Culture is the glue that holds a society together—it is what encourages the members of that society to cooperate with each other as much as possible. We learn culture through socialization, the lifelong social experience. From birth we are taught how to be members of our society.

The most common agents of socialization are our family, peers, school, and media. The family, for example, influences a child’s development by such things as the way the parents hold the baby, look at it, talk to it, and respond to its needs. We take on typical gender roles from the beginning as girls are given pink clothes while boys are given blue. Family socialization is reinforced or modified by experiences at school and with peers, by the mass media, and by interaction with others. Socialization, the lifelong social experience through which we learn culture, is vital to becoming members of a society.

In this assessment, we look at the sociological concepts of culture and socialization and how they impact our behavior and attitudes.

Demonstration of Proficiency

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

  • Competency 1: Examine how theory and sociological concepts apply to everyday life.
    • Identify gender-specific childhood clothing and/or toys.
  • Competency 2: Explain the basic tools of sociological inquiry.
    • Summarize gender socialization sources.
    • Explain the validity and helpfulness of gender socialization sources.
  • Competency 4: Analyze the influence of culture on both the individual and society.
    • Describe the impact of gender-specific messages towards one’s self.
    • Analyze how gender-specific messages of childhood clothing and/or toys reflect larger societal expectations.
  • Competency 6: Compose text that articulates meaning relevant to its purpose and audience.
    • Develop text using organization, structure, and transitions that demonstrate understanding of cohesion between main and subtopics.

For this assessment, you analyze how gender is created by society, specifically looking at children’s toys and/or clothing. The purpose of this assessment is twofold:

  • It helps you to start thinking about the impact of socialization on your life as a starting point.
  • This first analysis will be used again for Assessment 6.

It also requires you to locate and evaluate resources on socialization and these resources may be used in Assessment 6.

Deliverable

Write an essay in which you complete all of the following:

PART 1

Examine the toys and clothing you had as a child.

  • Describe the clothing and toys from your childhood and identify which were gender-specific.

PART 2

Examine your experience with gender socialization.

  • Describe the message your toys and clothing sent you about gender. ​​​​​​
  • Analyze how gender-specific messages that arise from childhood clothing and toys reflect larger societal expectations.
  • Reflect on the impact these messages had on you. Describe how you feel about your experience with gender socialization.

PART 3

Analyze and then include outside sources.

  • Your analysis should also include information from two additional outside resources regarding gender socialization—one from a popular source and one from a scholarly source. A critical component of this assessment involves evaluating these outside resources.
  • Summarize your outside articles (one scholarly and one popular) and explain how they helped you better understand your experience with gender socialization.
  • Explain the validity (quality) of each source and how helpful each was. What conclusions can you draw about the difference in these types of sources (popular versus scholarly)?

Additional Requirements

  • Written communication: Develop text using organization, structure, and transitions that demonstrate understanding of cohesion between main and subtopics. Written communication needs to be free of errors that detract from the overall message. Write in a professional style using references and correct grammar, usage, and mechanics.
  • Sources: Cite at least three scholarly sources.
  • Length: 4–5 pages, not including title and reference pages.
  • Format: Include a title page and reference page. Use in-text citations to cite your sources. [Example: Writing becomes better as the child matures (Britton, Thomas, & Miller, 1996).]
  • Font and size: Times New Roman, 12-point.

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