The Power of Pink: Children's Bedrooms and Gender Identity

  • Annmarie Adams



The Power of Pink: Children’s Bedrooms and Gender Identity

Annmarie Adams’ article engages material culture in order to explore the highly contested site of the middle-class child’s bedroom in the late 20th century. As an architectural historian she charts changing bedroom design over time, working between ideal and real rooms. She outlines strategies for the decoration and arrangement of these rooms within the North American detached house, including children regarded as “gender variant”. Variation from traditional patterns contributes to our understanding of the relationship between material culture and the early formation of gender identity. Adams points out how the conventional methods of architectural history fall short in such an investigation as the roles of architects and sometimes even parents are often irrelevant. Instead, this exploratory paper suggests that the practices of stabilization as well as resistance against cultural codes may be a more fruitful focus of investigation.