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Gender Roles and Yankee Candles
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Sex and Gender
Visual Sociology
Gender Roles
Sociological Imagination
Intellectual Playfulness
Social Constructionism
Symbolic Interactionism

How to Cite

Reid, Matt. 2016. “Gender Roles and Yankee Candles”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, May. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


From 2012 to 2014, Yankee Candle had a special line of "Man Candles" which were, as the name suggests, candles specifically marketed towards men. These gendered candles from the well-recognized brand included fragrances such as "Riding Mower", "First Down", "On Tap", and "Man Town" among others. As a creative, arts-based exercise in intellectual...

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Subject Area(s):
Sex and Gender
Resource Type(s):
Assignment, Image
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

This assignment primarily deals with the concept of socially constructed gender roles and should ideally be made available to students after such topics are discussed in your course. This assignment is completed electronically by students outside of class and requires a small degree of technical competence. Students need to know how to: (1) Search, find,...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the concept of gender as a social construction.
  2. Students will demonstrate their ability to critically engage the concept of gender as a performative role.
  3. To enliven and enrich the creative capacities of students through a humorous, arts-based approach.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Students create fictitious candle fragrances for Yankee Candle which are marketed specifically for either "him" or "her". In addition to these images of candles, students should discuss how and why the scents they create have gendered meanings.
  2. Students should discuss how the candles speak to how gender is enacted by individuals in everyday life and how society sanctions such performances. Students should also be able to explain why the scents they created are exclusively masculine or feminine.
  3. Students should discuss their experiences and thought processes around creating the candles, and how they find humor in the scents they have created.

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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