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Gender Socialization Paper
For this 2-3-page typed, double-spaced paper, you will need to gather data on how children get socialized into gender norms and then write up your findings. I expect you to use the Socialization PowerPoint to help you explain your findings. You might also find it useful to refer to the PowerPoints on institutions and groups, culture, and deviance.
You can find data in a variety of ways. If you are systematic in your method, it will work. Remember that you are looking for norms and generalizations. Given our current restrictions on going outside, you will have to use media as your primary data source. But this still gives you lots of options! You can watch ads for toys on a television station that focuses on children (or public television in the daytime) or character traits in a few of the main characters on children’s cartoons; you can peruse your own library of children’s books (if you have them) to see what kinds of things boys and girls do in the books; you can look up girls’ and boys’ clothing at Target or Carters and compare/contrast messages and images on shirts, etc.
As you can see, there are many ways to gather data for this short paper; you can use one of the examples above or come up with your own data source just so long as your research is systematic. Do not base your research on memory or impressions. You need actual data and evidence! Please do not hesitate to e-mail me if you want to talk about ideas!
Here’s what your paper should look like:
1. Introductory paragraph that summarizes your findings.
2. A paragraph that details how you gathered your data. Be specific here! Tell me exactly what you did. For example, “I went to the Target website and looked up toddler t-shirts boys and toddler t-shirt girls. I selected the first 20 shirts for boys and girls each.”
3. A description of your data (what you found when you gathered data). Again, be very specific here. For example, “ In the first 20 shirts for boys, 8 had images of trucks, 3 had dinosaurs…” Feel free to include a chart of your findings if that helps you to organize your data.
4. An explanation of your data, using the PowerPoint(s). This is where you make generalizations based on your findings and use ideas from the PowerPoints to explain the generalizations.
5. A concluding paragraph.