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Sociology Assignment: Impact of Gender/Sexuality & Race/Ethnicity


Task: Research the family history of a significant public person (or a person from your own family or friends network). Examine this person’s experience of TWO of the following themes:

  • Migration and globalization
  • Gender and/or Sexuality
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Family
  • Social inequalities
    In this particular sociology assignment, discuss and explain your chosen themes using the academic literature. Weave into your assignment examples from the person’s life that link to your discussion of the themes as well as a discussion of the ways in which structure and agency have been influential in this person’s life.


Introduction to Sociology Assignment
The former first lady of the US, Michelle Obama's life is full of realization and working of two social terms such as gender sexuality and race or ethnicity. The race is considered to be a physical variation that groups and cultures refer to as socially important. Whether ethnicity considers a divided culture like language, practices, beliefs and ancestry. Gender is considered tougher to explain, but it can entrust the character of a male or female in the overall society which is familiar as a role of gender or a person's idea of themselves or gender recognition. In recent days, several incidents are going on regarding these two social terms. In this essay, the impact of these two social terms has been discussed by using several theorists' concepts.

Theme 1: Gender and/or Sexuality

In common terms, 'sex' considers the biotic dissimilarities within males and female like the variations of genitalia and genetic. 'Gender ' is considered tougher to explain, but it can entrust the character of a male or female in the overall society which is familiar as a role of gender or a person's idea of themselves or gender recognition. As stated by McHugh et al. (2018), the variation of sex and gender is used as the substance disorders. Gender considers the attributes of women, men, girls and boys which are socially assembled.

The former first lady Michelle Obama, being the most reputed women all over the world has claimed that she has tolerated sexual harassment like any other normal girls and women. The social media utilizers sharing an online quote, ‘like all beautiful women’ (, 2021). In October 2016, Michelle Obama provided a speech acknowledging the former American President Donald Trump who made humiliating and predacious remarks regarding women in 2005. At a rally of Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire on October 13, she spoke towards the crowd that she could not believe that she was saying that the presidential candidate of the US had boasted about sexually assaulting women. She was also adding that that is not the accustomed politics but known as disgraceful and unbearable.

The social construction of gender appears out of the common school of thought authorized social construction. Social theorist Judith Butler is recently doing work on some challenges concerning the social construction of gender or sexuality. Performing gender is not just regarding performing in a specific pathway. It is regarding personifying and believing some norms of gender and appealing in practices that navigate on to those norms. Gender socialization refers to the method by which children educate regarding the social anticipation, behaviours and attitudes customarily connected with boys and girls. As evaluated by Fongkaew (2020), most of the regions are concerned about gender socialization and female sexuality. Gender stereotypes can be a consequence of gender socialization. Michelle Obama spoke regarding gender and sexuality by commenting on the #MeToo movement. In November 2017, she commented on the gesture of sexual harassment impropriety which had struck several industries(, 2021). The former first lady was also told that she could not believe how ugliness is all around the world and women including her dealt with it in their regular life.

Theorist Connell traverses how societies are shaped to reproduce the social imbalances amidst dissimilar genders but additionally between the genders. In the illustration of western societies, masculinity is firstly elaborated via perfections of supervising and power of the physical above women, children and men. On the other hand, femininity is built via affectionate concepts. This signifies that femininity is all time established as subordinate to men. As argued by Connolly et al. (2020), gender equality does cause gender differences in worth. Michelle Obama has said above the movement of #MeToo that she could not realize about the ‘dangerous place’ in the globe from which women and girls belong.

This specific generation could not despair its opposition to the equality of gender by building some people's pain. She is also surprised about how much has swapped and how much has not swapped (, 2021). Obama told in the rally for Democratic presidential candidates Hilary Clinton in 2016 that it reminded her about the stories of her mothers and grandmothers' workplace assaults (, 2021). As the legal scholar, Reva B. Siegal describes in 'Directions of Sexual Harassment Law’ that persons may anticipate working assault as a contemporary problem. Following sociocultural theory is also known as the theory of social structural or social role which was put forward by Theorists Eagly and Wood (1999). As per their view, a division of the society of labour by gender operates whole other gender difficulties in attitude.

The sociological imagination is considered as the usage of visionary thought to acknowledge the interrelationship within the individual person’s personal problems. As stated by Garoutte (2018), the sociological imagination is considered as the community-based learning in the society. Also, the it suggests the wider functions of the society like any kind of public problems. In sociology, the social structure is known as the distinguishing, steady arrangement of establishments whether the human beings within a society interrelate and conjugate together. In the social term of gender and sexuality, Michelle Obama tries to fix the social structure by taking participation in any kind of gender and sexuality movement. She is also being herself a social agency to provide her social message to the international audience and make them aware on gender and sexuality.

Themes 2: Race/Ethnicity
The race is explained as a classification of humanities that divides some distinguishing traits of the physical. The phrase ethnicities are considered as more widely described as huge groups of persons classified as per the view of general racial, native, tribal, religious, lingual or cultural orientation or background. As evaluated by Shogrenet al. (2018), in self-determination, race or ethnicity affects hugely on the self-determination invention. The race is not referred to as biotic but a social construct.

The former first lady Michelle Obama claimed she had to fight against delusions because of her ethnicity throughout 2008 in the White House campaign. That is to guide her husband embellishing the very first black president of the United States. Michelle spoke to an audience of mostly black graduates afraid of racial stereotypes. That might have damaged the election campaign (, 2021). She was also worried about her girls’ realization if they familiarize themselves with the people’s saying. Michelle Obama alerted them of the regular sights they would accept during their existences in the US where the traditional problems and have not completely over. She grew up in developed submissive consequences in Chicago and embellished an effective corporate lawyer. Michelle Obama has talked over race throughout her husband's two phrases in office.

