Home | People |

Elizabeth V. Sweet PhD


  • Ph.D. Sociology. University of California, Davis December 2013.
  • M.A. Sociology. University of California, Davis September 2006.
  • B.A. Sociology, summa cum laude. Oregon State University June 2004.


Research and Teaching Interests: Sex and Gender; Children and Childhood; Research Methods and Data Analysis; Sociology of the Family

Dissertation Research: "Boy Builders and Pink Princesses: Gender, Toys, and Inequality over the Twentieth Century"

In the first part of the dissertation, I use content analysis methods to examine the ideas about gender encoded in Sears catalog toy advertisements over the 20th century. From this analysis, I find that the extent and mechanisms of gender-marketing, the portrayal of gendered roles, and the prevalence of gender stereotypes in toys have been fluid over time. In the second part of the dissertation, I use historical demographic data, secondary data sources, and public opinion polls to assess possible explanations for these variations. My analyses suggest that gender ideology played a central role in both the processes that sustained gender inequality and in the gender definition and stereotyping of toys over the 20th century.