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School-Imposed Labeling and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Symbolic Violence on the Bodies of Boys of Color in One “No Excuses” Charter School

L. Trenton S. Marsh

Historical, socially constructed notions of Black and Latino masculinity, mis/labeled behavior, punitive policies (e.g., suspension) and practices (e.g., school-imposed labeling) lead to disproportionate rates of dropout in urban US schools, continued involvement in the criminal legal system, and a limited participation in society. This article argues that school-imposed labeling—affixing a category or descriptor on a student to signal a shorthand message to others about a student’s academic ability and behavior—is symbolically violent (Bourdieu). By examining unofficial labels, punitive structures, and teacher perceptions of labeled students, I explored school-imposed labeling as a form of “normalized” practice that impacts Black and Latino males who attend an urban charter school with a “no excuses” orientation.

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Being a Responsible Violent Girl?

Exploring Female Violence, Self-management, and ADHD

Hanna Bertilsdotter Rosqvist and Linda Arnell

Abstract

In this article, we explore how young women in Sweden negotiate their gendered subject positions in relation to psychiatric diagnoses, particularly Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and the meanings of their own violent acts. The data consists of transcripts of face-to-face interviews with young women who have experienced using aggressive and violent acts. Given that the analysis is informed by ideas developed in discursive psychology, we identified the centrality of the concepts of responsibility and self-management. In this study responsibility is connected to gendered notions of passivity and activity. What we call the ordinary girl is neither too active nor too passive, and the extraordinary girl is either too active or too passive in the managing of herself. Similar to those of a troublesome past, the narratives of ADHD enable the understanding of an intelligible violent self, and therefore make female externalized violence what we describe as narrative-able.

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Christianity and Sexuality

Girls and Women Forge New Paths

Sharon Woodill

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Joan Njagi

Abstract

The use of helplines to deliver sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education to girls seeking such information and services can break down barriers created by low access and top-down approaches. However, it is important to interrogate their effectiveness in addressing the SRH needs of girls, particularly in contexts in which hierarchical social relations prevail and conservative religious and cultural norms dictate appropriate expressions and experiences of sexuality for girls and young women. In this article I use data drawn from a qualitative case study of a children’s helpline in Kenya to interrogate the interplay of power and culture in the delivery of SRH information to girls. The findings reveal that while this particular communication technology presents, potentially, a revolution in such delivery, power dynamics and cultural norms still pose barriers.

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Claudia Mitchell

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Girls’ Work in a Rural Intercultural Setting

Formative Experiences and Identity in Peasant Childhood

Ana Padawer

Abstract

In this article I explore the meaning of work for girls in rural northeastern Argentina as formative experience that forges their identity as peasants in the contemporary world. Based on ethnographic research conducted from 2008 to the present in rural areas of San Ignacio (Misiones), I examine, from the perspective of regulatory definitions regarding children’s work, the ways in which young girls gradually participate in the social reproduction of families. Girls’ participation in these activities should not be romanticized as part of a socialization process, but, rather, critically considered as formative experience in which class, age, gender, and ethnic distinctions define certain tasks as girls’ peasant skills. Using data from participant observations made on three farms, I show how girls have an active role in the appropriation of knowledge through shared activities with boys, although such learning is overshadowed by the prevailing socio-historic construct of male dominance.

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Guiding Girls

Neoliberal Governance and Government Educational Resource Manuals in Canada

Lisa Smith and Stephanie Paterson

Abstract

Nova Scotia’s Guide for Girls and Manitoba’s 4 Girls Only! represent recent shifts in policy that aim to include and empower young women vis-a-vis public policy. In this article, we analyze these manuals, illuminating the ways in which young women are configured as subjects in late modern capitalist societies such as Canada. We show that, as neoliberal subjects, young women are increasingly expected to be autonomous and self-governing yet appear to require guidance to follow the right path towards future ideal neoliberal citizenship. Thus, despite their notable intentions, the manuals identify and target certain forms of conduct as problematic, eschewing a broader discussion of the structural causes of a variety of social problems such as poverty, unemployment, poor health, sexual violence, and stress, thus raising important questions regarding policy by, for, and about young women.

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Fatima Khan, Claudia Mitchell, and Marni Sommer

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“Something Good Distracts Us from the Bad”

Girls Cultivating Disruption

Crystal Leigh Endsley

Abstract

There are increasing demands that scholars of girlhood studies pay attention to the ways in which girls of color challenge the powerful discourses that work to constrain them. I take up this call to action through an analysis of the spoken word poetry of black, brown, and mixed-race high school girls in New Orleans, Louisiana. I discuss varying levels of consciousness about these discourses as represented in the poems of three girls aged 14, 15, and 16 that offer nuanced entry into the ambiguous process of their developing identities. I link instances of disruption highlighted through their poetry to aspects of their day-to-day experience to present a theoretical intervention that I call cultivated disruption that points to the ways in which girls of color are already practicing poetry as pleasurable and creative survival.