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Seven Going on Seventeen

Tween Studies in the Culture of Girlhood


Claudia Mitchell and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh

The tween is the «new girl on the block» in girlhood studies. Although the study of tween life may have derived from a particular marketing orientation at the end of the twentieth century, it is not limited by it. On the contrary, this collection of essays shows that «tween» is not a simple or unified concept, nor is it limited to a certain class of girls in a few countries. This collection by an international group of authors highlights specific methodologies for working with (and studying) tween-age girls, provides challenges to the presumed innocence of girlhood, and engages in an analysis of marketing in relation to girlhood. In so doing, this book offers a reading on these three or four years in a girl’s life that suggests that this period is as fascinating as the teen years, and as generative in its implications for girlhood studies as studies of both younger and adolescent girls.
Contents: Claudia Mitchell/Jacqueline Reid-Walsh: Theorizing Tween Culture Within Girlhood Studies – Elizabeth Seaton: Tween Social and Biological Reproduction: Early Puberty in Girls – Marnina Gonick: From Nerd to Popular? Re-figuring School Identities and Transformation Stories – Kristina Hackmann: Video Girls: Between Changing Exploratory Behavior and Self-authorization – Kathleen O’Reilly-Scanlon/Sonya Corbin Dwyer: Memory-work as a (be)Tween Research Method: The Beauty, the Splendor, the Wonder of My Hair – Meredith Cherland: Reading Elisabeth’s Girlhood: History and Popular Culture at Work in the Subjectivity of a Tween – Marika Flockemann: Mirrors and Windows: Re-reading South African Girlhoods as Strategies of Selfhood – Balkishori Team of VACHA Women’s Resource Center with Jackie Kirk: Reclaiming Girlhood: Understanding the Lives of Balkishori in Mumbai – Relebohile Moletsane: «I do know who I am»: Writing, Consciousness and Reflection – Deevia Bhana: «Show Me the Panties»: Girls Play Games in the School Ground – Yasmin Jiwani: Tween Worlds: Race, Gender, Age, Identity, and Violence – Shannon Walsh: «Losers, Lolitas, and Lesbos»: Visualizing Girlhood – Anita Harris: In a Girlie World: Tweenies in Australia – Catherine Driscoll: Girl-Doll: Barbie as Puberty Manual – Amy T.Y. Lai: Consuming Hello Kitty: Tween Icon, Sexy Cute, and the Changing Meaning of ‘Girlhood’ – Farah Malik: Mediated Consumption and Fashionable Selves: Tween Girls, Fashion Magazines, and Shopping – Rebekah Willett: Constructing the Digital Tween: Market Discourse and Girls’ Interests – Hoi F. Cheu: Imported Girl Fighters: Ripeness and Leakage in Sailor Moon – Peggy Tally: Re-imagining Girlhood: Hollywood and the Tween Girl Film Market – Natalie Coulter: The Consumption Chronicles: Tales from Suburban Canadian Tweens in the 1980s.