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Tween Girls and their Mediated Friends


Nancy A. Jennings

Although parents and teachers are among the numerous socializing agents through which children learn about the world, media, too, has begun to take center stage as a substantial force in children’s lives. Media characters are some of the people being integrated into the social lives of children, yet very little is known about the implications of these relationships on child development in a mediated society.
Through in-depth interviews, this book explores how tween girls relate to media characters past and present, what they value in these relationships, and how these relationships have shaped their own identity and friendships.
The characters themselves are also analyzed from a feminist perspective, revealing the shared values of community, agency, and self-determination of the media characters and the girls who call them friends.
Through examining the characters and the text in which their stories take place, the book sheds light on what is important to tween girls, about the traits they value in others, and the traits they value in themselves.
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Interview Questions for Tween Girls

Session #1

Today, I’d like to start by talking about friendship. Some people have lots of friends and others have a few close friends. But I’m not worried about how many friends you have. I’m curious about what you think about friends.

1. Tell me, what do you think makes for a good friend? What characteristics or traits do you look for in a friend?

2. How do you make a friend?

3. What’s the difference between a good friend and a best friend?

4. What types of things do you do with friends?

5. Do you and your friends like the same things? What kinds of things do you both like? What happens if you don’t like the same thing?

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