For the past few years, I have been looking for books about the affective, psychological and cultural meanings of dolls, specifically as they might pertain to the modern popularity of BJDs. If anyone has more suggestions, let me know!
I should probably buy Barbie’s Queer Accessories since I’ve read it so many times. It’s a grassroots ethnography of the creative and subversive ways in which children [mostly girls] play with Barbie and other fashion dolls. It’s a great counterpoint to the top-down philosophizing of, say, Life Like Dolls, the author of which probably never played with dolls.
I just ordered Created in Our Image: The Miniature Body of the Doll as Subject and Object. It looks like one of those exhaustive academic treatises, which is fine with me. I don’t mind the exhaustive academic treatise or two, especially since few scholars take dolls seriously. I think it’s an overview of images of dolls in British literature over the past 250 years.
On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection is next on my list. It discusses the modern fascination with little things [miniature books], big things [expanded museum replicas of the human heart, for example], souvenirs and collections. While not directly addressing dolls, I’m certain this book can provide some insight into the closely related phenomena of cherishing, amassing and idealizing…all common activities with one’s dolls.
And here’s an interesting one: Plastic Culture: How Japanese Toys Conquered the World. I’m sure it would contain cultural context, and it had better mention dolls, since there’s a Blythe on the cover!