AN ANALYSIS OF MATTEL’S ICONIC BARBIE: ROLE MODEL OR UNREALISTIC IDEAL?

Open Access
Author:
Katz, Rachel L
Area of Honors:
Letters, Arts, and Sciences (Abington)
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • David J Hutson, Thesis Supervisor
  • David E Ruth, Honors Advisor
  • Carla Rae Chamberlin-Quinlisk, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • Socialization
  • Diversity
Abstract:
The purpose of this study is to determine if Mattel’s iconic Barbie was an inspiring role model or represented an unattainable ideal for its consumers in terms of career aspirations, cultural diversity, and body diversity in 2018. The messages that Mattel conveyed through its Fashionistas and Career doll lines were analyzed using the content analysis method. The findings showed that Mattel sent conflicting messages to girls in all three areas. These mixed messages may ultimately affect the socialization process of these young consumers. Future research could determine the types of messages that Mattel is sending through its other lines.