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Light, Love and Desire

The New Wave of Finnish Girls' Literature

Myry Voipio

This article examines four works of contemporary Finnish girls' literature. The main focus is on the analysis of various aspects of sexuality represented in the novels in relation to these two questions: How do they depict adolescent female sexuality in comparison to the generic conventions and the history of girls' literature? Do the representations expand, change, preserve and/or challenge the genre? The noticeable change is that the desire and love depicted in contemporary Finnish girls' literature can be lesbian and bisexual. However, although these representations of sexuality challenge some generic limits, the genre characteristics of girls' literature seem to have remained relatively unchanged.

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Katherine Clonan-Roy

In 1988, Michelle Fine explored the ways in which damaging patriarchal discourses about sexuality affect adolescent girls, and hinder their development of sexual desire, subjectivities, and responsibility. In this article, I emphasize the durability and pliability of those discourses three decades later. While they have endured, they shift depending on context and the intersections of girls’ race, class, and gender identities. Calling on ethnographic research, I analyze the intersectional nuances in these sexual lessons for Latina girls in one (New) Latinx Diaspora town.

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Repetitions of Desire

Queering the One Direction Fangirl

Hannah McCann and Clare Southerton

Like other fangirls, fans of former boyband One Direction (“Directioners”) have often been represented in media discourse as obsessive and hysterical, with fan behaviour interpreted as longing for heterosexual intimacy with band members. Subverting this heteronormative framing, a group of Directioners known as “Larries” have built a sub-fandom around imagining a relationship (“ship”) between two of the band members, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. Representation of the Larry fandom has gone beyond pathologizing fangirls to framing their shipping practice in terms of “fake news.” The conspiracy theory panic around Larries misses the complex ways that subtext and queer reading are mobilized within the fandom to invoke feelings of queer intimacy and belonging. Drawing on a digital ethnography conducted on Twitter with Larries, we argue that these fans engage in queer reading strategies to explicitly imagine and interrupt dominant heterosexual narratives, and thus queer the figure of the fangirl.

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Alpha Girls and Cheerleading

Negotiating New Discourses with Old Practices

Natalie Guice Adams and Pamela J. Bettis

In Alpha Girls: Understanding the New American Girl and How She is Changing the World, psychologist Dan Kindlon (2006) claims that the new psychology of girls has produced a dramatically different kind of girl from her 1990s girl-in-crisis predecessor. He proposes that this new type of girl is a hybrid, personifying the best traits of masculinity and femininity. The Alpha Girl represents a new form of girlhood in which girls are seen as the economic, social, and cultural winners in the twenty first century because they are risk takers, competitive, and collaborative. How does cheerleading, one of the most female-identified and sexualized cultures of adolescent life, coexist with this seemingly new discourse of empowering girlhood? We argue that cheerleading provides a rich space for Girls Studies scholars to analyze how modes of femininity play out in the social practices that girls themselves deem important.

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Elizabeth Bullen

The sexualization of the female body in contemporary media has created considerable anxiety about its impact on girls. Much of the resulting research focuses on the influence of visual media on body image and the flow-on effects for girls' health. Rather less attention is paid to the pedagogical role of popular romance fiction in teaching girls about their sexuality. Given the pronounced increase in eroticized fiction for girls over the past decade, this is a significant oversight. This article applies Hakim's (2010) concept of erotic capital to two chick lit novels for girls. The elements of erotic capital—assets additional to economic, cultural and social capital—are used to explore the lessons these novels teach about girl sexual subjectivities and sociality in a sexualized culture.

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“Loving and Cruel, All at the Same Time”

Girlhood Identity in The Craft

Emily Chandler

its target audience so poorly, why has it continued to be influential and successful? I argue that The Craft ’s subversion of teen film tropes allows it to explore girls’ desire for understanding and companionship rather than what is known as

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Girl Constructed in Two Nonfiction Texts

Sexual Subject? Desired Object?

Mary Ann Harlan

desires; they explore ways to control their own narratives, and struggle to do so in a culture that positions them as desired objects. However, the authors seem to ignore the ways in which the girls try to assert agency while being aware of the cultural

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Miley, What’s Good?

Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda, Instagram Reproductions, and Viral Memetic Violence

Aria S. Halliday

). Nakamura points out that the memetic power of images or, more preciously, the desire for the image to be shared and replicated with new captions and contexts is based in the peculiar and spectacular; this desire to replicate a bizarre image provides its

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Lolita Speaks

Disrupting Nabokov’s “Aesthetic Bliss”

Michele Meek

acknowledge the girl’s sexual desire and agency. Aesthetics or Ethics? In his 1959 essay, “On a Book Entitled Lolita ,” Nabokov argues that the sole purpose of Lolita is “aesthetic bliss,” which he defines as “a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected

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The Doll “InbeTween”

Online Doll Videos and the Intertextuality of Tween Girl Culture

Jessica E. Johnston

-brand of the YouTube producer ( Banet-Weiser 2011 ). While the desire to play with American Girl dolls might stem from a place of pleasure and leisure, on YouTube it also emerges from the desire to accumulate views and comments from other American Girl fans