This exercise explores socialization by looking at some of the ways gender is learned and reinforced by material culture. By completing this lesson, you will gain an 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.Procedure:1. Come up with a list of gender stereotypes–positive, negative, and neutral. If you can’t think of any off the top of your head, describe traditional gender roles (i.e. “What was expected in your grandparents’ generation?”). Write what you come up with by making two lists: one for males and another for females.2. Look at these images pulled from
Could the items be used by either gender? What kind of gender socializing messages would a person coming in contact with these items get? What kind of gender socializing messages would a person in contact with these items get? Are gender stereotypes reinforced with these materials? Where would you go if you wanted to get away from gender socializing messages? Can you identify any characters or products that are completely gender neutral?Pay attention to elements like colors, active and passive characters, advertisers, and other themes. Even fonts can contain socializing messages. For example, the title font of Vogue is thin and “feminine” whereas the GQ font is muscular, representing social norms or ideals of each gender.Reflection:Answer each of the questions above in a paragraph (200-300 words) to reflect upon what you learned.
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