Looking through the Play Matters catalog I came across a dollhouse and the families one can buy to play with in the doll house.
We have “Happy Family Caucasian”
and we have “Happy Family Asian”
I have many questions about these ways of representing race in America.
1. Why is the only man wearing a tie in the Asian family?
2. Why is there an extra baby in the African American family?
3. How did these facial features get identified with the different races?
4. Can I special order a multiracial family or do I have to get two sets and mix them myself?
5. Are we to assume that the couples are heterosexual based on the even numbers, or could some of the families include same sex couples?
Then compare those families to these family play sets I found at S&S.
Caucasian Family Play Set
Hispanic Family Play Set
Asian Family Play Set
African American Family Play Set
I find this latter range of four sets more appealing (if racially segregated toys can be appealing). Odd discrepancies do not jump out here except for the number of books shown in each family. Is it intentional that more members of the Asian family are holding books and the one daughter is the only figure holding two books? Why is she the only figure wearing a skirt?
I think I will hand these images to some students to analyze as artifacts and draw conclusions.