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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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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Jennings, Nancy A. Tween girls and their mediated friends / Nancy A. Jennings. pages cm. — (Mediated youth; vol. 21) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Mass media and girls. 2. Preteens. 3. Characters and characteristics. 4. Friendship. 5. Female friendship. I. Title. P94.5.G57J46 302.230835’2—dc23 2014000350 ISBN 978-1-4331-2189-0 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4331-2188-3 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1319-2 (e-book) ISSN 1555-1814

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at

The Girl Scout Promise and Law on p. 43 is used with permission from Girl Scouts of the USA.

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