The Prettier Doll

The Prettier Doll

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Essays in the The Prettier Doll focus on the same local controversy: in 2001, a third-grade girl in Colorado submitted an experiment to the school science fair. She asked 30 adults and 30 fifth-graders which of two Barbie dolls was prettier. One doll was black, the other white, and each wore a different colored dress. All of the adults picked the Barbie in the purple dress, while nearly all of the fifth graders picked the white Barbie. When the studenta€™s experiment was banned an uproar resulted that spread to the national media. School board meetings and other public exchanges highlighted the potent intersection of local and national social concerns: education, censorship, science, racism, and tensions in foundation values such as liberty, democracy, and free speech. For the authors of these essays, the exchanges that arose from a€œBarbiegatea€ illustrate vividly the role of rhetoric at the grassroots level, fundamental to civic judgment in a democratic state and at the core of a€œordinary democracy.a€While I cannot justify my own claims in this essay by appeals to bedrock foundational supports, I do not regret having weighed in on the issues confronting the ... NOTES 1. I was one such visitor in June 2003, a visiting professor at CU Boulder.

Title:The Prettier Doll
Author:Karen Tracy, James P. Mcdaniel, Bruce E. Gronbeck
Publisher:University of Alabama Press - 2007-09-23


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