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Disrupting the Invisibility of Working-Class Girls

Redemption, Value, and the Politics of Recognition

Stephanie Skourtes

At a time when individualized narratives have replaced structural explanations like social class to account for inequality, girls who are on the urban fringe are not only made invisible but are under-valued as contributing members to a future, individually oriented society. This article offers a visual disruption in order to re-value the stigmatized, working-class girl by applying the concept of use-value to identify the girls' redemption narratives as an agentic process that is expressed affectively. Drawing from an ethnography of urban, working-class girls who utilize social services, this article reveals how class as culture operated along with other classification systems to inscribe the girls as a problem. Recognizing this, each girl had a redemption tale to tell so as to recover a sense of self; the self-narratives revealed alternative value systems that provided collective and practical value to them.

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Annabel Erulkar and Girmay Medhin

resulted in an increasing number of initiatives developed to support girls, especially in poorer countries. Many of the programs for marginalized girls employ what are known as safe spaces—sometimes referred to as child friendly spaces—that are places in

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Girls, Homelessness, and COVID-19

The Urgent Need for Research and Action

Kaitlin Schwan, Erin Dej, and Alicia Versteegh

triangulation of these bodies of research raises the question of whether the pandemic may create a pipeline into housing precarity and homelessness for low-income or marginalized girls in Canada, some of whom were previously housed, while further entrenching

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"Every time she bends over she pulls up her thong"

Teen Girls Negotiating Discourses of Competitive, Heterosexualized Aggression

Jessica Ringrose

In this paper I explore the themes of heterosexualized competition and aggression in Avril Lavigne's music video Girlfriend (2007) as representative of the violent heterosexualized politics within which girls are incited to compete in contemporary schooling and popular culture. I argue that psycho-educational discourses attempting to explain girls' aggression and bullying fail to account for the heterosexualized, classed or racialized power dynamics of social competition that organize heteronormative femininity. Then I elaborate a psychosocial approach using psychoanalytic concepts to trace how teen girls negotiate contemporary discourses of sexual aggression and competition. Drawing on findings from a study with racially and economically marginalized girls aged thirteen to fourteen attending an innercity school in South Wales, I suggest that the girls enact regulatory, classed discourses like slut to manage performances of heterosexualized aggression. However, alongside their demonstration of the impetus toward sexual regulation of one another, I show how the girls in my study are also attempting to challenge heteronormative formations of performing sexy-aggressive. Moments of critical resistance in their narratives, when they refuse to pathologize aggressive girls as mean and/or bullies, and in their fantasies, when they reject heterosexual relationships like marriage are explored.

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Claudia Mitchell and Ann Smith

ensure the wellbeing of transgirls and notes that “more research is needed to understand marginalized girls’ experiences when things fall apart.” Reporting on research done in Bangladesh and Jordan, Sarah Baird, Sarah Alheiwidi, Rebecca Dutton, Khadija

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Working Hard, Hanging Back

Constructing the Achieving Girl

Colette Slagle

how conceptions of genius inform the present day. She notes that genius has been used to marginalize girls and women at each stage by setting the solitary innate boy genius in opposition to the collaborative hardworking girl. She conveys how these

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Editorial

Girlhood Studies at 10

Claudia Mitchell

groups led by mentors.” They conclude that “[g]irls-only safe spaces programs can be effective at improving literacy and health-seeking behavior among … marginalized girls.” We conclude this issue with book reviews by Crystal Leigh Endsley and Elspeth

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A Call to Action

Creativity and Black Girlhood

Crystal Leigh Endsley

connecting it to the larger machine of systemic inequality. Brown knows that there are dangers for marginalized girls in exposing their stories to an audience that may not be what I think of as black-girl-literate. Her first chapter includes her own story and

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Desirée de Jesus

and methodological contributions to the field that emerge from research foregrounding these marginalized girls’ experiences and histories. The contributions to The Black Girlhood Studies Collection , edited by Aria S. Halliday, counter this practice

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Personal, Powerful, Political

Activist Networks by, for, and with Girls and Young Women

Catherine Vanner and Anuradha Dugal

patriarchy, racism, and other discriminatory structures ( Bergmann and Ossewaarde 2020 ; Walters 2016 ). There remains a stubborn process of making girls—particularly girls of color and other socially marginalized girls— invisible in public discourse and in