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Claudia Mitchell and Jacqui Reid-Walsh

For this special issue entitled Rethinking Agency and Resistance: What Comes After Girl Power? the guest editors, Marnina Gonick, Emma Renold, Jessica Ringrose and Lisa Weems, invited a number of authors to explore the relations between girlhood on the one hand, and power, agency and resistance on the other.

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Rethinking Agency and Resistance

What Comes After Girl Power?

Marnina Gonick, Emma Renold, Jessica Ringrose, and Lisa Weems

With the current proliferation of images and narratives of girls and girlhood in popular culture, many ‘truths’ about girls circulate with certainty. Amongst the aims of this Special Issue is to examine critically these ‘confi dent characterizations’ (Trinh 1989), to trace the social conditions which produce these ‘truths’ along with the public fascination with girls and to analyze critically the eff ects of these ‘truths’ in the lives of young girls. Th e concepts of resistance and agency have been critical to the field of youth studies, sociology of education and school ethnographies (Hall and Jeff erson 1976; McRobbie 1978; Willis 1978) for conceptualizing the relationships between young people and their social worlds. Ground breaking scholarship by McRobbie (2000) challenges the gendered assumptions of political agency articulated in previous theories of subcultures developed in the 1970s and 80s. While feminist poststructuralist work in the 1990s has re-conceptualized agency in ways that are markedly diff erent to humanist notions of rational actors with free-will (Butler 2006; Davies 2000), feminist researchers have also shown the importance of a classed, raced and sexed analysis of agency. For example, scholarship by feminists of color have shown how girls of color challenge and defy dominant stereotypes of girlhood in culturally specifi c ways such as participating in spokenword contests, rap and hip hop, and ‘beauty contests’ (Hernandez and Rehman 2002; Gaunt 2006). In the changing social, economic, political and globalizing context of the new millennium, where ‘girl power’ has become a marketing tool and a branding (Klein 2000) of girlhood, it is important to look anew at the relations between girlhood, power, agency and resistance.

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Claudia Mitchell

. 2000 . “ Girl-power in Nervous Conditions : Fictional Practice as a Research Site .” McGill Journal of Education 35 ( 3 ): 245 – 260 .

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Girl Constructed in Two Nonfiction Texts

Sexual Subject? Desired Object?

Mary Ann Harlan

subsequent cultural discussion focused on a narrative of girls at risk that then led to girl power programs ( Currie et al. 2009 ; Ward and Benjamin 2004 ). In the early 2000s, this cycle repeated itself when Queen Bees and Wannabees ( Wiseman 2002 ) was

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Guiding Girls

Neoliberal Governance and Government Educational Resource Manuals in Canada

Lisa Smith and Stephanie Paterson

Girl Power! The power of being a girl is discovering, expressing and pursuing who you are! (Manitoba Status of Women (hereafter MSW) 2014: 7) Girls are taking charge of their lives, telling their stories, working for change for themselves and for

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Kaoru Miyazawa

, shaped her aspirations and the meaning of her past pregnancy. Furthermore, I discuss how her aspirations and her plan for attaining them extended or limited the possibility of her enacting her own sexuality rights. Girl Power, Seduction, and Regulation of

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Being a Responsible Violent Girl?

Exploring Female Violence, Self-management, and ADHD

Hanna Bertilsdotter Rosqvist and Linda Arnell

power and that of the girl in crisis. The discourse of girl power (based on the actively engaged girl) includes concepts of self-determination, inner strength, and being true to oneself as important features for which to strive, and as a powerful

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Nirmala Erevelles and Xuan Thuy Nguyen

discourses portraying girls in perpetual crisis that, in turn, inspired the counter discourses of Girl Power (Aopola, Gonick, and Harris 2005; Gilmore and Marshall 2010 ). Girl Power celebrated “the fierce and aggressive potential of girls as well as the

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“This Is My Story”

The Reclaiming of Girls’ Education Discourses in Malala Yousafzai’s Autobiography

Rosie Walters

discussing the implications of these findings for the study of girlhood. The ‘Girl Powering’ of International Development In what Koffman and Gill refer to as the “girl powering” (2013: 86) of international development, nongovernmental organizations

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Sami Schalk

today, so they’ll grow up to be the women who make a difference tomorrow.” This statement is employed to appeal to the parents and guardians of girls as well as to girls themselves. While the brand never uses the term girl power explicitly, its