to Bridges).
  • The example you cite must be recent (5 years or within).
  • You must document your example by referring to scholarly sources or journalistic accounts. 
  • You must refer to at least two required course readings (you can include Bridges). 
  • You must refer to two more outside scholarly sources.


Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • How do male hip-hop artists use gender capital to claim the status of hegemonic masculinity? 
  • What is the relationship between Instagram influencers’ gender capital competitions and the maintenance of beauty standards?
  • How is masculine gender capital used to delegitimize political opponents in recent political discourse? 
  • An analysis of gender capital in the women-to-men transgender community: how is masculinity constructed? 

The Use of Scholarly Sources: 

Do not search Google to find these sources. Instead use the library databases which let you access academic articles and books that Google (or any other search engines) would not. Go to the LPC library and you will see “find materials here!” Click the tag that says magazines and journals. Choose databases from the drop-down menu such as JSTOR, Sociology Source Ultimate, or Gender Watch. They are some of the best databases to search the sociological journal articles that our library has. Using those databases is a much more effective and safe way to find academic research articles. You are encouraged to find more than four total minimum references. 


These sources may:

  • Help you explain a concept - “According to Hirose (2018), the concept of amae can be defined as ….”
  • Help you support how you apply the concept to explain an example ​ -“Theory A explains B, but I argue that it can also explain C because…”
  • Provide an example (evidence) for the concept - Data, study results, etc.  
  • Help you illustrate previous lines of research - Who studied this topic before? And what do they know? 


Research Strategy

  • Read and understand your research assignment.
  • Think about what you already know; review lecture notes and course textbook
  • Do some preliminary research to get a sense of what resources are available for possible topics.
  • Get more background information using reference books
  • Use books for detailed in-depth analysis and history of issue
  • Use magazine and journal articles for current reporting of issue
  • Use the Internet for additional information (don't forget to evaluate your sources!)
  • Cite your sources (create a reference list or works cited page)