Summary: Anita Renfroe uses music and comedy to present a day in the life of a mom. “Momsense” (also called “Momisms”), set to the William Tell Overture, is her rendition of the many conversations between mothers and their children. This short clip works well as an introduction to social status, social roles, and role expectations. It also illustrates the scripts of mothers (Goffman’s dramaturgy). Before the clip is shown, ask students to identify the role expectations of mothers. After the clip, discuss which phrases (or scripts) were familiar to them and illustrated various role expectations. Here, instructors can move to a discussion about such things as: 1) role strain, or the difficulty of competing demands of motherhood; 2) role conflict, or the difficulty that mothers face in balancing work and family; and 3) status, including privileges extended to mothers because of their position in society. Another interesting discussion could focus on gender role expectations of fathers (Renfroe created a similar rendition called “Dadsense”, with the only words being “go ask your mom”). Students can explore Kimmel’s idea of multiple masculinities and a broadening idea of gender roles. An instructor might even pose the question, do students think that their generation will become more accepting of the nurturing and caregiving role of fathers?
Submitted By: Cindy Wasberg