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Annabel Erulkar and Girmay Medhin

resulted in an increasing number of initiatives developed to support girls, especially in poorer countries. Many of the programs for marginalized girls employ what are known as safe spaces—sometimes referred to as child friendly spaces—that are places in

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A Music Room of One's Own

Discursive Constructions of Girls-only Spaces for Learning Popular Music

Cecilia Björck

This article elaborates on discursive constructions of girls-only settings through the spatial metaphor of a room of one's own, as articulated in round-table discussions among staff and participants from girl-centered music programs in Sweden. The idea of a separate room refers to spaces for collective female empowerment as well as for individual knowledge acquisition and creativity. These spaces are constructed so as to provide the possibility for exploration, subjectivity, and focus, by offering (partial and temporary) escape from competition and control, from a gendered and gendering gaze, and from distraction. Girl-centered programs are also discussed as paradoxical because they function as gender-neutral when seen from the inside, but gender-specific when seen from the outside.

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Heta Mulari

space. Jasmin and Olivia live in eastern Helsinki, Finland, and use the metro every day when they travel to school, pursue their hobbies, or meet friends. As part of the city, the metro can be seen, as media scholar Myria Georgiou puts it, as

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Conditional Freedom

A Portrait of Young Men's Sense of Belonging to the Street in Maputo, Mozambique

Andrea Moreira

young men navigate the spaces of urban life in the context of economic and social exclusion is the focus of this article. It is centered on the experiences of a group of young men who spent their days in a marketplace in Maputo, the capital city of

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Chong-ro

A Space of Belonging for Young Gay Men in Seoul

Elias Alexander

For young men navigating a sexual identity that lies on the periphery of culturally understood and politically acceptable discourses, places where one expresses such identities becomes necessary to foster a sense of belonging. Gay districts have existed as bastions of open self-expression, providing a sense of belonging in restrictive societal contexts. This is particularly true in South Korea. Through direct ethnographic engagement, this article analyzes the ways in which Chong-ro, one of Seoul’s gay districts, reinforces identity to create a sense of belonging. Through methods of participant observations and semi-structured interviews with self-identified gay men, qualitative data was collected and analyzed. This article attempts to show how these places help formulate relationships that affirm young gay men’s understanding of self, community, and belonging.

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Marie Puysségur

the lived body and its relationship with a shifting identity. They document the experiences of two teenage girls (French Marieme and British Mia, both 15 years of age) in the spatially and socially marginal spaces of a Parisian cité and an East

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Tiffany Pollock

Fire dancers in Southern Thailand, almost exclusively young, intra-/international migrant men from rural Thailand and Myanmar, are paid to entertain tourists at nightly beach parties. An unacknowledged economy fueled largely by tips, fire dancing is fast becoming an iconic symbol of Thailand’s young backpacker tourism sector but is not considered an acceptable form of labor or a valued artistic practice, because tourist beach spaces are perceived as sites of immorality, excessive drinking, and sexuality. Male fire dancers, then, come to be known as young social deviants who do not belong in the national imaginary and thus must maneuver around a complex politics of belonging with vast differences in social and economic power. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, this article examines how belonging is negotiated among Burmese fire dancers working in Thailand, and how experiences of belonging are shaped by spatialized gendered moralities and masculinities that operate within the fire dancing scene.

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Michael R. M. Ward and Thomas Thurnell-Read

This special issue of Boyhood Studies considers how a group of international scholars have engaged with the concepts of boyhood and belonging as a complex personal and powerful process. In different ways, the authors highlight how belonging is an ongoing negotiation within one’s surroundings. The international research presented here compels us to conceptualize belonging and boyhood as something that is not only infused with individuals and collective histories, but also interwoven within different conceptions of place and space. These places and spaces are experienced in multiple ways within different social contexts. We contend that this special issue is positioned at an important time in studies of boys and young men. As boys and young men experience their transition into adulthood with increased precarity, it is time we take theories of boyhood and belonging seriously. These theories can open up new spaces and provide critical insights into young lives.

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“A Room of Her Very Own”

Privacy and Leisure in the Victorian Girl's Bedroom

Sonya Sawyer Fritz

In this article I analyze various representations of the Victorian girl's experiences with the bedroom in order to illuminate how the Victorian ideal often erased for girls the distinction between public and private that the bedroom created in the home, even as this room became more and more common as a private space allocated to girls. Though it offered girls opportunities to pursue their own interests and desires, the sanctuary of the bedroom also proved to be complicated and compromised by the familial responsibilities that followed girls there. I argue that Victorian portrayals of the girl's relationship with her bedroom reflect the unique tensions between public and private that girls of the period experienced as they navigated the variety of socio-cultural expectations placed upon them.

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Sex Talk Online

Sexual Self-Construction in Adolescent Internet Spaces

Eszter Szucs

The teen-targeted website gURL. com is committed to providing educational information about sexuality and sexual health to young girls. In this article, I analyze girls' conversations posted on the site to explore how girls mediate the factual information presented, and how they challenge the borders of the scientific discourse on adolescent sexuality. Without overvaluing the freedom of online environments, I assume that the relatively unregulated space of the Internet encourages young women to create their narratives about sexuality and to imagine themselves as sexual beings. My assumptions are informed by the analyses of Susan Driver (2005), Barclay Barrios (2004) and Susannah Stern (2002): in contrast to the disempowering and alienating effects of institutional policies, I call for the recognition of less regulated sites, which imagine youth not as passive recipients but as active agents who strategically work on developing their understanding of sexuality, and on exploring their sexual selves.