Girls’ Identities and Experiences of Oppression in Schools
Resilience, Resistance, and Transformation
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This book uses an intersectional approach to explore the ways in which girls and adults in school systems hold multiple realities, negotiate tensions, cultivate hope and resilience, resist oppression, and envision transformation.
Rooted in the voices and lived experiences of girls and educators, Brinkman, Brinkman and Hamilton document girl-led activism within and outside schools, and explore how adults working with girls can help contribute toward them thriving. Girls’ narratives are considered through an intersectionality framework, in which gender identity, race, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, and other aspects of social identity intersect to inform girls' lived experiences. Exploring data and interviews collected over a 15-year period, the authors set out a three-part structure to outline how girls engage in strategies to enact resilience, resistance, and transformation. Part one reconceptualizes traditional definitions of resilience and documents girls’ experiences of oppression within schools, identifying common stereotypes about girls and examining the complexity of girls’ "choices" within systems that they do not feel they can change. Part two highlights girls’ active resistance to stereotypes, pressures to conform, and interpersonal and systemic discrimination, from entitlement of their boy peers to experiences of sexualization in school. Part three illuminates pathways for educational transformation, creating new possibilities for educational practices.
Offering a range of pedagogies, policies, and practices educators can adopt to engage in systemic change, this is fascinating reading for professionals such as educators, counsellors, social workers, and policy makers, as well as academics and students in social, developmental, and educational psychology.
Table of Contents
Introduction, Part I. Resilience, 1. What is Resilience Anyway, and Who Decided?, 2. Good Girls, Smart Girls, and Super Girls, 3. Gotta Get By: Conformity and Survival Dissonance, Part II. Resistance, 4. Resistance to Gender Stereotypes and Sexism, 5. Caution! Thin Ice: Navigating Fragile Masculinity, 6. "Are my Skorts Distracting You?": Girls' Resistance to Sexual Violence, Part III. Transformation, 7. Planting Seeds of Change: Girl-led Activism, 8. Start Anywhere, Follow it Everywhere: Pathways for Educational Transformation, 9. Expanding Possibilities: Creating New Visions for Education, Appendix A: Student Participants, Appendix B: Educator Participants
Britney G Brinkman, PhD, is an interdisciplinary researcher, educator, licensed Psychologist and an associate professor of psychology. She works extensively with schools and community organizations to promote justice for girls. She is the recipient of a Citizen Psychologist Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association and is the author of Detection and Prevention of Identity-Based Bullying: Social Justice Perspectives.
Kandie Brinkman, PhD, is an independent researcher and educator at various local universities and high schools teaching social change along with forming multiple community-based projects and committees. She is the recipient of the University of Utah’s Martin Luther King Award as well as multiple citations for her work in social justice. Her passion is to empower girls and women.
Deanna Hamilton, PhD, is an associate professor in the graduate psychology program at Chatham University, US, where she teaches courses in lifespan development, psychopathology & resilience, and positive psychology. She integrates positive psychology research and interventions in her courses. Her published papers explore strengths, well-being, and self-efficacy across a variety of domains.