Abstract

Dora is Everywhere!     Pasted on infants’ bottles, toddlers’ easy-ups, preschoolers’ T-shirts, and kindergartners’ backpack, backpack(s), Dora the explorer has been an emblem of cultural syncretism, but her educational purpose — to celebrate multiculturalism — has developed an ongoing controversy about maintaining the cultural integrity of gender, race, and social class in America. The makers of Dora the Explorer blur American gender roles by portraying Dora as a seven-year old female with short hair who wears plain T-shirts and shorts and who asks millions of preschoolers to join her in heroic adventures. In the fall of 2009, the makers of Dora gave her a matured feminine appearance solely to market Mattel toys and computer devices to the immature female population of western civilizations (“Dora Grows”). Moreover, Nicole Guidotti-Hernández, from the University of Arizona, concluded that “immigration, migration, and settlement in the multiethnic Latino Diaspora,” are emulated through episodes of Dora the Explorer (Guidotti-Hernández). The Latino Diaspora is re-created in the language, music, colors, and architecture that exist in every Nickelodeon Production of Dora the Explorer. However, Dora does not cross only Latino cultural borders. She also brings English-speaking culture to France, Russia, and Africa due to exported programs. Furthermore, Dora the Explorer highlights issues of social class. Dora and her family’s style of attire and architecture unintentionally portray Latino culture as uniformly impoverished. Therefore, American audiences of the television show might conclude that Latinos are inferior to the Anglo-American and African-American populations (Simpson 76). The character of Dora is not simply made by composing a colorful graphic, she is an icon of cultural hybridity.

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