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Mixed Message Media

Girls’ Voices and Civic Engagement in Student Journalism

Piotr S. Bobkowski and Genelle I. Belmas


Prior research has illustrated the benefits of media literacy and production programs for girls’ self-expression and civic engagement. This study examines whether formal high school journalism programs can be similarly beneficial. A survey of 461 high school journalists shows that girls want to use student media to address serious topics that can contribute to their civic development. But school employees also tell girls more often than boys not to cover sensitive issues in the student media, and girls are more likely than boys to acquiesce to such requests. Girls will not glean the full benefits of journalism education until such disparate treatment is addressed. Journalism educators and school administrators may profit from the feminist pedagogical approaches developed in out-of-school media-focused programs in which girls have demonstrated significant willingness to express themselves and are unencumbered to do so.

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More Than Just a Simple Refrain?

The Figure of the Girl in International Cinema

Elspeth Mitchell

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Theorizing “The Plunge”

(Queer) Girls’ Adolescence, Risk, and Subjectivity in Blue is the Warmest Color

Michelle Miller


This article explores the graphic representation of queer adolescent sexuality on offer in the coming-of-age graphic novel Blue is the Warmest Color. This representation, read alongside object relations psychoanalysis and in terms of feminist sexuality education theorizing, invites adult readers to reconsider the ways in which we think of the relationship between girls, risk, and sexuality. I propose that in order to honor girls’ sexual subjectivity, we must treat romantic risk-taking as an ordinary, healthy and essential aspect of growing up.

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Bodily Self-making in Girlhood

Veronika Novoselova

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“Can You Really See What We Write Online?”

Ethics and Privacy in Digital Research with Girls

Ronda Zelezny-Green


The use of digital technology, particularly cell phones, is growing as a medium for data collection in social research. However, there remains concern about our implementing appropriate ethical practice when we are conducting digital research with people, including girls, who are considered vulnerable. In this article, I will discuss some of the ethical considerations that emerged during an action research project I undertook with a community of secondary school girls in Nairobi, Kenya. These considerations are related to privacy in connection with surveillance as a means of cell phone-based data collection. My aim is to initiate a scholarly dialogue on creating a framework of ethical practice for digital research with girls—particularly those who are infrequently given a voice in the literature on girlhood studies.

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An Ethical Approach to Encountering Nineteenth-Century Girls

Heather Fitzsimmons Frey


In this article I explore the implications and challenges of applying the tenets of twenty-first century, girl-centered ethical research methodologies to a study of archived diaries, letters, and cultural ephemera made by Victorian girls. Archives of the words of young people can be augmented by the judicious application of knowledge that Victorian girls could not have had, and by using the ways in which contemporary young people theorize their own lived experiences. I suggest that the words of twenty-first century young people who participate in qualitative research studies may be used to speak to without speaking for historically located girls. In seeking an ethical girl-centered approach to learning about these long-deceased girls I call on aspects of Victorian studies and on studies that focus on youth and girlhood, as well as on contemporary drama in education within an overarching framework of ideas about the porosity of time and space.

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Ethical Practice and the Study of Girlhood

April Mandrona

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The Ethics of Representing Girls in Digital Policy Spaces

Emily Anderson


In this article I apply policy frame and visual analysis to explore UNICEF’s advocacy for girls’ education on Instagram. I consider a purposefully selected sample of photos and captions instagrammed from UNICEF’s official account so as to describe the policy framing of girls’ education policy, and population targeting. A parallel goal of this article is to interrogate the ethics of using image-intensive new media data in education policy research. My findings expose the ways in which girls’ images and experiences are used to promote UNICEF’s agenda and advocacy for girls’ education. I show the need for adapting protocols for working ethically with publicly available social media data in education policy research.

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Exploring Collective Biography as a Feminist Method

Dayna Prest

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Girlhood and Ethics

The Role of Bodily Integrity

Mar Cabezas and Gottfried Schweiger


Our concern is with the ethical issues related to girlhood and bodily integrity—the right to be free from physical harm and harassment and to experience freedom and security in relation to the body. We defend agency, positive self-relations, and health as basic elements of bodily integrity and we advocate that this normative concept be used as a conceptual tool for the protection of the rights of girls. We assume the capability approach developed by Martha Nussbaum as an ethical framework that enables us to evaluate girls’ well-being and well-becoming in relation to the potential, and often subtle, threats they face. The capability approach can be understood as a theory of justice, and, therefore, as an ethical and political approach. An enriched concept of bodily integrity can help in the design of better policies to address gender biases against girls because it could contribute to seeing them as active agents and valid participants.