Barbie Girls Vs. Sea Monsters Essay

821 Words Jun 22nd, 2015 4 Pages
In "Barbie Girls vs. Sea Monsters," Michael Messner discusses a "magnified moment" of everyday gender role socialization. Gender role socialization is "the subtle, pervasive process of becoming masculine or feminine" (Ferris and Stein 248) Children are socialized into gender roles through families, schools, peers, and the media, as well as other social institutions. Messner observes how a group of four- and five-year-old children construct gender as they begin their first season in an organized soccer league. Before the opening ceremony of the soccer league, the Barbie Girls began performing gendered behavior as they rallied around their team 's Barbie float and began singing a Barbie song. At first, some of the boys just quietly watched the girls perform, but when the boys started to notice each other 's reactions, one yelled "No Barbie!" The other boys followed suit and they all began jumping around and chanting "No Barbie! No Barbie!" Prior to this obvious gendered behavior, the children were segregated into same-sex peer groups which may explain the Barbie Girls ' performance and the Sea Monster 's reaction. Researchers have learned "when children play with same-sex peers, their activities are more likely to be gender typed...than when boys and girls play together" (Ferris and Stein 249). Messner writes, "In this scene, we see children performing gender in ways that constitute themselves as two separate groups (boys vs. girls)..." Segregating the boys from girls…

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