This content analysis activity allows students to examine the role that mass media and consumer culture play in children’s gender socialization. More specifically, students analyze the gendered meanings within marketing materials for children’s Halloween costumes. Though the holiday provides individuals with the opportunity to “try on” and “play” a...
- Subject Area(s):
- Sex and Gender
- Resource Type(s):
- Class Activity
- Class Level(s):
- Any Level
- Class Size(s):
This activity was developed for an introductory sociology course at a regional public university. However, I have also used it in an upper-division Sociology of Gender course, and it could be equally well-suited for a Research Methods course. I have used it in classes with 15-40 students, but it could easily be implemented in larger classes. Before...
Learning Goals and Assessments
- Explain how the marketing of Halloween costumes may contribute to the process of gender socialization.
- Analyze costume names, descriptions, and images and identify ways that gender stereotypes are reinforced and challenged.
- Differentiate between what can and cannot be learned about gender socialization and stereotyping based on content analysis research. Explain how other research methods can be used to answer different types of research questions.
- In response to a written assessment question, students can explain the concept of gender socialization and how the marketing of Halloween costumes can contribute to this process.
- In discussion and/or in response to a written assessment question, students can identify how costume names, descriptions, and/or images are often gendered in stereotypical ways. Students can also identify ways that those stereotypes are challenged.
- In discussion and/or in response to a written assessment question, students can articulate what can and cannot be learned about gender socialization and stereotyping from content analysis research.