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SOCY 1089 (23)
Lecture

Social Construction of the Racialized Body

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCY 1089
Professor
Sharlene Hesse- Biber
Semester
Fall

Description
SC089.01 (10.29.2013) The Anthropometry of the Barbie Doll Social Construction of the Racialized Body and Sexual Preference Cultural Meanings of Barbie ­Barbie dolls are very complex figures that offer complex and contradictory  meanings ­This article (The Anthropometry of the Barbie Doll) asks: how has Barbie  survived and thrived through history from 1959 to modern day? ­Has the meaning of the doll shifted? *This article is exploring Barbie as a “meaning system”—looking a broad context that  created the Barbie and sustained her popularity ­Barbie was a product of the Cold War ­Based on the German prototype, the “Lilli doll” ­Think plastic! ­Barbie’s mold was designed by Jack Ryan, who also designed missiles ­Hence the “torpedo­like” breasts of Barbie ­Marketed as the first “teenage doll” ­Relevant in the post­war emergence of a “teenage style” ­Transitioning from War Economy  ▯Domestic Consumption ­Needed to maintain demand ­Focused on women in the consumer market ­Rise of “girl culture”—you don’t just get one Barbie, you  also can (and must) get everything she wants to consume  (cars, dogs, planes, houses, motorcycles, etc.) ­Promotes traditional gender rolls and the binary (Barbie/GI Joe) *Even though Barbie’s work and family roles change, her measurements never do! ­Meaning can be appropriated, relocated into different cultural con
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