It's been a while since I posted a Disney-related academic papers/research on here. So it's about time to post another one.
This one examines the online marketing of Disney theme parks:
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to analyze the portrayal of gender and
race in the images on the official Disney websites used
to market five theme parks: the Disneyland Parks in
California, Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, and the Magic Kingdom in
This is important because of the growth of
e-commerce, Disney’s global influence, and the potential impact on those
the images. The 452 images that had Disney human
characters, human-like characters, animals, cast members, or guests were
coded for gender. The main gender hypothesis, that
the percentage of male-dominated images would exceed the percentage of
female-dominated images, was tested using gender disparity values,
which measured the gap between the percentage of male-dominated and
female-dominated images. The hypothesis tended to be
supported overall, and for most of the resorts
(e.g., Florida), lands (e.g., Adventureland), and activities
entertainment, dining) for human characters,
human-like characters, animals, and cast members, but not for guests.
the hypotheses that gender disparity values would
be highest for images of animals and lowest for images of guests was
for all five resorts, six of eight lands, and all
three activities. Additional analysis also revealed the preponderance of
same-sex pairings in parent–child combinations in
the images. With regard to race, while the images of some theme parks
more racial diversity among their guests than
others, in some images, individuals of different races were shown
whereas in others they were not. Explanations for
these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
The paper is open-access, so you can download it and read it for yourself.