The article is based on ethnographic fieldwork in two field sites in Oslo, Norway, that involved a sample of sixty-seven children. I discuss how ten year-old girls do gender and romance in the light of “junior” and “senior” (hetero)sexuality in the social context of romance. Considering the Norwegian media's worry concerning a presumed sexualization of childhood and the disappearance of childhood, I describe in detail what happens between partners in what is known as a going-out-with-relationship. These relationships, primarily characterized by play and not by physical intimacy, illustrate that sexual innocence in childhood still exists.
School Field Trips and the Representation of Difficult Histories in English Museums
Drawing on the fields of education, memory, and cultural studies, this article argues that as important cultural memory products, government-sponsored museum education initiatives require the same attention that history textbooks receive. It investigates the performance of recent shifts in historical consciousness in the context of museum field trip sessions developed in England in tandem with the 2007 bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade. Analysis of fieldwork data is presented in order to illustrate some of the complexities inherent in the way difficult histories are represented and taught to young people in the twenty-first century, particularly in relation to citizenship education.
On Reproducing, Destabilizing and Interrupting Majority Memories
Johanna Ahlrichs, Katharina Baier, Barbara Christophe, Felicitas Macgilchrist, Patrick Mielke, and Roman Richtera
This article draws on memory studies and media studies to explore how memory practices unfold in schools today. It explores history education as a media- saturated cultural site in which particular social orderings and categorizations emerge as commonsensical and others are contested. Describing vignettes from ethnographic fieldwork in German secondary schools, this article identifies different memory practices as a nexus of pupils, teachers, blackboards, pens, textbooks, and online videos that enacts what counts as worth remembering today: reproduction; destabilization without explicit contestation; and interruption. Exploring mediated memory practices thus highlights an array of (often unintended) ways of making the past present.
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.
Gender at Play
In this article, I explore how the beliefs of preschool teachers that equality is the norm in their classrooms shape play periods in ways that may work to disadvantage girls. I argue that equality discourses mask the gender power children must negotiate in their play and that this leaves girls with fewer choices when they are accessing the play environment. With research grounded in fieldwork carried out in four public schools in a Canadian metropolis, I illustrate how liberal notions of equality reinforced the traditional gender binary in children’s play. Moreover, drawing on the work of Jane Roland Martin, I show that liberal understandings of equality work to sustain a male-centered education for all students in preschool. To explore ways to attend to such gender inequalities, I turn to Nel Noddings’s concept of an ethics of care and point to the need to challenge the gender binary in early learning.
This article examines multiculturalism and gender equality in the light of ethnicity, gender, and agency so as to illustrate how gender equality is used as a marker of Finnishness in various youth work contexts. The data presented consists of interviews with youth workers (n=42) and ethnographic fieldwork carried out from 2003 to 2005. The results illustrate that questions related to multiculturalism have enhanced the visibility of gender equality in youth work. The identification of gender-based inequality is connected, in particular, to girls from migrant backgrounds whose education and well-being are of social concern. Youth work itself is often seen as gender-neutral and equality-based. However, this illusion of gender equality reflects more the ideals of equality which are not being concretized in the practices of youth work. Equality in this context is defined as a purely quantitative concept: the solution to any possible inequalities is, therefore, that everyone should be treated in the same way.
Girls Negotiating Gender through Popular Music
This article is based on ethnographic fieldwork done with a group of 14 to 16 year-old girls in a medium sized Swedish town. The study aimed to investigate the relationship between everyday music use and gender, ethnicity and sexuality. The question posed here is: "What negotiations take place when the girls discuss their favorite music and artists?" Research in response to this question shows that the identity work of negotiating how to be a teenage girl often relates to popular culture. The sample focuses on girls from Swedish, Bosnian, Turkish and Syrian backgrounds. In this article I report on the local ideas about gender and ethnicity claimed by the girls to influence their discussion of music, dress and behavior, as well as the desires that I argue structure such discussion. This research supports contemporary findings that mainstream popular music has cultural and social significance in young girls' lives.
There is probably no topic associated with doing fieldwork with girls and young women that evokes more concern than the issue of ethics. For many members of university research ethics boards (REBs) the very term girls in the title of a project sets
Formative Experiences and Identity in Peasant Childhood
This article is based on ethnographic research I started in 2008 as part of a team studying formative experience and identity among different ethnic groups in Argentina ( Novaro 2011 ). I selected San Ignacio 1 for my fieldwork because this rural
Intergenerational Activism and the Ethics of Empowering Girls
rapport and shared understanding in fieldwork blurring the boundaries between adults and girls, researcher and researched. To date, I have interviewed over sixty girl-activists to the UN as part of a larger project on North American girls’ political