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Girlhood, Beauty Pageants, and Power

Trailer Park Royalty

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Elisabeth B. Thompson-Hardy

Girlhood, Beauty Pageants, and Power: Trailer Park Royalty explores the phenomenon of child beauty pageants in rural communities throughout the American South. In a bricolage of post-structural feminism, critical ethnographies, critical hermeneutics, and cultural studies lenses, this book analyzes how the performance of participants—most from a lower socio-economic bracket—and the power exercised by beauty pageant culture work to formulate girls’ identities. Girlhood, Beauty Pageants, and Power also examines how depictions in popular culture through film, videos, documentaries, and television shows add to the dialogue. Author Elisabeth B. Thompson-Hardy suggests rural pageant culture works to create girlhood identity and shapes the way participants view the world and themselves—through intricate cultural work in terms of gender and class. This book is intended for students and teachers who are interested in dissecting rural girlhood and development, Southern American beauty standards, and the effect of the media on girls’ identities.

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Studies in Criticality

General EditorShirley R. Steinberg

Counterpoints publishes the most compelling and imaginative books being written in education today. Grounded on the theoretical advances in criticalism, feminism, and postmodernism in the last two decades of the twentieth century, Counterpoints engages the meaning of these innovations in various forms of educational expression. Committed to the proposition that theoretical literature should be accessible to a variety of audiences, the series insists that its authors avoid esoteric and jargonistic languages that transform educational scholarship into an elite discourse for the initiated. Scholarly work matters only to the degree it affects consciousness and practice at multiple sites. Counterpoints’ editorial policy is based on these principles and the ability of scholars to break new ground, to open new conversations, to go where educators have never gone before.

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Shirley R. Steinberg

c/o Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.

29 Broadway, 18th floor

New York, New York 10006

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