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Open up society

Method – How to do: Models or figures in social studies A model is an attempt to make a simplified reconstruction of reality, or rather to show correlations in society. Models or figures are not a copy of the real world, but illu- strations of the connections between different variables. For example, the model of the economic circuit in Chapter 8 tries to describe the correlations between the different sectors of the economy. these “natural” expectations and demands on what We can, for example, see it in a kindergarten where Thursday is the girls’ day when the girls do girly things like cutting, sticking and having a cosy time while Wednesday is the boys’ day when the boys do boys’ activities such as a football tournament or a pillow fight between teachers and boys. Or when the children are to bring either a boy’s or girl’s present for the Advent calendar at school. We even see it in our own families where the man is often expected to be able to use a hammer and a screwdriver if something needs to be repaired or a lamp is to be hung up above the coffee table. There are also ex- 12 CHAPTER 1 Models can be based on theories that explain a certain social phenomenon, but often models are based on a huge amount of numbers that can be typed into a spreadsheet. The computer may then be told to generate a graphic illustration in the form of a model/figure. pectations to the woman. She is expected to be the family caregiver and keep the home clean and tidy and make sure that everyone in the family has clean clothes to wear. In general, we can say that men (cf. Tables 1.1 and 1.2) make most of the smaller repairs in the home while women mostly do the laundry. When we can observe such general tendencies, we call them social patterns because the information tells us something about how life is lived – or rather about the social relations between women and men within the four walls of their home. However, the argument about clear-cut gender roles does not seem sufficient if the only evidence is Figure 1.2 Gender roles are determined by the social environment Gender role: Female Gender role: Male Environment: Requirements Expectations Norms


Open up society
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