1st Edition

Girlhood, Schools, and Media Popular Discourses of the Achieving Girl

By Michele Paule Copyright 2017
    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the circulation and reception of popular discourses of achieving girlhood, and the ways in which girls themselves participate in such circulation. It examines the figure of the achieving girl within wider discourses of neoliberal self-management and post-feminist possibility, considering the tensions involved in being both successful and successfully feminine and the strategies and negotiations girls undertake to manage these tensions.

    The work is grounded in an understanding of media, educational, and peer contexts for the production of the successful girl. It traces narratives across school, television and online in texts produced for and by girls, drawing on interviews with girls in schools, online forum participation (within the purpose-built site www.smartgirls.tv), and girls’ discussions of a range of teen dramas.


    1. The future girl’s problem past

    2. The achieving girl as the ideal subject

    3. The Archaeology: sites and stories

    4. Girls reading girl texts: genres, tropes and trajectories

    5. The ‘Girls Work Hard’ Narrative

    6. ‘Girls Hang Back’: Choice, complementarity and collaboration



    Michele Paule works as a Senior Lecturer in Media, Culture and Education, at Oxford Brookes University, UK. Her research interests focus on youth and gender in popular and educational contexts. She is currently engaged in researching youth and the gendering of leadership in across different European contexts.