Britney, Beyoncé, and me - primary school girls' role models and constructions of the 'popular' girl

Read, B. (2011) Britney, Beyoncé, and me - primary school girls' role models and constructions of the 'popular' girl. Gender and Education, 23(1), pp. 1-13. (doi: 10.1080/09540251003674089)

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Abstract

This paper looks at the ways in which the gendered social construction of the ‘popular girl’ infuses girls’ ideas as to their role models: those representing who they would like to be when they ‘grow up’. It will look at the ways in which the gendered characteristics that are seen to be of most value to girls (often embodied by ‘celebrities’ such as Britney and Beyoncé) often reflect socially dominant constructions of femininity. These characteristics can in some ways be seen to emphasise passivity rather than agency and power – for an example in an emphasis on attractiveness and appearance rather than activity and accomplishments. However, such desired characteristics are also those considered to characterise the ‘popular’ girl at school – a position of power and influence amongst girls’ peers. Therefore such desires are complexly located within both the constraints of hegemonic femininities and the dynamics of power relations between girls themselves.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Read, Dr Barbara
Authors: Read, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Gender and Education
Publisher:Taylor and Francis (Routledge)
ISSN:0954-0253
ISSN (Online):1360-0516
Published Online:11 October 2010

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