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The Case of the Paradoxical Teenage Girl

How Nancy Drew, Corliss Archer, and Gidget Pacifi ed Patriarchal Concerns and Appeased American Girls

Diana Belscamper

Review of Ilana Nash, American Sweethearts: Teenage Girls in Twentieth-Century Popular Culture

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Caroline Caron

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.

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Fiona Cullen

Much previous scholarly work has noted the gendered nature of humor and the notion that women use comedy in a different way than do their male peers. Drawing on prior work on gender and humor, and my ethnographic work on teen girl cultures, I explore in this article how young women utilize popular cultural texts as well as everyday and staged comedy as part of a gendered resource that provides potential sites for sex-gender transgression and conformity. Through a series of vignettes, I explore how girls do funny and provide a backdrop to perform youthful gendered identities, as well as establish, maintain, and transgress cultural and social boundaries. Moving on to explore young women and stand-up I question the potential in mobilizing humor as an educational resource and a site in which to explore sex-gender norms with young people.

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Stephanie Russo

perhaps unlikely group of readers—young women and teenage girls. Anne Boleyn has not only become the subject of an enthusiastic online fandom, but her story is now frequently retold in Young Adult (YA) historical fictions. Young Adult Fiction and Anne

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Karolina Dmitrow-Devold

Teenage female personal bloggers in Norway occupy the top positions in national blog rankings. This takes girl-bloggers to a place where they have rarely, if ever, been before: a place with massive audiences and media attention that can bring about celebrity status or financial benefits. Operating within a genre of personal blogging that combines accounts of everyday life and topics related to fashion and beauty, they are commonly referred to as pink bloggers. This gendered term is widely used in the media and this article argues that it contributes to a reinforcement of a negative image of teenage female personal bloggers, who are dismissed as trivial, commercial and irresponsible. This article analyzes prevailing discursive representations of the so-called pink bloggers in the mainstream press coverage: popular but insignificant, trendsetting but irresponsible, savvy but vulnerable. The implications of these representations are discussed as well.

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Reading Production and Culture

UK Teen Girl Comics from 1955 to 1960

Joan Ormrod

Teen girl comics appeared in the mid-1950s, a pivotal moment in popular culture when the teenage girl was identified as a member of a potentially lucrative market, and American culture began to pervade British teenage music, fashion, and attitudes

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Mean, Wild, and Alienated

Girls and the State of Feminism in Popular Culture

Deirdre M. Kelly and Shauna Pomerantz

The article explores representations of "realistic" teen girlhood in popular culture in order to examine the current constructions of power made available to girls. Specifically, it focuses on three recent popular and critically acclaimed films: Mean Girls, Thirteen and Ghost World. The dominant discourses put forward in these films—girls as mean, as wild, and as alienated—naturalize negative behavior as a normal part of girlhood. In the terrain where these distinct, yet overlapping and reinforcing discourses on girlhood operate, postfeminism is taken for granted. Girls are portrayed as facing only individual concerns rather than any group-based injustices and, therefore, as not needing collective deliberation, evaluation, or action to solve their problems. The resulting discursive formation works to limit access to feminist and other oppositional discourses that name girls' experiences and link their feelings to the ongoing quest for gender justice.

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The Girl

Dead

Fiona Nelson

detective agency is composed of other dead teenage girls and one mysterious, brooding, and alluring teenage boy. Charlotte observes her own funeral, a common event in these books. She also learns how to manifest to the living and transport herself to places

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“Stumbling Upon Feminism”

Teenage Girls’ Forays into Digital and School-Based Feminisms

Crystal Kim and Jessica Ringrose

specific research gaps and ask the question: If teenage girls are indeed trying to work towards their visions for a more socially just future, in part through online engagement, what are the key obstacles they face at school? First, we provide a brief

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Anxious Adults and Bad Babysitters

The Struggle over Girlhood in Interwar America

Miriam Forman-Brunell

This article argues that a long-standing critique of female adolescents is the source of everyday complaints about ordinary babysitters. The author traces the origins of adults' anxieties to the birth of babysitting and the advent of the modern American teenage girl in interwar America. The development of teenage girls' culture that generated conflict between grownups and girls with competing needs and notions of girlhood found expression in the condemnation of babysitters. Although experts and educators sought to curb girls' subcultural practices and principles by instructing babysitters during the Great Depression and World War II, their advice and training proved to be as ineffective at stemming the tide of girls' culture as halting the decline of babysitting. The expanding wartime economy that broadened the economic and social autonomy of teenage girls led many to turn their backs on babysitting.