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Visible on Our Own Terms

Evoking Girlhood Self-Images Through Photographic Self-Study

Rosalind Hampton and Rachel Desjourdy

Photographic self-study can promote professional growth and deepen analysis of how girlhood experiences such as those related to ability, class, gender, and race are conditioned by and inform our multiple, shifting identities as women. This article presents excerpts from three women's experiences of photographic self-study, highlighting the possibilities of this method as a malleable, feminist approach to critical reflexive practice. Our stories demonstrate how a creative process of self-interpretation, self-representation, and self-knowing can draw oppressive categories of self-identification-carried from girlhood-to the surface and expose them to critique and deconstruction.

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Melanie Kennedy and Natalie Coulter

and the discussions that followed, then, remind us of the cultural visibility of tweenhood, and that the subject of the tween—one bound up with deep-rooted assumptions about race, beauty, and consumer culture—is a site onto and through which

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“Boys Fight, Girls Fight“

Adolescent Girls Speak about Girls' Aggression

Melissa K. Levy

A perceived rise in girls' physical aggression is alarming the public as it collides with dominant views of femininity. Existing research focuses on either boys' violence or girls' non-physical aggression, leaving the realm of girls' physical aggression relatively unexplored. Using data from ethnographic observations and interviews, this study examines young adolescent girls' experience of their and their peers' fighting. Findings indicate that girls participate in fights to stand up for themselves and others, to show they are not afraid, and for fun. This study calls for continued in-depth research into girls' perspectives on aggression and violence in order to provide insight into how gendered, raced, and classed structures affect girls. It seeks, too, to address the problems that arise from girls fighting.

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Janet Seow

Doll play is critical in the formation of young black girls’ gender, race, and class identities. In this article, I use textual analysis that emphasizes how physical changes in dolls correspond to contextual shifts in society over the last seven decades, and qualitative research with ten Afro-Caribbean girls and young women in Toronto to reveal the racial and cultural meanings of dolls in young people’s everyday lives and how doll play is complicated by racist and classist representations of dolls. By exploring what doll play meant to them, I show how it helps black girls understand racial and gendered norms. Through doll play, girls reveal an understanding of their racialized identities and marginalization as they demonstrate unacknowledged skills in their ability to navigate barriers that reinforce racial inequalities and social hierarchies in girls’ material culture in a multicultural Toronto.

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Some Assembly Required

Black Barbie and the Fabrication of Nicki Minaj

Jennifer Dawn Whitney

This article explores the public persona of hip hop artist Nicki Minaj, and her appropriation of the iconic Barbie doll. Minaj's image has drawn criticism from pundits and peers alike, but, nonetheless, it has inspired a creative fan following. With reference to feminist theory and recent trends in poststructuralist thought, this article suggests the ways in which Minaj and her fans pluralize how we think about Barbie, race and idealized femininity in the West.

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Digitizing the Western Gaze

The End FGM Guardian Global Media Campaign

Jessica Cammaert

to divide, rather than unite, transecting as is often the case, existing ethnic, and class divisions (Cammaert forthcoming). And this is precisely what makes End FGM problematic—the allusion/ illusion that regardless of race, religion, class or any

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Girls, Power and Style

Social and Emotional Experiences of the Clothed Body

Emilie Zaslow

Drawing on ethnographic research with a diverse group of teen girls, this article asks how play with style is understood and enacted. By positioning girls' everyday transactions with style beside their engagement with style in media, this article demonstrates that girls live with a cultural discordance between the girl power media discourse of style as choice, power, and resistance, and the reality of their own, often disempowered, experiences with style. Bound by the promise of upward social mobility, the fear of losing status, and the risk of remaining in the low income and middle class communities in which they were raised, the girls in this study feel regulated and, at times, hurt by the required performance of the clothed body.

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Groped and Gutted

Hollywood's Hegemonic Reimagining of Counterculture

Samantha Eddy

's commitment to white-male authority. Molina-Guzman finds that Hollywood productions can be consumed by mixed-gender and mixed-race audiences for the purposes of maximum profit. Yet ultimately, the white-male imagination behind the screen leads to the

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“A Pretty Girl of Sixteen“

Capturing the Contradictions of Female Adolescence in the Nancy Drew Series

Kate Harper

This article explores the construction of female adolescence in the first three texts of the Nancy Drew Mystery series: The Secret of the Old Clock (1930), The Hidden Staircase (1930), and The Bungalow Mystery (1930). It reviews, briefly, the development of the concept of adolescence and its gendered implications, particularly the association of female adolescent sexuality with delinquency. I argue that the Nancy Drew series rejects the construction of adolescence as a period of turmoil and emotional instability, as well as the prescription of constant adult supervision. The character of Nancy Drew also captures the contradictory messages of female adolescence in the 1930s when girls were represented as sexually attractive and aggressive but were denied sexual desire.

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Overlapping Time and Place

Early Modern England’s Girlhood Discourse and Indigenous Girlhood in the Dominion of Canada (1684-1860)

Haidee Smith Lefebvre

the content, I use the terms Aboriginal, Indian, and Native. My article hangs on one essay, A Strong Race Opinion: On the Indian Girl in Modern Fiction published in 1892 by Emily Pauline Johnson Tekahionwake 2 (1861–1913), the daughter of a