You see it in every school playground: the girls play only with girls, the boys play only with boys. Why? And what do children themselves think about this? Breaking with familiar conventions for thinking about children and gender, "Gender Play" develops fresh insights into the everyday social worlds of kids in schools. Barrie Thorne draws on her daily observations in the classroom and in the playground to show how children construct and experience gender in school. She looks in detail at the "play of gender" in the organization of groups of children and activities. Thorne argues that the organization and meaning of gender are influenced by age, ethnicity, race, sexuality and social class, and that they shift with social context. She sees gender identity not through the lens of individual socialization or difference, but rather as a social process involving groups of children. Thorne takes the reader on journey of discovery, provides new insights into the behaviour of children, and offers teachers practical suggestions for increasing co-operative, mixed-gender interaction.