Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

From maternal instinct to material girl: the doll in postwar Spain (1940s - 50s)

By Jessamy Harvey


In The Value of Things, Neil Cummings and Marysia Lewandowska state that, in a consumer culture, 'it is not objects that people really desire, but their lush coating of images and dreams' (2000: 76). What dreams and images are being desired when the longed for object is a child's plaything, such as a doll? The doll is popularly understood as a tool to aid in the formatting of gender, and, as such, primarily given to female children to awaken their maternal instinct. Miriam Formanek-Brunell notes that the study of dolls as cultural objects is overlooked precisely because 'dolls continue to be typically misunderstood as trivial artefacts of a commercialized girl's culture, static representations of femininity and maternity, generators only of maternal feelings and domestic concerns' (1993: 1). Formanek-Brunell proposes that 'dolls, like any other objects of ordinary life, can be seen as "texts"' (1993: 2). Dolls are cultural texts that, once analysed, can shed light on a variety of aspects of culture

Topics: CAL
Publisher: Berghahn Journals
Year: 2002
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.