Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Dolls, Barbie and Others
Anastasia L. Pratt
Dolls are commonly understood to be small figures that model the human form. Generally used as children's toys, dolls help to explain the educational and cognitive, social, and emotional values of play. As dolls have become more clearly tied to children and play, a wide array of types of dolls has emerged. Many of these dolls spring from the increased merchandising and marketing of the 20th century. However, dolls are often used within adult contexts, as collectible items and objects in religious and spiritual rituals. All of these dolls exist in a multitude of forms, with wood, wax, papier-mâché, porcelain, bisque, china, rubber, celluloid, plastic, and cloth offering options for their production. Playing with dolls, most commonly believed to be a type of girl's play, indicates healthy psychological development. Whether it involves rocking a baby doll to sleep or dressing up a Barbie, playing with dolls is a means of ...