Girlhood Studies
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Girlhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal

Editor-in-Chief: Claudia Mitchell, McGill University


Volume 9 / 2016, 3 issues per volume (spring, summer, winter)

Subjects: Gender Studies, Education, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Media Studies


CALLS FOR PAPERS:


Winner of the 2009 AAP/PSP Prose Award for Best New Journal in the Social Sciences & Humanities!

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Consuming Girlhood: Young Women, Femininities, and American Girl

Elizabeth Marshall

Abstract

This article offers a textual analysis of how the American Girl corporation markets and sells particular ideas about girlhood to its consumers. Focusing on the historical fictions, catalogues, and website, the author discusses the ways in which the corporation brands girlhood as a set of ideas to purchase. This reading of the American Girl texts is supported with data from a semi-structured interview with eight undergraduate women enrolled in a pre-service education course who read and played with American Girl materials as children. Young women who intend to work as elementary school teachers offer a unique demographic for theorizing American Girl and its role in the everyday lives of girls. The author concludes that for the young women in this study, American Girl materials offered salient lessons in girlhood consumption.

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