Gender Roles (Toy Differences)

Topics: Sociology, Man, Mattel Pages: 2 (674 words) Published: March 13, 2013
Tamara Petras
October 24, 2012
Sociology 120
Mon&Wed 1230-145
‘Toy’ Assignment
1. Start with the logistics of your research: When, where, etc. did you complete your fieldwork? Be specific. On October 24, 2012 I woke up and went to Target in Rancho San Diego. I walked in and went straight to the Toy Isle, because I didn’t want to be tempted to buy anything. 2. Describe three or four toys from the sections and explain how the toys you observed serve to socialize children into roles. What values, norms, beliefs and ideas are being taught to children and what the toys tell us about gender in our society? Be sure to draw from the readings to back up your learning and cite appropriately with (author, year, page #).  The absolute first thing that stood out at me is the Barbie isle. It was huge and there were so many different kinds available. There was a special line out of career Barbie’s, and the one that stood out to me, was the Barbie President. So that seemed like a positive toy because it encouraged young girls to dream about being the first female president one day. Then I see the line of baby dolls and kits to help the baby. At first I thought that’s adorable, then I realized what the hell? A child that +2 is going to raise a little baby? That makes no sense. It seemed to be that the child just wanted to grow up, when it should be playing with other toys and enjoying their childhood. Moving on to boys, the one thing that’s always bugged me is the toys for WWE. I don’t understand why they make toys for little boys that demonstrate its okay to wrestle and hit people. I feel like it plays into the whole ‘men are strong’ & ‘boys will be boys’ norms. It’s not a good example. John Macionis talks about gender roles in Society the Basics and states, “A culture that defines males as ambitious and competitive encourages them to seek out positions of leadership and play team sports. To the extent that females are defined as deferential and emotional,...
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