Sociology

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12-3-12

Toys and Gender

Assignment 3

My paper titled toys and gender, is based on the toys of today and how they relate to gender socialization. I decided to go to the local Wal-Mart in Cookeville, Tn. I chose this store because it is a worldwide known large retail store. I concluded that it would be a good store to analyze because it is thought of as a family store where many families go to shop. Therefore, I knew that there would be a wide variety of toys to analyze and collect data. I went to Wal-Mart December the 3rd. I analyzed the toy sections of Wal-Mart and how the toys are associated with gender, color sound, types of play they encourage, types of interactions they cause, and what they prepare children for. With the exception of preschool toys that were sometimes offered in gender-neutral packaging, kids’ toys were largely segregated into different aisles according to gender. And within those aisles, the markings of gender were clear. The “girls’” section resembled the aftermath of an explosion of Pepto-Bismol. In the “boys’” section, there seemed to be a profusion of aggressive, hyper-muscled, weapon-wielding action figures. And in both realms, the majority of toys seemed to be explicitly tied to movies and television As I walked in I followed the signs to the toy section when I got to it I observed about eight aisles of toys, with toys on both sides of the aisles. Two rows were specifically designed for boy’s toys, one row of girl’s toys, two rows of baby toys, and three rows of mixed toys for both boys and girls. I saw many different kinds of toys some of the toys I saw were trucks, action figures, sports items, baby dolls, Barbie’s, puzzles, board games, and many more.

After I observed all of these things I left. As I began to analyze this data I came to conclusion that the toy sections in retail stores are very thoughtfully designed and laid out. I think that they are laid out in specific ways for one to keep things in order. It...
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