What I heard about sexualisation: or conversations with my inner Barbie

Sara Bragg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This thinkpiece arises from personal reflection on researching ‘sexualisation’, on the individuals and issues encountered and on elements that were unspoken or more rarely voiced. It suggests that the discourse on sexualisation tends to construct an ‘other’ from which speakers distance themselves, variously defined as ‘bad’ mothers, sexualized girls, ‘unhealthy’ sexuality, undesirable or wrong values, an exploitative industry, and so on. The grip that ‘sexualisation’ has on the public imagination may be due less to the social problems it identifies, and more to how it serves as a repository of disavowed or unacknowledged parts of our (social) selves. Ethically and politically, the paper suggests, we should pay more attention to the relations between self and ‘other’ constituted in and through the debate about sexualisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
JournalGender and Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2012


  • sexualisation
  • sexuality
  • postmodernism
  • mothering
  • reflexive analysis
  • interpretative method


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