unit eight
Barbie & The Rock: Gender, Bodies & Play




cultural artifact: barbie dolls & wwf(world wrestling federation)

CASE STUDY: barbie dolls

reading assignment:

  • sandra bartky, "foucault, femininity & the modernization of patriarchal power" in free spirits eds. mehuron & percesepe (ELECTRONIC RESERVE) (helpful study guide)
  • ann ducille "toy theory: black barbie and the deep play of difference " (1996) in consumer society reader
  • The Theory Toolbox "Space" pp.114-123
  • CS concepts handout: power/foucault

in class screening:

hacking barbie

at the end of this unit you should be able to define these key terms:

  • power
  • panopticon
  • docile bodies

additional resources:

case study guidelines for student presentations

external links:

on bartky and foucault:

sandra bartky summary & bio

feminsim and foucault: reflections on resistance from diamond & quimby (excellent summary essay on foucault)

the foucault pages at csun

michel foucault: resources

on barbie & body image:

adios barie

adios barbie.com

hacking barbie with the blo

babrie liberators: pdf instructions for hacking the voiceboxes

the color of hunger: eating disorders and women of color


barbie ads go girl power

feed the model (shockwave game)

google links on the blo

barbie collectables: the official mattel(tm) website for barbie collectors

links to "official" barbie websites


on wwf and masculinity:

manhood on the mat: by sut jhally and jackson katz

boys to men: sports media report (html and pdf versions)

crisis in masculinity

jackson katz homepage

google links to wwf fan websites