Week 5 Lecture

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8 Jun 2011

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There are two main ways how people talk about gender: based on biological/essential/innate
differences (thats how boys and girls are) and socialization (girls are raised that way because of
family socialization)
How common it is for people to read gender differences: we focus on differences
oDifferences on socioeconomic status are much greater than on gender, but we still focus
on gender differences
Adler et al. article: popularity of boys and girls in schools
Socialization argument
Emphasis is how schools themselves contribute to boys and girls achievements, images in
textbooks, how recesses differ
Curriculum and adults in schools shape gender
Article talks about how children themselves are creating gender, and how and why it happens
The peer culture = the culture that is created among peers
Explored the role of popularity = what are the factors that make kids being popular and
differences that contribute to making boys popular and girls popular?
Their research method: a whole range of roles of observation (supervisor, friend, parent, etc),
which allowed them different levels of interaction with kids in different situations
Question: what are the factors that influence kids being popular in schools?
There are different factors for boys and girls
oAthletic ability, fight, boys get more and harsher punishment
oOne of the ways they show power is to fight and win those fights to gain popularity
oFighting is part of demonstrating or achieving popularity amongst boys
oCoolness = wearing certain types of clothes or nice shoes in order to achieve popularity
oToughness = the popular boys were getting more disciplinary actions, which shows
oContrast with toughness and femininity – the tough boys will become the most popular,
the less tough boys are feminine
oSavoir-faire = knowing how to do things, having the level of sophistication, knowing how
to connect or interact socially contributes to popularity
oCross-gender relationships = interaction and connection with girls, by 6th grade the more
popular boys have some involvement with girls - kissing, holding hands, going out, etc.
oThe boys at the top are brainier and nerdy, the boys at the bottom are seen as not very
oBy the end of elementary, doing well wasnt seen as positive and became a stigma
because they can only do that well, otherwise their friends will not like them
oFamily background – girls coming from richer or higher SES families were more popular
because they could afford to buy the trendy fashion
oMost popular girls had hands-off parents who gave them a lot of freedom
oAppearance was important for girls, being pretty was important in terms of popularity
oSocialization – knowing how to interact with adults and children
oTheir relationships with boys, girls were strategic and getting attention from boys (prank
calling the boys, not knowing how to initiate conversations with boys)
oCliques and in-girlsif girl went out with non-popular girl, she would not be popular
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