Dress up and what else? Girls' online gaming, media cultures and consumer culture

Giovanna Mascheroni, F. Pasquali

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


In order to investigate how online activities and digital cultures mediate children’s socialisation to consumer culture, this paper discusses the findings of a research project on online games for tweens which focus on fashion. Popular websites for girls include a variety of games centred on fashion; these are mainly paper dolls sites, which engage girls in a drag and drop activity of clothes and fashion items on sexualised bodies, at times of celebrities. Some reproduce fashion and beauty ideals in settings such as catwalks, hairstyle and beauty saloons, etc. Others, such as Stardoll.com, offer more complex environments, integrating dressing up activities with the creation of an online persona, combined with social networking. Drawing on analysis of online dress up games and websites, and a set of group interviews with young girls aged 9-13, the paper explores how tweens engage with these games and, more generally, how they appropriate, negotiate and resist consumer culture through the practice of dressing up themselves and their online personas. The aim of the paper is therefore threefold: 1) reconstruct the meanings and uses of online paper dolls websites, and their symbolic value in everyday interactions; 2) investigate how these games contribute to shape young girls’ engagement with digital cultures, consumer and celebrity culture; and 3) understand how stereotyped representations of young girls as consumers circulated in media, consumer and celebrity culture are socially made sense of by tweens in their peer cultures
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)79-102
Numero di pagine24
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2013


  • celebrity culture
  • consumer culture
  • dress up games
  • tweens


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