Race socialization or racial-ethnic socialization has been elaborated as the determinative methods by which children obtain the attitudes, impressions, values and behaviours of an ethnic group. As argued by Bañaleset al. (2020), there are huge gaps recognized in parents' racial socialization and attributions about race attainments. The challenges of race and ethnicity are examined by three sociological aspects or theories like functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interactionism. As theorists Nash (1964) concentrated his explanation on the pathway of racism. Racism is known as practical for the presiding group, for instance, proposing that racism properly explains a racially different society.

Michelle Obama in 2018 was discussed gender and sexuality in her book named 'Becoming'. This particular book took the whole world by its storm and its embellished #1 bestseller of New York Times. It won an NAACP Image award including Oprah's book club pick. Michelle Obama utilized her two years she and her family occupied in the White House to spit her story. Michelle had been talked in her book about the race or ethnicity, marriage and the hideous portion of politics (, 2021).In that book, she included everything she was educated about and made the readers aware of the significance of recognizing their voice.

From that book, a further idea that has been pulled out in the examination is reciprocal. This particular term was manufactured by Kimberle Crenshaw in her essay named Demarginalization the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist politics which was written in 1989 (, 2021). As part of her graduation, Michelle Obama wrote a sociological thesis paper which is titled ‘Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community. She did her research on the thesis paper by dispatching a questionnaire to the graduates of African American. Her questions are regarding the specification of their comfort level in the case of race.

But current instances of supposed abuse of African Americans by the police officers and concerning disruption in Baltimore, created it very hard to ignore. By her speaking, even livelihood at the globe's most important address has not rubbed out the fiddle of the racial misunderstanding (, 2021). But Michelle Obama went back to challenges of racism in America with caution to Tuskegee's graduates that the path forward is not proceeding to be easy. Several laws regarding race in the US is anti-miscegenation laws like the fifteenth amendment forbidding defenselessness based on race. The Naturalization Act of 1870 permitted persons of African to enfranchise US citizens.

The sociological imagination is familiar to build the interconnection within the personal issues and huge social challenges. As evaluated by Simkoet al. (2021), this concept is not the modern, it continues since many old periods. The social structure is frequently managed together with the details of social change that distributes with the feelings. This helps to change the social structure and the society’s organization. In the social science, the social agency as referred as to the ability of individual persons to perform liberally and create their own free selections. In the social term of race or ethnicity, Michelle Obama discussed this social theme on her last published book ‘Becoming’ as being a social agency of the entire society. Apart from that, she also delivered many lectures on several universities on this matter as rectifying the social structure by provoking the new generations.

Gender or sexuality is considered as the pathway in which gender and sexuality are frequently observed as compared constructs. Through which the role of gender in an individual's life is knowledgeable by and affects others’ consciousness of their sexuality. On the other hand, race considers the physical variations that groups and cultures refer to as socially important. Whether ethnicity is considered to divide culture like language, ancestry, application and beliefs. Both these terms have truly impacted the life of MichelleObama by facing the social problems by herself. Racial recognition is being debilitated for the massive comparison to the minority. In future, a powerful racial or ethnic recognition can be an origin of power, confidence and incorporation. For the challenge of gender and sexuality, there are more concerns about this term for a better future. ?

Bañales, J., Marchand, A.D., Skinner, O.D., Anyiwo, N., Rowley, S.J. and Kurtz?Costes, B., 2020. Black adolescents’ critical reflection development: Parents’ racial socialization and attributions about race achievement gaps. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 30, pp.403-417.

Connolly, F.F., Goossen, M. and Hjerm, M., 2020. Does gender equality cause gender differences in values? Reassessing the gender-equality-personality paradox. Sex Roles, 83(1), pp.101-113.

Fongkaew, W., 2020. Gender socialization and female sexuality in Northern Thailand. In Coming of Age in South and Southeast Asia (pp. 147-164). Routledge. Garoutte, L., 2018. The sociological imagination and community-based learning: Using an asset-based approach. Teaching Sociology, 46(2), pp.148-159., 2021. A’n”t I a lady?: race women, Michelle Obama and the ever-expanding democratic imagination. Available at: [Accessed on 15th April]

McHugh, R.K., Votaw, V.R., Sugarman, D.E. and Greenfield, S.F., 2018. Sex and gender differences in substance use disorders. Clinical psychology review, 66, pp.12-23., 2021. Michelle Obama: keep fighting for gender equality, even if it makes people uncomfortable. Available on: [Accessed on 15th April], 2021. Michelle Obama talks about race and success and makes it personal. Available at: [Accessed on 15th April], 2021. Fact check: fabricated Michelle Obama quote on sextual harassment. Available on: [Accessed on 15th April] Shogren, K.A., Shaw, L.A., Raley, S.K. and Wehmeyer, M.L., 2018. Exploring the effect of disability, race-ethnicity, and socioeconomic status on scores on the self-determination inventory: Student report. Exceptional Children, 85(1), pp.10-27.

Simko, C., 2021, March. Memoir and the Sociological Imagination 1. In Sociological Forum (Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 271-276)., 2021. Becoming by Michelle Obama review-race, marriage and the ugly side of politics. Available at:[Accessed on 15th April], 2021. Michelle Obama: Iaws knocked back by race perceptions. Available at: [Accessed on 15th April], 2021. Michelle Obama was right about the history of workplace sextual harassment. Available on: [Accessed on 15th April], 2021. “enough id enough”: Michele Obama speaks out in support of #MeToo. Available at:[Accessed on 15th April]


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