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Description - Skin Trade by Ann DuCille

How does the notion of colourblind equality fit in with the social racism remains America's premier national story and its grossest national product. From Aunt Jemima Pancakes to ethnic Barbie dolls, corporate America peddles racial and gender stereotypes, packaging and selling them as breakfast food or toys for kids. Moving from the realm of child's play through the academy and the justice system, Ann duCille draws on icons of popular culture to demonstrate that it isn't just race and gender that matter in America but race and gender as reducible to skin colour, body structure and other visible signs of difference. She reveals that Mattel Inc., uses stereotypes of gender, race and cultural differences to mark - and market - its Barbie dolls as female, white, black, Asian and Hispanic. The popularity of these dolls suggests the degree to which dominant definitions of self and other have become internalized. In a similar move, "Skin Trade" interrogates the popular discourse surrounding the trial of O.J. Simpson, arguing that much of the mainstream coverage of the case was a racially coded message equally dependent on stereotypes. Focusing on "Newsweek" and "Time" in particular, duCille shows how the former All-American was depicted as un-American. She explores other collusions and collisions among race, gender and capital as well. Especially concerned with superficial distinctions perpetuated within the academic community, the author argues that the academy indulges in its own skin trade in which both race and gender are hot properties.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674810846
ISBN-10: 0674810848
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 224
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Oct-1996
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Ann DuCille

Ann duCille is Professor of American and African American Literature, University of California, San Diego. She is the author of The Coupling Convention.