I am currently trying to come up with 6 mini briefs for myself to follow to come up with different design ideas as my research could take me in all sorts of directions. I have split it up to
- Changing parents mindsets, how can the design help change the mindset of parents enforcing gender roles?
- Gender stereotypes in marketing, how can design help reduce the current gender stereotypes in advertising and marketing? (for this I need to have a more in depth look into the advertising and marketing of toys as I haven’t touched on this a lot yet)
- Encourage gender stereotypical toys, how can design help encourage gender stereotypes as these help children understand social norms? (another point of view that I am going to look into further)
- Encouraging androgyny, how can design help make humans adopt male and female roles?
- Encourage females into masculine roles, how can design help encourage females into stereotypical male job roles?
- Encourage males into feminine roles, how can design help encourage males into stereotypical female job roles?
The last 2 are basically the same but flipped each way round.
For all the mini briefs I am going to try and connect each one to the research I have done so far and then come up with ideas for each one to help me decide my route for final major project.
Focus group update
I have a focus group set up! It’s on the 15th December at 2:00PM so I have plenty of time to get my toys and flash cards together ready for it. Hopefully this will help back up my insights about gender stereotyping in male and female job roles.
Advertising and Marketing of toys
So far I haven’t really touched on this that much apart from reading a few articles on the subject and looking at how one toy store laid out there website. I have a plan for this area, I think I am going to watch 30 adverts from either side, typical masculine toys and typical feminine toys and write notes on the themes of each one, keywords, who is in them and how they come across to analyse how the toys are being perceived by the public on TV.
My other idea is to go to a few toy stores and see how they layout and display toys and see if there is any gender bias in this area.
Gender stereotype toys – good or bad?
From doing my research I have been continually asking myself whether we should be making toys “gender neutral” or whether it is actually a good thing to keep them separated. When I first looked at the nature side of the debate I started to think that toys being genderised was a good thing because why should we go against what is innately part of us. I also had a quick look at some parents points of views on this matter and one particularly strong view was that by not genderising toys or trying to force children to play with the opposite sex toys we are preventing them from understanding social norms.
This part of the argument is very interesting and definitely something I am going to look into further as my exploration goes on.