Girlhood: Redefining the Limits

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Yasmin Jiwani, Candis Steenbergen, Claudia Mitchell
Black Rose Books, 2006 - 267 pages

In today’s society, more and more mass media and popular culture is being produced for, about, and by pre-adolescent and adolescent girls than ever before. “Girls” (and/or their behavior, dress, relationships, education, and more) have driven investigative documentaries and fueled plot lines for mainstream films and prime-time television dramas. In addition, young women have become a valuable target market as the rise of “girl power” scripted young women as—at once—a commercially lucrative and hyper-sexualized population. Reaction to the “new” girl of the millennium has been as diverse as it has been swift, due in part to the unclear definition of what constitutes a “girl.”

Girlhood is a collection of essays on girls, girlhood, and girl culture. Drawing from the works of national and international scholars, this book focuses on the multifaceted nature of girls’ lived experiences. Examined is racism, sexism, and classism; girlhood and girl gangs; the power and politics of schoolgirl style; encounters with violence; chatrooms; sexuality; and identity formation and popular culture.

This groundbreaking collection offers a complicated portrait of girls in the twenty-first century: good girls and bad girls, girls who are creating their own girl culture and giving a whole new meaning to girl power. These provocative essays cover all aspects of girlhood as they bring to life the ever-changing identities of today’s young women.

Yasmin Jiwani received a Doctor of Philosophy in communication studies from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. She is the author of Discourses of Denial: Uncovering Race, Gender, and Violence in Society.

Claudia Mitchell, PhD, is a professor and chair in the faculty of education at the University of Natal, involved in developing a curriculum on girl-child education in Zambi.

Candis Steenbergen holds a PhD in interdisciplinary studies in society and culture from Concordia University in Quebec. She is the editor of good girl magazine.

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About the author (2006)

Candis Steenbergen holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture from Concordia University in Quebec. She is editor to good girl magazine and has contributed to numerous publications including The Encyclopedia of American Social movements. Yasmin Jiwani received a Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Studies from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. She is the author of Discourses of Denial: Uncovering Race, Gender, and Violence in Society. Claudia Mitchell, PhD, is a Professor and Chair in the Faculty of Education, University of Natal. She has been involved in developing a curriculum on girl-child education in Zambi, where she served as the Director of the Canada/South Africa Education Management Program. Apart from editing and/or contributing to numerous book projects, she is as well a performance artist and documentary producer.

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