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Nordic Girls' Studies

Current Themes and Theoretical Approaches

Claudia Mitchell and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh

This special issue of Girlhood Studies is the first one to have been devoted to the study of girls living in a specific geographical region. Here we focus on girls in the Nordic countries. What makes this set of essays particularly fascinating is that they address issues concerning girls who are located in countries whose advanced social services and democratic beliefs and practices are admired around the world. The rest of the world believes that the Nordic countries, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Denmark, have achieved much of what girls in other countries in both the Global North and Global South are still working and fighting for. Interestingly, in their call for papers the guest editors Bodil Formark and Annelie Bränström Öhman, both located at Umeå University in Sweden, cite Finish sociologist Elina Oinas (2011) who queries whether Nordic girls do in fact belong to that exclusive group of “girls who won the lottery.” In the articles in this issue, the contributors interrogate some of the assumptions the rest of the world makes about the lives of girls living in Nordic countries, and the different notions of freedom that have an impact on them.

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Bodil Formark and Annelie Bränström Öhman

While we have been working on this themed issue the political talk about The Girl has entered a new phase in a global shift manifested both by the establishment of the International Day of the Girl and through the launching of various campaigns on themes such as: Give Girls an Education and Eradicate World Poverty. The necessity for such initiatives was cruelly illustrated by the violent attack on Pakistani girls’ rights activist Malala Yousafzai on her way home from school on 9 October 2012. Such blatant discrimination makes it difficult for us not to feel that we live in a privileged part of the world. The five Nordic nation states—Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden—are indeed often perceived by outsiders, too, as progressive countries that have come very far in achieving gender equality. However, although Nordic girlhood may appear in stark contrast to that of the millions of disadvantaged girls in the world, there are complexities and ambivalences beneath the surface of Nordic progressiveness that a reductive, comparative, and linear, framework fails to take into account.

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Claudia Mitchell

network,” Heta Mulari, in “Emotional Encounters and Young Feminine Choreographies in the Helsinki Metro,” investigates how they “make meaning” of these encounters. In a move from Finland to Scotland, Fiona G. Menzies and Ninetta Santoro in “Farmers Don

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Introduction

Bodies, Sexualities, and Masculinities in the Time of Coronavirus

Jonathan A. Allan, Chris Haywood, and Frank G. Karioris

asked. What might it mean that women leaders were more effective in managing the crisis? Recognizing, of course, that these leaders come from diverse countries, such as Germany, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Taiwan, and New Zealand

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Mixed Message Media

Girls’ Voices and Civic Engagement in Student Journalism

Piotr S. Bobkowski and Genelle I. Belmas

their active participation. Moreover, girls do not suffer being silenced only in the United States. This kind of sexism is a global phenomenon. For example, Gordon's (2006) study of girls’ noise and voice evaluated the behavior of Finnish students, and