First research questions Kasia


  • How does the case study relate to the wider terms of the debate?

If the case study refers to Toca Boca then they stand at the pioneering and cutting-edge end of children’s app creation in terms of diversity and designing with the target consumer in mind. With something as impactful on a child’s development and revealing of societal norms as toys, in this case apps, Toca Boca has differentiated itself from competitors by rejecting narrow representation of gender and race in their products. There is a lot of debate on why products are marketed and sold to appeal to stereotypes and where this came from, as well as whether it should continue in this way. These questions go hand in hand with equality debates that argue for fairer and more accurate representation of toys and media children can access.

Can you find other stories related to this issue?

  1. Interesting quotes I found from a related resource:
  • Sweet, E.V. 2013, Boy builders and pink princesses: Gender, toys, and inequality over the twentieth century, University of California, Davis.

“Toy companies often claim that this highly gendered landscape simply reflects the desires and needs of boys and girls. Such an argument assumes that the toy preferences and play styles of children are relatively fixed, stable, and rooted in essential gender differences. Indeed, this assumption is common not only among toy manufacturers, but also among many parents and some academic researchers. If it were true that gendered toy preferences and play styles were fixed and static, then we would expect to find the ways in which children’s toys have been produced and marketed according to gender to be relatively stable over time. But have toys always embodied the gendered ideas and stereotypes that we see today and have they always existed in such distinct realms? Or is what we see today a unique phenomenon?” – pg 34 (Sweet, 2013)


What is the story being communicated?

Although progress is being made, for example a female main character in the most recent Star Wars, she was not included in box sets of merchandise and a board game. The host discusses how this isn’t anything new in media and toys, with gendered toys dominating stores and advertising, generating a backlash.

What are the practices involved in putting the story together?

Journalistic research and scripting a presentation, in a video format

What are the disciplinary practices at work in this issue?


Timeliness – representation in toys and gendered toys have been discussed recently in the media and the Star Wars franchise was massive in cinemas at time of broadcast.


Audience: many would relate to the issue, possibly being parents or anyone who knows young people and are concerned with present buying or a fan of Star Wars.


A video segment as part of satirical ABC TV show ‘The Weekly’, aired and then available to stream online


The direct audience, those in the TV audience and then the people watching at home on TV or online. As well as the toy industry, media and other vested parties


On the other side – a parent sceptical of the effect gendered toys are told to have on career goals and behaviour etc

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