Negotiations of Identity and Belonging

Beyond the Ordinary Obviousness of Tween Girls' Everyday Practices

in Girlhood Studies
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Tween is a commonly used consumer-media label for girls aged anywhere between 9 and 14 years. The girls' desire to belong in friendship and peer groups has been considered by feminist and cultural studies scholars through their consumption activities and their negotiations of young, feminine girlness. Yet there is limited scholarship that explores the significance of their everyday practices in their own local, social worlds. Drawing on the findings from my year-long ethnographic study in a Melbourne Primary School, I consider the meaning behind the ordinary obviousness of the girls' everyday practices. I reflect on the often complex meanings of the girls' practices as they pursue their desire to belong. As I discovered, there is significant knowledge to be gained from exploring the girls' everyday considerations and negotiations of belonging. This article draws on two key examples of my ethnographic study to highlight the significance in understanding the girls' everyday practices.