Inside Toyland by Christine L. Williams Essay

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Inside Toyland, written by Christine L. Williams, is a look into toy stores and the race, class, and gender issues. Williams worked about six weeks at two toy stores, Diamond Toys and Toy Warehouse, long enough to be able to detect patterns in store operations and the interactions between the workers and the costumers. She wanted to attempt to describe and analyze the rules that govern giant toy stores. Her main goal was to understand how shopping was socially organized and how it might be transformed to enhance the lives of workers. During the twentieth century, toy stores became bigger and helped suburbanization and deregulation. Specialty toy stores existed but sold mainly to adults, not to children. Men used to be the workers at toy …show more content…

They were unionized. At Diamond Toys they sold “whiteness”, people see white people as being more educated and Diamond Toys sold themselves as a toy store that had expert workers who were educated at what they did. They catered to the upper-class white women adults who would be buying the toy for the child. Toy Warehouse though, sold to the children. Their ideal customer was the white middle-class mom. They played on their low prices and child friendly atmosphere. At both places, the manager who did the hiring used interpellation, a stereotype view of who should work where in the store and the employees themselves ended up taking on that stereotype and acting in the manner appropriate. If the manager had a certain person in mind for the position, for example, Toy Warehouse employed white women as cashiers; it would leave men out for the job, or the same with race. An example of Interpellation at Toy Warehouse was when an African-America man named Deshay who normally worked as a merchandiser, finding lost UPC’s and setting out the merchandise, was asked to help at the registers but skillfully evaded the job. He said it was because he had too many other jobs to do, that he was not hired to work the cash register, and that he would file a lawsuit if they forced him to work the register. Deshay saw himself in the stereotypes appropriate for black man that the hierarchy established at Toy

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