"What is a Brony?" Challenging Modern Day Definitions of Masculinity in the Classroom


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Using Brony subculture as an example of challenging traditional gender roles, this learning exercise introduces the concepts of gender socialization and performance from a male perspective; while opening a dialogue about prejudice, discrimination and intolerance in our society. The exercise spans two fifty minute classes, and can garner much discussion and introspection about how society defines masculinity and femininity and the negative sanctions that are inflicted upon those who fail to perform the prescribed gendered behavior.


Resource Type(s):
Class Activity 
Jessica A Cohen 
Date Published:
Subject Area:
Sex and Gender 
Class Level:
College 100 
Class Size:

Usage Notes:

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The exercise spans two fifty minute classes. Instructors may either have students who identify as Bronies or students who have close friends and family who identify as Bronies; this makes the first part of the exercise very difficult because students’ comments are so very negative. At the start...

Learning Goals and Assessments:

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Goal 1:
Students will understand and differentiate key sociological concepts, such as gender socialization, gender performance, gender, biological sex, and sexuality.
Assessment 1:
Written discussion questions that students will hand in for credit.
Goal 2:
Students will understand that modern-day definitions of masculinity and femininity are fluid and changeable.
Assessment 2:
Marked change in description of Bronies after students watch the documentary; visually displayed when instructor writes words and phrases on the board.
Goal 3:
Students will question why societally-defined feminine characteristics are devalued.

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Trails Bronies and Masculinity 10_28_14 Submission.docx