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Lecture 3

Week 3: Wednesday January 22 Power & Representation II: Gir..
Week 3: Wednesday January 22 Power & Representation II: Girl:Grrl:hoods - jan 22.pdf
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School
York University
Department
Social Science
Course
SOSC 1502
Professor
Amar Wahab
Semester
Fall

Description
Week 3: Wednesday January 22 Power & Representation II: Girl/Grrl/hoods Readings: § Harris, Can-Do Girl vs At-Risk Girl (CK) § Scott-Dixon, Girls Need Ezines: Young Feminists Get On-line (CK) § Ayuso, I Look FAT in This! (CK) Film: Girlhood Quiz Questions: 1. Akey concept for Harris is "grrlpower". How does Harris describe "grrlpower" and the type of young women it constructs? - the rewriting of the word girl into grrrl was intended to communicate anger (growling) and rejection of patronizing attitudes towards young women - constructs women as: self assured, living lives lightly inflected but by no means driven by feminism, influenced by the philosophy of DIY and assuming they can have (or at least buy) it all - led to girl education success, consumption, leisure and fashion practices, rejection of institutionalized feminism,sexual assertiveness, professional ambitions, delayed motherhood, etc - ex,// spice girls, buffy the vampire slayer and corny love - they are outspoken, not afraid to take power, believe in themselves an run their own lives - girlpower as a provocative mic of youth, vitality, sexuality and self determination - power through the control over ones own identity invention and reinvention - successful new young women who is self inventing, ambitious and confident 2.According to Harris how does "structural disadvantage" work in the lives of girls and young women and what are its consequences? - structural disadvantage is recast as poor personal choices, laziness and incompetent family practices - if girls face these disadvantages they are seen as inheriting bad attitudes through their communities and constructed as failures - deemed to be at risk are cut off from imagined majority of successful girls and their problems tend to become ways in which they are universally defined - defined as underclass and treated as underclass - starts at school and branches to work environment - they are imagined as both passive victim of circumstances beyond their control and willful risk takers who use girl power to their own destructive ends - classified/defined by their problems 3. Using an example from the article, what is the role of regulation in maintaining and reinforcing the discourses of can-do and at-risk girls? - using the example of success at work: - can do girls are notable for their high ambitions with regard to their employment and their commitment to elaborate planning for success in their careers. seize the opportunities made available within the new economy and make projects of their work selves from an early age. new resources and efforts required for young people to succeed in new economy and can do girls are represented as particularly able in applying themselves to maximize their future chances in the changing world of work. ability to fold in together ambition, personal intentions, success and DIY project of the self—-rarely able to fail - at risk girl has misaligned occupational ambitions, lack sense of power or opportunity and inappropriate consumption behaviours. they use their past circumstances that they may be born with to restrict them from preservience or want and not have the same opportunities and resources as the can do girl. don't believe in themselves.—-few opportunities to succeed Lecture: - Context • Neoliberalism: patriarchal form of governance that puts emphasis on the individual, encourages an individualistic ethic (of competition and consumption), and marked by a shift from welfare-state (investment in tax-funded social programs) to one where individuals are forced to be economically self-sufficient. • “a new right vocabulary which celebrates female success in the marketplace, which punishes failure as individual weakness and which boldly advocates competitive individualism as the mark of modern young womanhood” (McRobbie qtd in Harris [115]) • Cultural shift from an emphasis on youth to a concern for, and over girls as new subjects of regulation and governance (Harris). • Girls as symbols of the nation: “Young women… have replaced youth as a metaphor for depends” (McRobbie qtd in Harris [113]) ... i.e. Girlhood as a state-institutional investment in girls as “workers, consumers, and citizens.” • panopticon: produce self policing, self regulatory, self disciplining that produce dominant discourse and the rules of the dominant discourse • those who follow rules are rewarded and those who arent are punished(dont get job, etc) • if u present urself in image of norm then you are seen deserving of the norm • policing meant to rehabilitate • reflect and self correct ourselves • always acting within a structure • women as workers, consumers—empowering bc visibility but not fully empowering bc who determines the conditions upon
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