Welcome to The Sociological Cinema!
This site is designed to help sociology instructors incorporate videos into their classes. Check out our blog, look through our pics page, and search our growing database of video clips. Each clip is tagged with appropriate sociological themes and organized for busy instructors. We invite you to join the discussion and comment on how you have used the videos in your classes, and to submit a clip of your own. Enjoy!
Video of the Week
For those celebrating Christmas, you might have a young boy or girl to shop for on your list. As you wander the aisles and look for gifts a child might like, you probably cannot help but notice the different toys available for boys and girls, and how those toys are marketed differently. These marketing strategies, and the choices we make as consumers, are powerful means of socializing children into societal gender roles. They train children to desire certain kinds of activities, and give them socially acceptable templates for what it means to be a boy or girl. One common toy manufacturer that reflects common gender stereotypes in their marketing is LEGO.
Our video of the week examines and challenges gendered marketing used by LEGO. It was created in response to LEGO's release of a stereotypical gendered line of toys aimed at girls, and 10+ years of boy-geared advertising that led to LEGO losing their girl audience in the first place. The video documents changes in LEGO's advertising, explains the basic premise of a LEGO petition started by the video's creators, seeks to give voice to some of the young girls LEGO missed in their targeted marketing, and discusses where activist consumers want to see LEGO go in the future. Viewers may be encouraged to reflect on how LEGO's use of gender advertising changed over time and what might explain these changes? Why does the video's creator see gender stereotyping as a problem in advertising? How might Christmas shoppers help promote more gender-neutral toys and marketing? Read more.