360 pages, 5 3/16 x 8
Release Date:13 Sep 2024
Release Date:13 Sep 2024

Gender Play

Boys and Girls in School

By Barrie Thorne; Introduction by Raewyn Connell and Michael A. Messner; Afterword by C.J. Pascoe
Rutgers University Press
When it first appeared in 1993, Barrie Thorne’s Gender Play: Girls and Boys in School became an instant classic in the budding fields of feminist sociology and childhood studies. Through detailed first-hand observations of fourth and fifth graders at play, she investigated questions like: Why do girls and boys tend to self-segregate in the schoolyard? What can playful teasing and ritualized games like “cooties” and “chase and kiss” teach us about how children perform gendered identities? And how do children articulate their own conceptions of gender, distinct from those proscribed by the adult world?
A detailed and perceptive ethnography told with compassion and humor, Gender Play immerses readers in the everyday lives of a group of working-class children to examine the social interactions that shape their gender identities.  This new Rutgers Classic edition of Gender Play contains an introduction from leading sociologists of gender Michael A. Messner and Raewyn Connell that places Thorne’s innovative research in historical context. It also includes a new afterword by one of Thorne’s own students, acclaimed sociologist C.J. Pascoe, reflecting on both the lasting influence of Thorne’s work and the ways that American children’s understandings of gender have shifted in the past thirty years.

BARRIE THORNE is a Professor Emerita of Sociology and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. She is a former Vice President of the American Sociological Association and served for ten years as the US editor of the journal Childhood. In 2022, she received the American Sociological Association’s Jessie Bernard Award for lifelong achievement in opening sociology to the role of women in society. Her many books include Feminist Sociology and Rethinking the Family

MICHAEL A. MESSNER is a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He is the author or editor of many books, including Some Men: Feminist Allies and the Movement to End Violence Against WomenKing of the Wild Suburb:  A Memoir of Fathers, Sons and Guns, and No Slam Dunk: Gender, Sport and the Unevenness of Social Change (Rutgers University Press).

RAEWYN CONNELL is Professor Emerita of sociology at the University of Sydney and the author of fifteen books, including Making the DifferenceGender and Power, and Masculinities

CJ PASCOE is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Oregon where she teaches courses on sexuality, education, social psychology, and inequality. She is the author of Nice is Not Enough: Inequality and the Limits of Kindness at American High.

Introduction by Raewyn Connelland Michael A. Messner
1 Children and Gender
2 Learning from Kids
3 Boys and Girls Together . . . But Mostly Apart
4 Gender Separation: Why and How
5 Creating a Sense of “Opposite Sides”
6 Do Girls and Boys Have Different Cultures?
7 Crossing the Gender Divide
8 Lip Gloss and “Goin’ With”: Becoming Teens
9 Lessons for Adults
Afterword by C. J. Pascoe
Introduction by Michael A. Messner and Raewyn Connell
Chapter 1- Children and Gender
Chapter 2- Learning from Kids
Chapter 3- Boys and Girls Together...But Mostly Apart
Chapter 4- Gender Separation: Why and How
Chapter 5- Creating a Sense of "Opposite Sides"
Chapter 6- Do Girls and Boys Have Different Cultures?
Chapter 7- Crossing the Gender Divide
Chapter 8- Lip Gloss and "Goin' With": Becoming Teens
Chapter 9- Lessons for Adults
Afterword by C.J. Pascoe
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