jc 1st discussion


A desire to please others starts when we are young. We want to make our parents happy by obeying their rules and bringing home good grades. These are our earliest form of authority figures. As we move throughout the life cycle, we are exposed to more authority figures, such as teachers, professors, and bosses.  In addition, we see societal norms as authority figures, and we seek to align with what the rest of society deems acceptable, and base our views of normality on these influences. However, we often do not realize just how much our desire to please authority figures may compromise our own ethical judgments and actions.  In addition, we need to acknowledge God as our most important authority, and His Word should be the ultimate influence in our interactions and decision-making process.
As most of you have been exposed to authority and obedience experiments (like Milgram’s) several times already, we will be taking this discussion in a bit of a different direction and exploring established social norms as an authority figure. 

  • Prepare to discuss how society influences what we define as ‘normal’ gender qualities and expectations.  Ensure the following points are addressed:

    • Identify gender norms stereotypically indicative of your own gender in American society, and what social institutions have influenced these norms (cultural influences, implications for how men and women are treated in society based on gender, etc.).  Who decides what appropriate characteristics of genders are?
    • Put yourself in the shoes of the opposite sex, then propose how your attitudes, self-concept, and behaviors would be different if you were born as the opposite sex.
    • Do you predict these general gender norms will evolve with time, and what aspects of evolving societal ideals and norms will spur these changes?
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