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Gender Revolution Sociological Film Critic

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Sociology

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Name: ________________________________________________
Sociological Film Critic Assignment
Film: Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric
2017
A good documentary seeks to investigate the truth about some question or problem and
presents it to the viewers in a manner that is informative and thought provoking, as well
as, in many cases, artful or aesthetically pleasing. We can “read” a documentary film,
much in the way that we read printed texts, and as we continue to analyze arguments, we
should pay attention to the filmmaker’s effectiveness in presenting their subject matter. I
want you to bring your critical thinking to this documentary in the same way I ask you to
when I assign academic readings. Ask yourself if this film holds up to sociological
research on gender. Use course readings to back up your responses and cite them with
the authors’ last names and the year – e.g. (Rupp and Taylor 2010).
Questions to guide your critique:
What is this movie about? Does it seem to have a particular position or theme
regarding gender?
In this non-binary documentary, Katie Couric takes an immersive look at the
quickly morphing gender identity complex. Sexuality and gender are now not static. The
nature of daily interactions is now being altered by a number of transgender issues. The
documentary looks into this topic through both social and scientific lenses, going further
onto the roles of brain chemistry, genetics and modernity. The film holds a position of
establishing understanding on the topic, it is sort of a beginner’s guide on the topic.
A good critique begins with something positive. So, first of all, what did you like
about the film? What do you think the film “got right” about gender (using what
you’ve learned about gender so far in this class)?
What particularly impressed me in this documentary is that it did not shy from
engaging in conversation about the impact of being born intersex on an individual’s life.
Katie Couric conducts engaging conversations on the topic of gender reassignment
undertaken on children born intersex and the controversy generating experiments such as
those on the malleability of gender attributed to Doctor John Money.

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Generally, the documentary effectively stresses the benefit of conducting gender
conversations. In any case, the phenomenon of Gender is one that we all live with. What
the documentary does, is shedding light on the effect of gender upon varied age sets, right
from infants to adults. It provides a conclusive introduction into this topic of gender
identity and is very useful to those low on the learning curve.
Did any of the evidence presented in the film seem weak or misleading? If so,
describe the idea put forward in the film and why you thought the reasoning was
flawed.
However, the documentary is preoccupied with the exercise of gender transition
and surgery. In this extent, it objectifies transgender people and weakens their lived
realities.. Couric asks a woman waiting to undertake a long-awaited surgery for gender
confirmation what her old name was. In a bizarre turn, Couric goes on to showcase her
knowledge on the term ‘deadnaming’, one that refers to the transgender individual using
their birth name.
This film draws on biological essentialism in the beginning to attempt to explain
gendered phenomenon. While it also presents some social constructionist
perspectives, why do you think we look for essentialist explanations when trying to
understand what’s going on around us? Do you think essentialist explanations (e.g.
looking for hormone levels or brain activity to try to explain gender) help us or not
in trying to understand gender?
I think we always turn to essentialist explanations on topics around us based off
the influence of culture. We have been perpetually condition to group and attribute
qualities to select phenomena. For example, linguistic factors such as gendered pronouns
make it hard for one to refer to people without gender specification. This simple fact that
gender is inherently a part of daily communication cements the idea that the male/female
hegemony of gender is fundamental. (Sperber, 1996)
Essentialist explanations such as those of hormone levels and brain activity when

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Name: ________________________________________________ Sociological Film Critic Assignment Film: Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric 2017 A good documentary seeks to investigate the truth about some question or problem and presents it to the viewers in a manner that is informative and thought provoking, as well as, in many cases, artful or aesthetically pleasing. We can “read” a documentary film, much in the way that we read printed texts, and as we continue to analyze arguments, we should pay attention to the filmmaker’s effectiveness in presenting their subject matter. I want you to bring your critical thinking to this documentary in the same way I ask you to when I assign academic readings. Ask yourself if this film holds up to sociological research on gender. Use course readings to back up your responses and cite them with the authors’ last names and the year – e.g. (Rupp and Taylor 2010). Questions to guide your critique: What is this movie about? Does it seem to have a particular position or theme regarding gender? In this non-binary documentary, Katie Couric takes an immersive look at the quickly morphing gender identity complex. Sexuality and gender are now not static. The nature of daily interactions is now being altered by a number of transgender issues. The documentary looks into this topic through both social and scientific lenses, going further onto the roles of brain chemistry, genetics and modernity. The film holds a position of establishin ...
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