Geographies of Girlhood: Identities In-Between

Geographies of Girlhood: Identities In-Between

Geographies of Girlhood: Identities In-Between

Geographies of Girlhood: Identities In-Between

Synopsis

Geographies of Girlhood: Identities In-Between explores how adolescent girls come to understand themselves as female in this culture, particularly during a time when they are learning what it means to be a woman and their identities are in-between that of child and adult, girl and woman. It illuminates the everyday realities of adolescent girls and the real issues that concern them, rather than what adult researchers think is important to adolescent girls. The contributing authors take seriously what girls have to say about themselves and the places and discursive spaces that they inhabit daily. Rather than focusing on girls in the classroom, the book explores adolescent female identity in a myriad of kid-defined spaces both in-between the formal design of schooling, as well as outside its purview--from bedrooms to school hallways to the Internet to discourses of cheerleading, race, sexuality, and ablebodiness. These are the geographies of girlhood, the important sites of identity construction for girls and young women.

This book is situated within the fledgling field of Girls Studies. All chapters are based on field research with adolescent girls and young women; hence, the voices of girls themselves are primary in every chapter. All of the authors in the text use the notion of liminality to theorize the in-between spaces and places of schools that are central to how adolescent girls construct a sense of self. The focus of the book on the fluidity of femininity highlights the importance of race, class, sexual orientation, and other salient features of personal identity in discussions of how girls construct gendered identities in different ways.

Geographies of Girlhood: Identities In-Between challenges scholars, professionals, and students concerned with gender issues to take seriously the everyday concerns of adolescent girls. It is recommended as a text for education, sociology, and women's studies courses that address these issues.

Excerpt

Geographies of Girlhood: Identities In-between is written for those who are curious about how and where adolescent girls live their day-to-day lives. It explores how they come to understand themselves as female in this culture, particularly during a time when they are learning what it means to be a woman, and their identities are in between that of child and adult, girl and woman. The authors in this edited collection take seriously what girls have to say about themselves and the places and discursive spaces that they inhabit daily. Instead of focusing on girls in classrooms, the purpose of this book is to explore adolescent female identity in a myriad of kid-defined spaces from bedrooms to school hallways to the Internet to discourses of cheerleading, race, sexuality, and ablebodiness. These are the geographies of girlhood, the important sites of identity construction for girls and young women, and we situate this collection of studies within the fledgling field of Girls Studies.

Because Geographies of Girlhood is about the various spaces in which girls construct who they are, we thought it appropriate to organize the text in a geographical manner. Thus, we divided the 14 chapters into three parts, Before School, At School, and After School, based on the physical location of the girls in these studies. Hopefully, this organizational structure will not inhibit the reader from seeing the interconnections of the studies, all of which are drawn from data obtained through various forms of qualitative inquiry, nested in rich theoretical discussions, and use the concept of liminality to theorize the in-between spaces of schools that are central to how adolescent girls construct a sense of self. We asked the authors to open up the spaces, both physical and/or discursive, in which adolescent girls/ young women performed their identity work. We believe that the chapters in this book will illuminate for readers the myriad ways in which girls figure . . .

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