For this paper, you will write a 2-3 page ideological critique in which you analyse an issue of gender in oneof thescience fiction short stories we have read (or, if you prefer, you can use one of the short stories in the optional readings). Your paper should be thesis-driven, and you should support your thesis with reason, logic, andexamples from the text, as well as support from the two theory books we have read so far (Decoding Gender in Science Fiction and Interrogating Popular Culture).
You will not need any outside sources for this paper, but you should include research/support from both of the above-mentioned theory books, as well as direct quotes and paraphrases of specific passages from the short story. You may also include research from any of the essays in the â€œoptional readingsâ€ or information from the two documentaries we watched in Module 1.
In an ideological critique of gender, youwill examine some or all of the following:
How are gender ideologies embedded in and circulated through the texts. (Example: What assumptions about gender are present; what assumptions are challenged?)
How do the stories reflect/serve the interests of the hegemony? How do they undermine them?
How has the systematic representation of gender ideologies become accepted as normal or natural? How do these stories fit in with that?
How do gender ideologies largely go unnoticed and unchallenged, and how (if at all) do these texts make the ideologies more visible?
Remember that ideological criticism isnâ€™t just looking at the story but can also include how the text is produced and structured and the cultural context in which the text is produced. It considers the ways the text interacts with our life experiences to understand dominant ideas and values circulating in our social world.Therefore, you should consider the time period in which the story was written, as well as the time period in which it is set. For instance, if you are analyzing one story written in the 1970s and one written in the 2010s, social/historical context may have a serious effect on the gender representations in the story. While you are not required to use any specific research on the historical context, you should at least take it into account in your essay (and youcan do research, if you likeâ€¦ youâ€™re just not required to).
You might also want to consider the following:
Tone/mood/atmosphere of the story (and how thatâ€™s created)
The original form of production (print short story vs. a comic book) and the target audience
Is the message explicit or implicit (if itâ€™s explicit, it will be stated outright in the plot/dialogue; if itâ€™s implicit, it will use techniques like tone, connotation, metaphor, allusion, character, etc.)
Other cultural associations we might make (Is it similar to another story? Does it employ elements of nostalgia? Does it play on specific fears in society?)
You should also make sure you demonstrate your understanding of ideology in your paper. You do not need to have any kind of separate section on this, but throughout your paper, you should make sure you include some or all of the following:
What is meant by â€œdominantâ€ ideologies?
How is ideology expressed?
How do media often advance the interests of the hegemony?
How do elites maintain control through â€œhegemonicâ€ consensus â€“ these ideas and values constructed as natural, normal, inevitable thus unchangeable?
Use proper MLA formatting. If you are unsure what that is, you find all the information you need on Purdue OWL ( HYPERLINK “https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/”https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/), including a full sample paper. But the basic formatting is:
NO title page
Font: 12 point, Times New Roman
1â€ margins all around
Title centered on 1st page
NO extra spaces between paragraphs
Header that includes last name and page # in the upper right hand corner
Heading with: Your name, my name, class, date
Hanging indents on the Works Cited page
Works Cited entries should be alphabetized by authorâ€™s last name; no numbering of the entries
Upon the completion of this assignment, the student should demonstrate the ability to:
Provide adequate summary and explanation of the text
Write a clear, concise thesis and description of the subject with a focus on an analytical thesis that makes a judgment about the text
Place the text within the rhetorical context in which it was created
Useeffective and well-supported reasons and evidence from the short stories and theory books to support analysis
Have well-constructed paragraphs that build toward the thesis statement
Contain an introduction, conclusion, and transitions that guide the reader
Incorporate properly documented quotes and paraphrased information from the short stories and theory books
Use proper MLA in-text citation and Works Cited
Use appropriate tone for the audience and be free of grammatical errors
Evidence clear, well-edited writing that is free of proofreading errors and errors of grammar, mechanics, and syntax