Mis(s) Education: Narrative Construction and Closure in American Girl

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/556826
Title:
Mis(s) Education: Narrative Construction and Closure in American Girl
Author:
Perez, Sonja Zepeda
Issue Date:
2015
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
While American Girl markets itself as a brand that teaches girls about our nation’s history and empowers girls to "stand tall, reach high, and dream big," this dissertation, "Mis(s) Education: Narrative Construction and Closure in American Girl" challenges this widely held belief. The American Girl Historical Character Series (hereafter AGHC series) is a textual site that writes a history that relies more on national myths of freedom, independence, and the pursuit of the American Dream through struggle. To dig deeper into this book series, I analyze how intersections of power in particular, nation, gender, race, and consumerism are constructed within the pages of the AGHC series. I assert that these books create a narrative construction and closure within the series. In place of a dialogic history that allows the reader to question historical and/or contemporary issues of power, a dominant narrative of history-one that relies on national myths prevails. While AG prides itself as a brand that first and foremost celebrates and empowers girls to become their very best, the historical series also imposes traditional gender roles for girls. It is this "rhetoric of empowerment" that this dissertation uncovers. Such an imagined empowerment is infused with ambivalence. AGHC series readers are also constructed as consumers who are being taught to celebrate consumerism and the Almighty Dollar.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Children's Literature; Consumerism in Literature; Nationalism in Literature; Race and Gender in Literature; Comparative Cultural & Literary Studies; American Girl
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Comparative Cultural & Literary Studies
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Soto, Sandra K.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleMis(s) Education: Narrative Construction and Closure in American Girlen_US
dc.creatorPerez, Sonja Zepedaen
dc.contributor.authorPerez, Sonja Zepedaen
dc.date.issued2015en
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.abstractWhile American Girl markets itself as a brand that teaches girls about our nation’s history and empowers girls to "stand tall, reach high, and dream big," this dissertation, "Mis(s) Education: Narrative Construction and Closure in American Girl" challenges this widely held belief. The American Girl Historical Character Series (hereafter AGHC series) is a textual site that writes a history that relies more on national myths of freedom, independence, and the pursuit of the American Dream through struggle. To dig deeper into this book series, I analyze how intersections of power in particular, nation, gender, race, and consumerism are constructed within the pages of the AGHC series. I assert that these books create a narrative construction and closure within the series. In place of a dialogic history that allows the reader to question historical and/or contemporary issues of power, a dominant narrative of history-one that relies on national myths prevails. While AG prides itself as a brand that first and foremost celebrates and empowers girls to become their very best, the historical series also imposes traditional gender roles for girls. It is this "rhetoric of empowerment" that this dissertation uncovers. Such an imagined empowerment is infused with ambivalence. AGHC series readers are also constructed as consumers who are being taught to celebrate consumerism and the Almighty Dollar.en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectChildren's Literatureen
dc.subjectConsumerism in Literatureen
dc.subjectNationalism in Literatureen
dc.subjectRace and Gender in Literatureen
dc.subjectComparative Cultural & Literary Studiesen
dc.subjectAmerican Girlen
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplineComparative Cultural & Literary Studiesen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorSoto, Sandra K.en
dc.contributor.committeememberSoto, Sandra K.en
dc.contributor.committeememberBrochin, Carolen
dc.contributor.committeememberGalarte, Francisco J.en
dc.contributor.committeememberOtero, Lydia R.en
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