Toy Consumption: Gender Roles In Early Childhood

1495 Words 6 Pages
In this era, consumption is an essential element in our daily life as to integrate people into the social process of meaning and connect our micro-life to the macro social structure and trends. Consumption is not only a simple act of purchases, but it involves a wide range of emotions, values, identities, and thoughts. The process of children’s interaction with toys allow them to gain an impression of the social world. Thus, toy consumption is a critical part in conceptualizing a self and gender roles in the growing development at children’s very early age. I believe that the toy socialization have a great impact in developed a sense of who I am and constructed a gender expectations in my early childhood stage. In this essay, I intend to discover …show more content…
Like Christine Williams’s statement in her article mentioning that “the toy store provides a window into the socialization of the next generation of consumers” (2006: p. 8), I am strongly agree with her viewpoint as I believe Toy Store is another form of schooling that every child ought to attend in order to gain knowledge and experience outside the textbook. To further discuss my argument about toys, I will explore the following points in details and they can be seen as: toys as agents of socialization, the materialized desire for products, and the purpose of shopping for toys. To begin with, it is important to understand the meaning of “Socialization” which is “the ways in which children acquire the social attributes pertinent to ‘being human’ in any particular society” (James and James 2012). Through the process of toy store socialization, children can idealize gender roles and begin to learn and integrate themselves to become a member in any groups. In referring to lecture 6, Gender is a social-constructed concept that associates with biological sex roles in a …show more content…
Recalling the time when I was 10 years old and before, I was not a big fan of toys, but ‘Barbie Play’ was definitely the most influential toy in my childhood period. I still remember even my parents offered me freedom in choosing toys in Toys ‘R’ Us (Toy Warehouse), but ‘Barbie Play’ was always my all-time-pick because I was attracted by her elegance and fancy outfits. It is noteworthy that, without a second of hesitation, I rushed to the bright pink girls’ aisle in my every visiting to Toy ‘R’ Us. I guess a strong sense of girl image and gender differentiation had been deeply rooted in my mind with the influence of the toy store setting, parental guidance, and the social norm. Subsequently, I have grasped an even more profound definition and knowledge in race and gender roles in the following years with more access to different ‘Barbie’ related products, such as movie, books, and online game. Growing up in an Asian culture, I hold an extraordinary admiration of Barbie (Western culture toy) and just like Christopher Varaste ‘s word (The Economist, 2012) – “Barbie is not a mere toy, nor product category: she is an icon”. Barbie not only gives me an insight of how girls should dress like, but

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