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Relating Human Sciences to my TOK presentation

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Okayyy :)

So for my tok presentation, my knowledge issue is 'To what extent does society and biology play a role in determining our genders for us?' so I will basically be comparing how each of these aspects plays a role in determining whether or not you are women or man. Not the biological sense, more in the behavioral sense. So, women are known as being more passive, family-oriented, girls love pink, dolls, etc. Whereas men are more aggressive, like darker colours, perhaps more work oriented. Now is this because of biology or because of a criteria that society has created that we are all conforming to? (nature vs. nurture) but in my presentation I have to describe how human sciences plays a role, and my teacher mentioned the Verstehen approach, but I'm not sure how to relate it to this?

Anyone have any ideas or additional comments in general about the presentation?

Thanks so much, it's due next monday and im freaking out about it hahah.

Kay xx

- also, would my two arguments(claims) be 1. Biology and 2. Society and then I would have counterclaims / implications for each of those?

Edited by kaymichelsen

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Firstly I am mildly worried by the absence of the ways of knowing in your presentation summary - these are the cornerstones of TOK and you really must make sure they form the major part of your presentation.

The roles of the ways of knowing in the nature vs nurture debate would really be what you should look at. Also seeing as you're using pretty major stereotypes you should certainly challenge the stereotypes as they're pretty massive generalisations. I'm not sure what the Verstehen approach is (??) but whatever it is, it has nothing to do with TOK, so I'd ignore it. You're not giving a talk on sociology, you're giving a presentation about TOK and sociological theories have no place in such a presentation unless they're relevant to the ways of knowing in some way (in which case do include them).

'Biology' and 'Society' are not actually claims of any kind, they're just words. You need to look at the ways of knowing, really, not 'biology' and 'society'. Look at how we use the ways of knowing to gain knowledge about our gender roles and behaviours and then afterwards if you have time, feel free to make some conjectures as to whether this is intrinsic knowledge or extrinsic and whether society or nature play a role - but really you should be analysing the ways of knowing.

I think your topic is very interesting but I also think that it's a bit of a dangerous topic in that it's not necessarily easy to stay talking about TOK and very tempting to deviate off. Just going off what you've posted here, it actually sounds like you've deviated pretty far already!

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In terms of human sciences, you could look at the Psychological attempts to explore behaviour, using deductive reason and the scientific method in attempting to justify claims; and you could juxtapose that with Sociological or Anthropological studies, which from what I know approach the question from a more historical perspective. You could expand further then and look at History to examine whether the stereotype of a 'man's place' and 'woman's place' are new inventions or as old as society, and thus attempt to explore the roots of the knowledge claims related to the argument that nature determines one's behavioural patterns and not nurture.

^I am well aware that reads like poorly-organised crap; and in my justification I'll agree with Sandwich that while it's a really interesting topic it's very easy to deviate from ToK in it.

However, I do know somebody from the previous year in my school who did a topic similarly related to the nature vs. nurture debate (albeit in relation to 'intelligence'), and scored 18/20, so it's not impossible.

Edited by Tony Stark

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