The Importance of Girl Things

Why are girl things so despised? Consider the derisive response to music girls like, movies and television shows girls watch, social networking sites girls inhabit, activities in which girls engage, and the clothes girls wear. The criticism is always snide and condescending: girl things—which appeal to, attract, star, and represent girls—are considered, at best, vacuous […]

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Into the Woods

As a practicing middle school English Language Arts teacher and researcher in the Northeastern US, I am interested in the stories adolescents tell about their lives. To this end, my research in classrooms is ethnographic and privileges the stories girls tell about their experiences of being marginalized, silenced, and punished, often by other girls. One story in […]

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‘Hello my little Barbies’: Nicki Minaj and Masquerade

A few months back a youth work colleague voiced concern about the young women she works with listening to a rising new female rapper, Nicki Minaj.  She felt that the lyrics and the image were over-sexualised and liable to provide a potentially poor role model for the young people in the youth project with whom […]

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Bad Animals Sitting Sweetly: Some Thoughts on Naughtiness, Gender and What We Learn in School

Let it be known that my six-year-old daughter is a child rife with frolicsome mischief.  
The experience of parenting said child fostered my interest in naughty youngsters, the connections between misbehavior and personhood and how all children—especially girls– are socialized in schools. Thus socialized through behavior management practices, many are taught to equate obedience with […]

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Fame, Folk devils and Generation X-Factor

In recent months a number of articles have appeared in the UK national press, reporting renewed concerns about the impact of celebrity and consumer culture on young people’s aspirations. Celebrity culture features in these as a contemporary folk devil, conjured up as the source of various societal ills, and diverting attention from the structural causes […]

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Selling Science as ‘a Girl Thing’

When the EU launched a short viral video to publicise their It’s a Girl Thing! campaign to get more women into science, it all kicked off in the blogosphere and twitterverse. The 45 second promo, which looks like a cross between a cosmetics ad and a girl group music video, begins with a young good-looking […]

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Rejecting home for homeland: Carrie Madison and gender roles in TV’s Homeland

Homeland is a US television series based on an Israeli show, Prisoners of War. It centres on CIA agent Carrie Maddison, played by Claire Danes, who in dramatic opening scenes is told by a source that a US marine has been ‘turned’. When a few days later US marine Nicholas Brody, played by Damien Lewis, […]

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Ever faced the Walk of Shame? Designing Disgust

Harvey Nichols, exclusive designer company, self-positioned as the ‘world’s leading international luxury fashion destination, a one-stop-shop for the most exclusive brands in fashion, beauty and food’ asks us directly via YouTube if we  have ‘ever faced the walk of shame’?
Walking with ‘shame’ already implies a very embodied attachment as it is you that has to walk […]

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Boffins and geeks: geek or chic?

The labels swot, ear ’ole, boffin, keeno, geek and nerd resonate meaningfully across generations of school-goers and echo through the terrains of popular culture. Our Gender and Education viewpoint started life as a conversation about our own research into how such identities are imagined and lived. We wondered: Has ‘the rise of the nerd’ meant […]

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