This Is My Playground: Gender Socialization and Hegemonic Masculinity at Camp
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Gender affects all aspects of one’s life. However, it can seem particularly salient at a young age, when one is still developing a sense of identity. This saliency is further compounded at a context like a day camp, where children have only a short amount of time to negotiate their gender in relation to their new environment, peers, and the adults in their lives. I have studied how gender influences play, friend making and leisure, within the day camp setting. My SIP explores the synthesis of gender identity and development theory, as well as how these theories are relevant at camp. Furthermore, it examines the forces of socialization, and how they affect gender and play at camp. Next, the role of hegemonic masculinity, or the social construct that enforces gender norms valuing masculinity over femininity, is reviewed. Finally, my SIP evaluates the extent to which the camp I observed created a space conducive to healthy gender development.