Culture, Learning, and Participation
Edited By Anne Burke and Jackie Marsh
4. Stardolls and the virtual playground: How identity construction works in the new digital frontier
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Stardolls and the Virtual Playground
How Identity Construction Works in the New Digital Frontier
Jules and I sit side by side at a computer during lunch hour in the computer room. As I watch, she clicks, drags, and changes the dress on a virtual dress-up doll, exploring the latest fashions from the real runways of Paris and New York. She chatters about her new celebrity doll modeled after Avril Lavigne—a Canadian rock star. She mentions the latest celebrity gossip while clicking the mouse and dragging clothes from the fashion doll’s celebrity closet. She admits that her love of gossip magazines and the Canadian celebrity television show Entertainment Tonight keeps her attuned to the young singer’s famous life. Her ability to navigate the menus on the virtual doll site is quite impressive. What is more, is her narrative on the rules of friendship explaining why she has chosen a particular dress for her ‘avaDoll’ and fashion outfits for her classmates’ avaDolls. Her attentiveness to every detail shows how play and identity in the digital realm for young girls has moved into a new frontier—one that is about identity and the multiple constructions of self.
—FIELD NOTES, APRIL 2011
Over the past few years, more and more schools are becoming receptive to finding space within school curricula to include children’s outside digital literacies. As a ← 38 | 39 → result, questions...
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