The boys who would be princesses: playing with gender identity intertexts in Disney Princess transmedia

Wohlwend, Karen E.
Gender and Education

Using data from a 3-year ethnographic study in US early childhood classrooms, I examine two kindergarten boys’ classroom play with their favourite Disney Princess transmedia to see how they negotiated gender identity layers clustered in the franchise’s commercially given storylines and consumer expectations. This analysis contributes necessarily syncretic methods of analysis that enable critical examination of the complexity in children’s play interactions with popular media artefacts as collaborative and heteroglossic negotiations of gender. Mediated discourse analysis of action and multimodality in boys’ Snow White princess play makes visible how children pivoted and anchored their performances as they negotiated, played, and blurred boundaries among gender identity intertexts.