Everything We Do Is A Celebration of You! : Pleasant Company Constructs American Girlhood

Author(s): Acosta-Alzuru, Carolina; Lester Roushanzamir, Elizabeth

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Abstract The American Girl (AG) collection is an enormously successful line of girls merchandise that includes dolls, books, and accessories. Through mail-order catalogs, AG has become a part of the cultural universe of young girls in the United States. We examined the dolls, books, accouterments, and catalogs as texts and, therefore, sites of cultural construction, attempting to uncover the ways in which nationality, history, race/ethnicity, consumerism, and gender are immersed in these products. Our study underscores how the AG dolls and products render the world for its young consumers. This rendering is not innocent. Inclusions, exclusions, and hierarchies are naturalized, offering a particular view of race, gender, and the imagined community that is embedded in social practices and power relations that help determine our ways of seeing and imagining from a very young age.
Publication Title The Communication Review
Publisher Taylor & Francis Group
Publication Date 01/2003
URIs http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10714420309433
Keywords Anthropology
Communication
Consumerism
Cultural studies
Ethnicity
Gender
Girls
History
Material culture
Nationality
Popular culture
Race
Sociology
U.S.A
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