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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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List of Figures


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2.1 Good Luck Charlie. Bridgit Mendler as Teddy Duncan of Disney’s Good Luck Charlie. ©Disney Channel. Courtesy of PhotoFest.

2.2 H2O: Just Add Water. Phoebe Tonkin as Cleo Sertori (center) of H2O: Just Add Water. H2O: Just Add Water. ©Nickelodeon Network. Courtesy of PhotoFest.

2.3 iCarly. Miranda Cosgrove as Carly Shay of Nickelodeon’s iCarly. ©Nickelodeon. Courtesy of PhotoFest.

2.4 Victorious. Victoria Justice as Tori Vega of Nickelodeon’s Victorious. ©Nickelodeon. Courtesy of PhotoFest.

2.5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Emma Watson as Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter series. Warner Bros. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Photographer: Murray Close. ©Warner Bros. Courtesy of PhotoFest.

4.1 Dora the Explorer. Dora. Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer. ©Nickelodeon Network. Courtesy of PhotoFest.

4.2 Go, Diego, Go! Diego. Nickelodeon’s Go, Diego, Go! ©Nickelodeon Network. Courtesy of PhotoFest.

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