Los Angeles Pierce College Intersectionality in the Toy Store Essay

Intersectionality in the Toy Store

Listen to Elna Baker’s 16-minute segment of the This American Life podcast entitled, “Babies Selling Babies.” The podcast is available in the assignment 2 folder on Canvas (you can download the file or listen to it online). Then write a two-to-three-page analysis (400-700 words) of the podcast using material we’ve been learning about and reading in the past several class periods. Your primary attention should be on social class, race, and gender, but consider how other sociological concepts are relevant as well. 

1. First, consider how race, class, and gender emerged in the toy store. How does each dimension of stratification emerge in the story? Begin by discussing and analyzing each dimension in relative isolation. Also consider the role of the employees, the customers, and the structure and culture of the toy industry itself. For background information on the toy industry, consult the article “Racism in Toyland” by Christine Williams, which is available in the week 7 module on Canvas. (attached below)

2. In the second half of your paper, tie all three strands together to discuss how race, class, and gender do not work in isolation, but instead intersect in powerful and meaningful ways. In this section of your paper, draw specific links as to how they work in tandem with one another in the real world. One way to successfully do this is by using specific material from lecture and readings, especially material on ideology and socialization.

3. Think about the significance of the story. What does it tell you about sociological understandings of race, class, and gender? How does intersectionality lead to a fuller, more nuanced analysis of the power each dimension has in the real world?

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