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Children's Gendered Play and Toys in Preschools
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3361-348X
2016 (English)In: Celebrating 40 Years of Play Research: Connecting Our Past, Present, and Future. Play & Culture Studies, Volume 13 / [ed] Michael Patte & John Sutterby, Lanham: Hamilton Books , 2016, 81-98 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this research is to develop updated knowledge on how gender is done in play and how toys can be seen as having an amplifying or moderating effect on gendered relations. In this article the use of toys as related to gender is taken into the analysis. Toys are a central aspect of children’s play and culture, or has become central since society has become more and more material and focused on technical tools and artefacts. The toy production has grown enormously during the last decades and toys have become more and more central in children’s lives. In this article the analysis focuses on what role toys play in children’s gendered play. The research reported in this article is an ethnographic study of the relation between gender, children, learning and toys/educational artefacts with a child perspective. The ethnographic work was done over six months from September 2013-March 2014. 19 children were included in the preschool group, and there was an equal mix of boys and girls. The children were 3.5 to 4.5 years old when I started the ethnographic process.

 

One finding is that the toys can be placed in two main categories – interpreted toys and interpretable toys. The interpreted toys were such artefacts that we most commonly mean when we talk about toys – an artefact where an adult has decided what the artefact is an icon of, and what kind of play it should be used in/for, and also most often if it is meant for a girl or a boy.

 

It is clear that gender negotiation is a very vivid part of children’s play. This study shows that what kind of toys children are using has an impact on how gender relations and play situations develop, and thereby on boys’ and girls’ learning boundaries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lanham: Hamilton Books , 2016. 81-98 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-33167ISBN: 978-0-7618-6816-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-33167DiVA: diva2:968998
Available from: 2016-09-13 Created: 2016-09-13 Last updated: 2016-12-02Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • Other style
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  • en-US
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