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Girl Making: A Cross-Cultural Ethnography on the Processes of Growing Up Female

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Girl Making

A Cross-Cultural Ethnography on the Processes of Growing Up Female

Gerry Bloustien

316 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-425-8 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (December 2003)

ISBN  978-1-57181-426-5 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (December 2003)

View CartYour country: - edit Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“…this is a powerful book with much to offer readers interested in girls’ studies. It records and analyzes girls in the act of recording and analyzing themselves, a reflective practice that needs to continue in other media as well if we are ever to understand more about both identity construction and the technical tools that enable or accelerate it.”  ·  Feminist Collections

“Through her careful and sensitive navigation of issues such as growing up and finding a voice for oneself in the murkiness of living as a teenager, Bloustien presents a cogent analysis of the challenges and victories experienced by these adolescent girls… The sensitivity with which she approaches her subjects and the issues they face give her credibility and makes her work both believable and moving.”  ·   Journal of Sociology

"…a big, rich book…a well-crafted book. Just like teenage girls, it is dramatic, entertaining, and endearing."  ·  JRAI

“… an exhaustive study, theoretically sophisticated, beautifully written, and an enlightening read.”  ·  Australian Women’s Book Review


Through the innovative methodology of asking them to record their experiences on videotape, this book offers an evocative and fascinating cross-cultural exploration into the everyday lives of a number of teenage girls from their own broad social, cultural and ethnic perspectives. The use of the video camera by the girls themselves reveals their exploration and experimentation with possible identities, highlighting their awareness that the self is not ready made but rather constituted in the process of continuous performance. The result is an active self-conscious exploration of the continuous "art" of self-making. Through their play, the teenagers are shown to strategically test out various possibilities, while keeping such explorations within the bounds of what is acceptable and permissible in their own micro-cultural worlds. The resulting material challenges previous findings in those feminist and youth anthropological studies based on too narrow a concept of class, ethnicity or populist approaches to culture.

Gerry Bloustien is a senior lecturer in Communications at the University of South Australia.

Subject: Gender Studies and SexualityAnthropology (General)


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