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The Changing Nature of Girlhood in Tanzania

Influences from Global Imagery and Globalization

Marni Sommer

The experience of girlhood is shifting in Tanzania as family structure is altered by economic migration and the impact of HIV/AIDS. Also significant is the influence of globalization and global imagery, which are shaping the nature of girlhood and the experience of transitioning to young womanhood. A deeper understanding of how globalizing influences are changing girls' growing up experiences, from the perspectives of the girls themselves and the adults who intersect with them in their daily lives is essential. A rural versus urban comparative case study was conducted in the Kilimanjaro region of northern Tanzania, which explored the perspectives of girls and adults through a range of methodologies. Both adults and girls expressed concerns that globalization is negatively influencing the transition to young womanhood, with girls feeling much more appreciative of the new gendered opportunities provided by the influx of external influences.

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Girls with Disabilities in the Global South

Rethinking the Politics of Engagement

Xuan Thuy Nguyen

disability and girlhood framed by Western discourses. In consultation with my research team—three of whom are women with disabilities—I use the term girls with disabilities since this was their preferred identifying term. 2 I differentiate between girls and

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Mary Jane Kehily

New femininities suggest that young women, no longer content with subordinate status in the bedroom or on the periphery of youth cultures, appear to have found their voice as the 'can do' girls of neo-liberalism. Familiar tropes of new femininities position young women as agentic, goal-oriented, pleasure seeking individuals adept at reading the new world order and finding their place within it. Has femininity finally found a skin that fits or are there cracks in this unparalleled success story? The article examines this question intergenerationally by looking at young women's experience across time, specifically, as documented by feminist scholarship from the 1960s to the present and contrasting this with the experience of being a girl as articulated by three women in the same family—grandmother, mother, daughter. Analyses of these accounts provide an insightful commentary on social change and feminine subjectivity, highlighting continuity and change while pointing to the ever present contradictions of femininity that may be reshaped and reconfigured over generations.

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Sami Schalk

—makes an analysis of ablenationalism in the brand vitally important to our understandings of disability and girlhood. Previous scholarship on American Girl argues that the brand romanticizes and sanitizes history while encouraging consumerism ( Brady 1997

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Girlhood and Ethics

The Role of Bodily Integrity

Mar Cabezas and Gottfried Schweiger

Introduction: Framing the Capability Approach and Girls’ Rights As the original call for articles for this Special Issue of Girlhood Studies on Ethical Practice highlighted, this is a much under-studied area in feminist research, and one which calls

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Queer Girlhoods in Contemporary Comics

Disrupting Normative Notions

Mel Gibson

Introduction “What in the Joan Jett are you Doing?!” ( Stevenson et al. 2016: 3 ) In focusing on the representations of queer girlhoods in contemporary fictional graphic novels for young readers, I look at two ongoing series, Lumberjanes (2015

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Catherine Driscoll

The history of modern girlhood is entwined with anxieties about cultural norms and cultural change that are foundational to "girlhood" and "girl culture." This essay sketches a history of discourses on girls, girlhood and girl culture as the necessary genealogical context for a subsequent discussion of the field of contemporary girl studies. It begins with historical perspectives on the 'girl of the period' from the nineteenth century, through the "girl of yesterday," the "it girl" to the post World War I period that coalesced the cultural conditions necessary for the teenager to take on iconic status. The second half of the article considers girlhood studies today—and in particular its interest in locating, describing and problematizing girls' voice and girls' agency. In a world increasingly perceived as "global," these are powerful starting points for thinking about what constitutes "girl studies" (or "girlhood studies" or "girl culture studies") today.

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Claudia Mitchell and Jacqui Reid-Walsh

This issue of Girlhood Studies focuses on particular girlhood practices—the everyday activities in which some girls engage as part of their ordinary lives. In this issue we look at these girls engaging in these practices, sometimes on their own and sometimes in small groups, how and when they engage in them and where they do so. These include the long-standing practice of girls engaging in child care as babysitters, playing with dolls (in the case of younger girls) or reading fashion magazines (in the case of older girls). These activities take place in different locations, some of which have been associated historically with girlhood, such as a girl’s bedroom or a school classroom, and others which have been more recently appropriated by girls as congenial spaces, such as shopping malls, movie theaters and the internet.

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Consuming Girlhood

Young Women, Femininities, and American Girl

Elizabeth Marshall

This article offers a textual analysis of how the American Girl corporation markets and sells particular ideas about girlhood to its consumers. Focusing on the historical fictions, catalogues, and website, the author discusses the ways in which the corporation brands girlhood as a set of ideas to purchase. This reading of the American Girl texts is supported with data from a semi-structured interview with eight undergraduate women enrolled in a pre-service education course who read and played with American Girl materials as children. Young women who intend to work as elementary school teachers offer a unique demographic for theorizing American Girl and its role in the everyday lives of girls. The author concludes that for the young women in this study, American Girl materials offered salient lessons in girlhood consumption.

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Julianne Guillard

Ruth Nicole Brown. 2009. Black Girlhood Celebration: Toward a Hip-Hop Feminist Pedagogy