Toy Story

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Name: Karl Dent
Instructor: Morgen Thomas
SP13: SOC 101
Date: Mar 19, 2013
“A Toy's Story Observation”
When you think about toys the first thing that comes to mind is the joy they gave when you were a kid growing up, and the smile they put on your kid’s face when you see them playing with them on a daily basis. What if toys could talk? What information would they give us? What would they tell us? Recently I set out on a quest to better understand what information I could get just by looking at the toys in my local neighborhood toy store and how they shape the mind of kids from a young age. Unfortunately for me, the day I went to the toy store there were not many people shopping, so this made my research a little harder to complete. I wandered around the store for several hours, going through many different aisles and looking at many different toys. At times I felt like I was being watched; it was so quiet I could hear whispers as if the little action figures were giving me the information I needed.

By looking at toys as a way of seeing things from a sociological stand point, I can understand why the manufacturers of toys make certain types and what goals they are trying to accomplish. By studying different toys, I started to use them as tools to see the world in a new way and to see how they shape society from both nature and nurture. My views of toys were like sociological imagination; I started to see how contextual our lives are. I then realized our individual identities were only sensible in a social context. But how can you look at toys and figure out how humans behave in our society? The only possible answer I found to my question was sociology.

Toys help to form one important aspect of our lives which we come to understand as gender identity. By having toys specific to boys and girls it helps us to understand what it means to be male or female. Understanding gender identity is said to be one of the most important ways we develop who we are and...
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