Gender Socialization at a Local Mall

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Shopping mall is a classic icon of American culture. Such big shopping center is specifically designed to meat the needs of today’s customer. We like how convenient it is to shop, eat and be entertained all in one place. It is a perfect place to spend an afternoon with your family or if you’re a teen hang out with your friends. But we might just be underestimating the real power such places have over our society. There are plenty of subtle messages being sent to us and those messages in fact play a huge role in the socialization process and shaping of our society as a whole. For example thinks of a card store. We all love to give and receive cards for a variety of occasions. But let’s assume a child’s birthday is coming up and we need to purchase a cute card. Let’s see what options do we have when that child is a girl and when that child is a boy. The first thing we notice is the color scheme. Looking at the selection at least 90% of the cards for girls include some shade of pink in their design. Note, that I could not find even one card directed at boys that had that color anywhere in sight. Even the so called gender neutral cards did not have pink on them, since pink will automatically put that card into the girl category. This sends a message to our kids that even colors are associated with gender. When a little girl gets a card with the classic design of a princess in a pretty PINK dress, she learns that she should be a little princess and that pink is associated with being a girl. Did you try asking a little girl what her favorite color is lately? The same thing goes for a little boy. Most of the cards for their birthday have a car or a superhero of some kind on them. Therefore the message is that being a boy is to like cars and be strong and masculine, and for sure not to like pink. But this huge gender difference in the card design is not only limited to the kids section. The cards for adults are just as much gender specific. Cards...
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