Social Construction Of Gender And Free Flow Play

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The research investigated gender differences in free-flow play in a day care setting. 6 participants (age range: 3-4) participated in a drawing activity group interview. The aims and objective explored the children’s chosen type of play during free-flow play and their perception on why they had chosen that type of play. The data was then compared and contrasted to identify any differences the types of play. Data was analysed through thematic analysis for both the group interview and the drawings. The results of the interviews identified 5 key themes: 1) girl-gendered type play 2) boy gendered-type play 3) perceptions on children’s chosen play 4) gender differences in play 5) toys at home. The results from the drawings analysis gave no further result. Gender differences were found during free-flow play. The social construction of gender can be widely identified throughout the research findings. The ‘home environments’ influence appears to be significant in children choosing their play type. The value of the research is to the practitioners as research highlighted clear gender differences in the setting’s free-flow play that could be counteracted during more structured play session to promote equality in play.

Boys and Girls learn to become masculine and feminine through constructing their perceptions of what it means to be male or female from the social context they live in and incorporate this into their individual identity (Paechter, 2007).
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