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(Solved): WST313 Module 3: Writing Assignment...

Material Culture Paper (25 points)

Analyze the sexual ideologies implicit in a consumer product related to sexuality and sold by one merchant. Examples: condoms at CVS, bras at Lane Bryant or at Victoria’s Secrets, herbal “libido boosters” at GNC., or magazines at an adult bookstore. Other possibilities are lubricants, birth control supplies, fertility predictors, pregnancy tests, menstrual supplies, douches, vibrators, or porn videos.

Once you have selected your product category, you will need to take field notes.  For example, if you chose to look at the selection of “feminine deodorants” at CVS, you should note the types of deodorants sold (wipes, washes, suppositories, powders and sprays), and the names of the individual products (e.g. “Massengill Flower Fresh Soft Cloth Towlettes”).  Describe the packaging of the products, and the descriptive language appearing on it (“helps keep you dry and clean all day long,” “for use before bedtime,” “pleasant baby powder scent”).

Now use your field notes to write your paper. Begin your paper by stating your thesis and describing (in no more than one paragraph) what merchant and product you selected and why. Then use the rest of your paper to answer the questions using evidence (from course readings and videos) to back up your clams: What beliefs about female/male sexuality – its nature, pleasures and dangers – underlie the products and their marketing?  What messages are sent to consumers by the packaging, product descriptions, and illustrations for the product you studied? Finally, what difference does it make – for good or bad – that these products exist and are marketing in this way?

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