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October 26 , 2010

Boys and Girls

Superheroes in the Doll Corner


With the publication of Boys and Girls in 1984, Vivian Gussin Paley took readers inside a kindergarten classroom to show them how boys and girls play—and how, by playing and fantasizing in different ways, they work through complicated notions of gender roles and identity. The children’s own conversations, stories, playacting, and scuffles are interwoven with Paley’s observations and accounts of her vain attempts to alter their stereotyped play. Thirty years later, the superheroes and princesses are still here, but their doll corners and block areas are fast disappearing from our kindergartens. This new edition of Paley’s classic book reignites issues that are more important than ever for a new generation of students, parents, and teachers.

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