Kids Toys and Socialization

1415 Words3 Pages

Kids Toys & Socialization

Toy stores are perfect places for a sociologist to use their sociological imagination. Gendering and racism is thought to be something that is socially constructed as opposed to biologically constructed. Gendering starts during infancy, and around 2 years old children start to internalize these gender differences. I argue that children’s toys help socialize children into gender specific roles. Toy stores, like Target and Toys R Us help us understand what types of toys help to gender children. I will explain how the toys in the toy aisles differ and compare. Not all toys are either male or female, some toys are gender neutral.

I went to a Target store at a plaza in Framingham. When I arrived in the toy section of the store I realized that there were separate toy aisles for boys and for girls. The aisles that had girl toys had pink color schemes and the boys’ aisles had a blue color scheme. The boy and girl toy aisles were broken down into age groups. I observed a family of 4 in the toy aisles (a mother, father, boy and girl). The young girl looked 4 years old and the young boy looked around 6 years old. The little kids were walking down the aisles playing with all different kinds of toys. The color of the toy and the type of toy didn’t seem to matter to each either of them. The mother called the daughter into the next aisle over and helped her pick out a Barbie while the father helped the son pick out a toy from the boy aisle.

In the girls’ section there were lots of dolls, pink themed tricycles and scooters, princess themed Lego castles, plushy pink dolls, Cabbage Patch babies, and plenty of doll strollers. The shelves in the aisles that contained these princess dolls and toys were pink. They had...

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... wouldn’t change the way the toys are made, but I would change the placement of them. It would give children the opportunity to play with whatever they like.

Works Cited

Auster, Carol, and Claire Mansbach. "The Gender Marketing Of Toys: An Analysis Of Color And Type Of Toy On The Disney Store Website." Sex Roles 67.7/8 (2012): 375-388. SocINDEX with Full Text. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

Fisher-Thompson, Donna. "Adult Sex Typing Of Children's Toys." Sex Roles 23.5/6 (1990): 291-303. SocINDEX with Full Text. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

Conley, Dalton. (2013). You May Ask Yourself: An Introduction to Thinking like a Sociologist (3rd edition). Columbus, OH: W. W. Norton & Company.

Martin, Karin A., 1998. “Becoming a Gendered body: Practices of Preschools” American Sociological Assosciation (4): 510.

Interview #1, Target, Framingham MA, April 10th, 2014

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