Date of Award
This qualitative investigation was based on grounded and feminist methodology and examined the reactions of ten fourth grade students to the gender roles depicted in orally told folk tales. Data consisted of surveys, writing samples, and interviews, collected in both mixed and single gender groups. Data were transcribed and coded using open and axial procedures. This study finds that heroes were valued for their aggression, strength, and warrior status while heroines were appreciated for their intelligence, caring, and endurance. Boys highly valued warrior like behavior. Girls, on the other hand, had a difficult time equating the value of 'gender bending' warrior women to that of the more socially acceptable roles of housekeeper and caretaker. Students also responded to stories by exploring the devalued status of traditionally feminized occupations, often struggling with the unequal social status assigned to heroes and heroines, boys and girls, and the roles of homemaking and soldiering.
Number of Pages
Mello, Robin Ann, "Narrating Gender: Children's Responses to Gender Roles Depicted in Orally Told Folk Tales and Other Traditional Stories" (1999). Educational Studies Dissertations. 103.
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