In this article I analyze fiction and non-fiction using the critical lens or methodology of Girlhood Studies. I re-examine my published writing on Irish writer Mary Beckett and Irish-American author Lucy Grealy to demonstrate how feminist scholars can read differently. I argue that in my initial readings of the aforementioned texts I neglected the girl in the story, because I was concerned about the woman the female character would become. Finally, I also argue that feminist scholars should mine their own childhood experiences for insight into the study of girls. I provide an excerpt from my memoir in progress to demonstrate how this might be accomplished.
Marjorie Harness Goodwin
Making use of videotaped interactions of lunchtime conversations among multi-ethnic preadolescent peers (based on three years of fieldwork in LA) this ethnographically based study investigates the embodied language practices through which girls construct friendship alliances as well as relationships of power and exclusion. Girls display “best friend” relations not only through roles they select in dramatic play, such as twins married to twins in “house,” but also through embraces and celebratory handclaps that affirm alliances. Older (sixth grade) girls assert their power with respect to younger fourth grade girls through intrusive activities such as grabbing food from lunchboxes, insults, and instigating gossip; younger girls boldly resist such actions through fully embodied stances. Relations of exclusion are visible not only in seating arrangements of a marginalized “tagalong” girl with respect to the friendship clique, but also highlighted in the ways she is differentially treated when an implicit social norm is violated.
, creating a framework that continues to determine the lives of middle- and upper-middle-class Bengali children to this day. The shift from the village home or desh to the rented urban dwelling or basha caused an enormous change in the social lives of
Mille 1992 ). In neoliberal society, the bodies of young working-class minority women especially have been the significant sites of governance; states have various intervention programs to redeem them into being productive and reproductive citizens
How Mothers Influence Working-Class Girls’ Aspirations
This article examines how working-class mothers influence their daughters' aspirations. Data was gathered from focus groups and interviews with twenty-one white and African American working-class girls and fifteen of their mothers from Southwestern Pennsylvania, United States. Research revealed that the mothers' advice is gendered, class-based, and racialized, and that it emphasizes the importance of caregiving, living near family, and financial independence and security. Qualitatively examining the messages related to work and family that working-class mothers relay to their daughters and how daughters take in these messages shows the contradictions that emerge when working-class mothers support aspiration formation.
Formative Experiences and Identity in Peasant Childhood
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 will show how girls play an active role in the appropriation of knowledge through
, class, and race in various parts of the American Girl brand, none have discussed disability. 1 Girl of the Year: American Girl Contemporary Fiction American Girl’s ablenationalism can be traced first through their fictional texts. American Girl’s Girl of
Girlhood Identity in The Craft
have fairly normative identities. Even those positioned as outsiders are often outsiders only by the standards of mainstream American teen comedies: they are slender, white, middle-class, heterosexual, cisgender girls whose family situation causes them
Maureen St John Ward
The photographs in this photo essay were taken by eleven and twelve year old girls in Grade 7 who were learning isiZulu as a second language (since most of them are English speaking) at a school in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. For their class project the girls were asked to take photographs of various aspects of their bedrooms, and then write captions for these photos in isiZulu. Each girl presented her images to the whole class in a Power Point presentation.
Analyses of Girls' Use of Violence
Girls who use violence are marginalized as the worst of the mean girls, disrupting conventional femininity codes and causing panic in the streets. Twenty two girls participated in a qualitative study in Nova Scotia about what it means to be a girl and use violence. Interpretations presented here suggest that their reasoning can be contextualized through an analysis of neoliberalism, racism, heterosexism and classism, as they navigate discourses of choice and experiences of constraint.