Research Essay – 2000 words
‘How did the Second World War impact on men’s masculinities and sexualities?’
Description of Assessment Task and Purpose: Research Essay – 2000 words
This assignment asks you to devise a research question focussing on masculinity and/or sexuality in twentieth century Britain. You must then answer your question using arrange of primary and secondary sources.
Learning Outcomes Assessed:
By the end of the module you should be able to do the following:
a) demonstrate an understanding of the theory of gender and sexuality in the study of twentieth century British history
b) engage effectively with a range of research methodologies, including cultural history, gender history and the history of sexuality
c) analyse and critique relevant historiographic arguments
Knowledge & Skills Assessed:
Subject Specific Knowledge, Skills and Understanding: e.g. literature searching, referencing, analysing primary and secondary sources, knowledge of techniques of histories of masculinity and sexuality, independence in selecting own source material and devising own research project.
Professional Graduate Skills: e.g. written communication, critical thinking, questioning, IT skills, synthesising information.
Section 1. Alpha male (ideally I was hoping to use a primary source of either a poster or some form of propaganda which idealises the perfect ‘man’ or soldier being sent off to war, or some form of news reel which shows actors or actual soldiers being sent off to the front lines. I was hoping to have two secondary sources which supported the ‘ideal man’, perhaps referring to men who has previously fought in the first world war at the Somme? Contrasted against men who either weren’t there due to age, or disability leading to them feeling lesser compared to their neighbours etc who were there)
– going off to war to fight for home & country, military propaganda
– average age of soldier older than WW1, experience many had already fought in previous war
Section 2. Threat to masculinity (for this section, I was aiming to have a role reversal as the primary source, particularly of the poster of the Women’s Land Army. This would be use to reflect the masculinity that is being slowly taken away from the men away at war as ‘the women’ (obviously wives, daughters, etc) would be taking on the men’s jobs, ranging from all trades and work forces, slowly beginning to emasculate British men. To support this source, I was hoping to have two secondary sources which also highlight British men’s threat of the American soldiers being in Britain also during the war, causing affairs and rifts with women and wives. When returning home, the impact of affairs affected British men, as well as them attempting to reclaim their jobs and prior occupations before the war – whilst also having women refusing to leave their new occupations and continuing to work had a serious impact on the family structure and ultimately the ‘man’s’ role in society)
– role reversal, women doing men’s work at home
– threat of American soldiers in Britain, taking their women
– returning home, impact of affairs + taking their jobs back, women continued to work, impact on family structure
Section 3. Homosexuality (this section is a bit different from the other two, but I was hoping to focus on Alan Turing during the second world war. Ideally finding a primary source, either a memoir or something written personally by himself in which to highlight how homosexual men were treated, despite his personal efforts to help the war effort with his impeccable mathematic skills and his ability to shorten the length of the war. The main feature of this would be to explain that the second world war had impacted on all men, considering that he was not on the front lines of the war, and yet was hailed many years later as a hero. Regarding the secondary sources, I was hoping to find something which supports the treatment of homosexual men with either imprisonment or chemical castration. For the other source, perhaps something which questions the close bonding during the wartime between men/soldiers which begs the question of whether this ‘increased or highlighted’ homosexuality.
– did the close bonding during wartime increase or highlight homosexuality
– Alan Turin, how homosexuals were treated, even though he was a hero
As you can probably guess, I was hoping to have one primary source and two secondary sources per section. Meaning nine sources in total.
Type of service: Academic paper writing
Type of assignment: Writing from scratch
Pages / words: 4 / 1100
Number of sources: 2
Academic level: Undergraduate
Paper format: MLA
Line spacing: Double
Language style: US English