Girls, Aggression, and Intersectionality : Transforming the Discourse of
1st Edition

Girls, Aggression, and Intersectionality
Transforming the Discourse of "Mean Girls" in the United States

ISBN 9780367460112
Published January 14, 2020 by Routledge
218 Pages

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Book Description

From media images of "mean girls" to the disproportionate punishment of Black, Latina and/or queer girls in schools and the justice system, female aggression has become a public concern. Scholars, educators, policymakers and parents are scrambling to respond to the perceived upsurge in girls’ bullying, peer pressure, and aggression/violence.

Girls, Aggression and Intersectionality examines how intersecting social identities – such as race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, age, and others - shape media representations of, and criminal justice reactions to, female aggression. The book focuses on three overarching questions: How do race, class, and/or sexuality influence media images of female aggression? How do aggressive girls’ intersecting identities affect law enforcement and criminal justice responses to their aggression? How are diverse groups of girls trying to resist their labelling and criminalization?

Using intersectionality as a conceptual framework, this insightful volume deconstructs a unitary analysis of "female aggression" and transforms the mainstream discourse that paints girls as inherently "mean."

Girls, Aggression and Intersectionality will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers, interested in fields including Gender Studies, Women’s Studies, Youth Studies, Criminology and Media and Culture.

Table of Contents


Media Representations of Female Aggression and Violence

1 Girls and Violence: Moral Panics and the Policing of Girlhood

Meda Chesney-Lind and Lisa Pasko

2 Constructing the "Bad Girls" Hype: An Intersectional Analysis of News

Media’s Depictions of Violent Girls

Tia Stevens Andersen, Deena Isom Scott, and Kelsey Collins

3 "Bad Girls" and Moral Panics: Intersectionality in News Framing of Female


Krista McQueeney and Alicia Girgenti-Malone

4 The Female World of Love and Ritual Violence: The Slender Man Case and

Popular News Depictions of Female Adolescent Violence

Karen Hayden

5 The New Famous: Deconstructing African American Girl Fights on Social Media

Tammy Rhodes and Andrea Hunt


Criminalization and Resistance

6 All the Rage: Contextualizing Intersectionality and Violence in Delinquent

Girls’ Lives

Lisa Pasko and Vera Lopez

7 A Critical Review of Sexism, Racism, and Aggression in Female Survivors of

Sex Trafficking

Patrick Kerr

8 Inappropriately Aggressive and Dangerously Submissive: Latina Girls

Navigating and Resisting Racialized Sexualization in the New Latino Diaspora

Katherine Clonan-Roy

9 A Critical View of Female Bullying and Aggression: Pacific Islander Girls

Confront Patriarchy, Racialization, and Imperialism

Katherine Irwin and Sanna King

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Krista McQueeney is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, Criminology & Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, USA

Alicia Girgenti-Malone is Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Merrimack College, USA



Girls, Aggression and Intersectionality steps into the "mean girl" hype prepared for battle, directly confronting damaging assumptions and stereotypes. Readers will come away with newfound clarity and fierce loyalty to girls who must fight their way through a potent and troubling morass of sexism, racism, classism, and homophobia for the visibility, respect, and dignity they deserve. This book is mandatory for anyone working with girls, but especially those on the front-lines of education and criminal justice.

Lyn Mikel Brown, Professor of Education, Colby College, and author of Girlfighting: Betrayal and Rejection Among Girls

Girls, Aggression and Intersectionality is an impressive effort to analyze young women’s violence, and the hype surrounding it, through an intersectional lens. McQueeney and Girgenti-Malone have brought together a distinguished group of scholars who illuminate these intersections in new and important ways. A must read for those of us who hope to intercede on the criminalization of girls—in the justice system and the public imagination.

Jody Miller, Distinguished Professor, Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, and author of Getting Played: African American Girls, Urban Inequality, and Gendered Violence

Girls, Aggression and Intersectionality is essential reading for scholars and students, and anyone in need of an intersectionalized understanding of "why girls fight."

This volume is a comprehensive and skillful intersectional treatment of aggressive and assaultive behaviors committed by girls and young women.

This volume provides necessary and up-to-date critical conceptualization of aggressive and assaultive behaviors committed by girls and young women, paying particular attention to the multiple intersecting identities of girls.

The chapters in this volume provide rigorous inquiry and analysis to combat misinformed and stereotypical beliefs frequently perpetuated through popular and social media about all girls and young women, but especially about girls of Color, LGBTQ girls, and girls living with minimal financial resources.

Hillary Potter, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder, and author of Intersectionality and Criminology: Disrupting and Revolutionizing Studies of Crime