Reflection

Sarah Wills

I have thoroughly enjoyed taking the class Sex, Gender, and Society. The information covered in this class is not only informative, but also relevant to our lives. The topics covered in class allowed for interesting class discussions where most people were able to participate. Due the to nature of the class, I feel that most people felt comfortable speaking up in class because of the laid back atmosphere that Professor Jafar created. Students felt comfortable agreeing and disagreeing with one another without offending others or making others feel uncomfortable. I really liked how the readings in class generated such thoughtful and different perspectives about the topics. Since we all come from different backgrounds and upbringings, everyone had something unique to contribute. Also, Professor Jafar allowed for appropriate “tangents” that related to our readings. Although sometimes these tangents took over most of class, they always related to sociological concepts.

I learned a lot from our final group project. I like how this project was introduced at the beginning of the semester because it allowed for us to put significant thought into the final product. The openness of the project allowed for unique, high quality products. Since it was so open ended, there were a wide variety of final products. They included presentations, movies, blogs, and surveys. This made the final presentation of the projects very interesting to listen to because they were all unique. Also, I think that each group chose a topic that is very relatable to college students. The topics included hook ups, drinking, sexism, micro-aggressions etc. I found it very interesting to hear what Conn students had to say about these topics.

My group was interested in researching how sensitive the Connecticut College campus is to sexism in advertising. So, we set up two posters around campus along with a blank poster and asked the students to describe the ad in one to three words. After several days, we took the posters down and recorded the responses. We then organized the responses into three categories: positive feedback, negative feedback, and neutral/other. This made it easier to analyze the data. We concluded that the Connecticut College campus is more sensitive to sexism than we had originally thought. Despite the fact there were some joking or sexist comments, we were still impressed with the fact that some students picked up on subtle sexism in ads.

I found this project very rewarding and informative. First off I was very surprised and impressed with how much feedback we received from the posters. I had no idea how many people were going to comment and how many people gave thoughtful responses. I thought were going to just get a few serious responses and the rest were going to be joking or irrelevant. I find it very impressive how interested and concerned students are with social issues. Also, I found it interesting what people picked up on in the ads. Some responses were just descriptive or joking. However, some people picked up on the subtleties of the aerie ad.

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