- Unit: IV. Socialization: How we become human
Gender Socialization Lab/Fieldtrip
Theme: 6 Social Construction of Ideas
DescriptionThis exercise explores socialization by looking at some of the ways gender is learned and reinforced by material culture. It can be done as an in-class laboratory or as an independent project outside of class. .
Learning GoalsAn appreciation for the mechanisms of socialization. We may be born male or female, but we learn how to become a man or a woman through the process of socialization.Back to top
Things NeededIf the exercise is done in class, instructors can prepare kits ahead of time containing selected everyday objects such as fashion magazines, newspapers, toys, greeting cards, items of baby clothing (teen and adult clothing can sometimes work too), and children’s literature, or instructors can ask students to bring in items, or use images of these items found on google. Students are asked how the objects reinforce traditional gender roles and stereotypes. Using similar but gendered items in each kit works well. Jumbo size Zip-Loc bags work well to create and distribute the kits. All of the kits listed below worked well in classroom tests.
Lincoln Logs and an Easy Bake Oven
Barbie and Ken dolls
GQ and Vogue Magazine
A Britney Spears and a Limp Bizkit CD
A picture of Elvis and a picture of Madonna and/or song lyrics from each
Men’s and Women’s deodorant
Children’s books, such as Mother Goose
Popular music magazines like Rolling Stone and Spin.
A picture of the cast from the t.v. show Friends
A picture of the puppets of Sesame Street
A Jackie Collins and a John Grisham novel
Power Puff Girls and Sponge Bob Square Pants items
Self and Men’s Health Magazine
Advertisements for pick up trucks
More InformationIdeas for evaluations include: (1) Written in-class Laboratory Exercise asking students to discuss what is in their bag. (2) Written independent field trip report on a visit to a department store or mall. The film Toys could be used as a supplement to this exercise.Back to top