Being a Girl Who Gets into Trouble

Narratives of Girlhood

in Girlhood Studies
Author:
Elaine Arnull Wolverhampton University e.arnull@gmail.com

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Abstract

In this article I focus on the narratives of girls who describe the events that shape their lives and get them into trouble. The narratives are explored against Darrell Steffensmeier and Emilie Allan's (1996) proffered Gender Theory, to consider whether it offers an adequate explanatory framework. The article adds to the body of knowledge about girlhood, gender norms, and transgression and provides fresh insight into the relevance of physical strength to girls’ violence. I conclude that girls are defining girlhood as they live it and it is the disjuncture with normative concepts that leads them into conflict with institutions of social control.

Contributor Notes

Elaine Arnull (ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0225-5109), formerly a Probation Officer, is Director of the Institute of Social Work and Care, Wolverhampton University, UK. She is involved in international collaborative research on young people and delinquency and her work focuses on foregrounding the voice of the researched. Her most recent book (with Darrell Fox, 2016) takes a comparative cultural approach to critique current discourse and consider future constructions of delinquency at a local and global level. Elaine has published in journals such as Journal of Drugs, Education, Prevention and Policy and Journal of Criminology and Social Integration. Email: e.arnull@gmail.com

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