This article addresses the invisibility of teenage girls within and outside of feminist theory and citizenship studies from the perspective of girlhood studies. Most often addressed as individuals in need of protection, girls and adolescent females are seldom considered political citizen-subjects. In addition, because they do not fit within existing frameworks of analysis, some of their citizenship practices, including mediamaking, are not acknowledged as forms of political agentivity or political participation. Drawing on my past and current research with Francophone teenage girls in Canada, I highlight and problematize this denial in a way that underlines the need for girlhood studies to politicize its vocabulary so that teenage girls can become part of us rather than women-to-become in feminist citizenship studies and others areas of inquiry in which youth citizenship is being re-theorized. I argue that such politicization broadens what girls' health entails to include their political healthiness.
Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship
Aimee Meredith Cox. 2015. Can Citizenship Care? Black Girls Reimagining Citizenship. Durham, NC, Duke University Press.
Two Hong Kong Women Filmmakers’ Perspectives on Sex after 1997
and Women’s Private Parts nevertheless share a common mission to give Hong Kong women the agency to assert their sexual citizenship and to occupy the territory’s screens with their own sexual representations, dreams, and desires. Commenting on what
Laurel Hart, Pamela Lamb and Joshua Cader
they can serve as technologies of nonviolence for girls and young women. Pamela Lamb Considers Activating Alliances with Girls and Young Women through Dance and Digital Citizenship As a young woman in college in the early 2000s, I remember what a
Neoliberal Governance and Government Educational Resource Manuals in Canada
Lisa Smith and Stephanie Paterson
noted. The manuals are an iteration of this discursive continuum; in this instance, government policy is designed to encourage young women to take up neoliberal citizenship in the broadest sense including political involvement, responsible financial
African Refugee Girls and Discourses of Othering
In this article I draw from the Imani Nailah Project, a participatory action research initiative with a group of African refugee girls living in the US. I examine a particular fusion of racialized, gendered, and nationalized narratives that discursively construct the refugee girl. I interrogate this discursively produced refugee girl construct and highlight how actual refugee girls interact with this discourse with a focus on resistance strategies and emergent counter narratives of citizenship. Throughout the article, I use italics when I am referring to the refugee girl construct in order to maintain a central focus on interrogating a sociopolitical discourse—the refugee girl—as a construct distinct from actual refugee girls. My central aim is to highlight spaces and moments when actual refugee girls are in conversation with this imposed refugee girl discourse.
Agency, Representation, and Neoliberal Jewish Girlhood
The focus of the essay is the well known (and worn) stereotype of the Jewish American Princess or JAP. Spoiled, frigid, loud, defiant, the JAP refuses to behave in civilized ways even as she constantly transgresses the boundaries of civilized social spaces. Both an intimate insider, and an eternal outsider, the JAP is a boundary figure whose presence draws and redraws myths of assimilative ideals and citizenship rights in American culture. The complexity of these social relations, their apparent contradictions, and the possibilities they may offer for agency and resistance in both 'real' and fictive contexts are explored through close examinations of four high profile JAPS—Cher Horowitz of the film Clueless, Monica Lewinsky, Jessica Stein of the film Kissing Jessica Stein, and Lizzie Grubman.
Sandrina de Finney, Patricia Krueger-Henney and Lena Palacios
We are deeply honored to have been given the opportunity to edit this special issue of Girlhood Studies, given that it is dedicated to rethinking girlhood in the context of the adaptive, always-evolving conditions of white settler regimes. The contributions to this issue address the need to theorize girlhood—and critiques of girlhood—across the shifting forces of subjecthood, community, land, nation, and borders in the Western settler states of North America. As white settler states, Canada and the United States are predicated on the ongoing spatial colonial occupation of Indigenous homelands. In settler states, as Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang remind us, “the settler never left” (2012: 20) and colonial domination is reasserted every day of active occupation. White settler colonialism functions through the continued control of land, resources, and racialized bodies, and is amalgamated through a historical commitment to slavery, genocide, and the extermination of Indigenous nationhood and worldviews. Under settler colonial regimes, criminal justice, education, immigration, and child welfare systems represent overlapping sites of transcarceral power that amplify intersecting racialized, gendered, sexualized, and what Tanja Aho and colleagues call “carceral ableist” violence (2017: 291). This transcarceral power is enacted through institutional and bureaucratic warfare such as, for example, the Indian Act, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the child welfare system to deny, strategically, Indigenous claims to land and the citizenship of racial others.
In the call for articles for this special issue on girls’ health, we highlighted that “[g]irls’ health is an ongoing and evolving issue with ties that go beyond medical analyses to include a wide array of social, educational, political, and environmental discourses (among others!).” Th at a number of different perspectives might contribute to or strengthen the interdisciplinary focus of an issue as crucial as girls’ health was important to me as guest editor. Th is issue demonstrates that the relationship of girlhood to health—sexual health, in particular—is of critical concern to us all. It is an area full of challenges and barriers, most of them, as is evident in this issue, understood and often expressed by girls themselves. The articles presented here point to the many perspectives from which to approach this topic. Girls’ sexual health is linked to an array of intersecting issues including the pedagogical influences of popular romance literature; the ways in which girls use blogs to construct counter narratives about their sexual identity; how girls’ increased inclusion in citizenship discourses can increase their capacity to address sexual objectification; what girls do to negotiate power within their heterosexual relationships; how barriers to water access in Africa can lead to the awareness of the risks—which range from being perceived to be promiscuous to being raped—that young women face; as well as how the (mis)management of menstruation can affect girls’ education. This issue points to the global and local specifics of sexual health, and to health more generally. Th e concerns discussed here are geographically wide-ranging: Cameroon, Lesotho, Australia, the United States, and Canada provide the settings—some urban and others rural. Th e authors present a wide range of methodologies from which they explore girls’ health: literary analysis; autoethnography; and participatory methods such as digital storytelling, mediamaking, listening to what young people have to say in various research paradigms, blogging, and photovoice.
citizenship ( Weeks 1998 ). At the same time, in the history of modern nation-states, as Foucault pointed out (see Davidson 2008 ; Dreyfus and Rabinow 1983 ), sexuality has also been the major site in which biopower has operated to regulate citizens