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Barbie, Research on

In 1959, the U.S.-based Mattel Inc., introduced the character and teenage fashion doll, Barbie Millicent Rogers. Since that time, Barbie has had more than 150 jobs, including astronaut, president of the United States, UNICEF ambassador, and rock star. The Barbie brand has a global reach and is best defined as a transmedia franchise through which Barbie’s fictional life, friends, and adventures continue to develop and travel through dolls, books, films, early readers, video games, and social media.

The character and the texts associated with Barbie offer a rich case for considering the complexities of out-of-school learning. Barbie is a popular commodity through which lessons about whiteness, ability, normative femininity, and sexuality are rehearsed and reproduced; and as researchers, artists, educators, and youth have demonstrated, Barbie is ...

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