Academics and professionals working with young women face a series of paradoxes. Over the last 20 years, the lives of young women in the UK and Europe have been transformed. They have gained considerable freedom and independence, but at the very same time, new, less tangible forms of constraint and subordination now play a defining role in the formation of their everyday subjectivities and identities. Young women have come to exemplify the pervasive sensibility of self-responsibility and self-organisation. This new ‘gender regime’ demands both conceptualisation and practical response, drawing on educational research, social and cultural theory, and contemporary feminist thought.
Within the overarching theme of pedagogical responses to these trends, through work in schools and within young women’s online and face-to-face communities, this book interrogates the field of sexuality and its visualisation across new and old media in the context of often predictable and endemic ‘moral panics’ about teenage pregnancy rates, sexually transmitted diseases, and internet pornography. In exploring how girls and young women respond to increasing expectations of them as the vanguard of economic, social, and cultural change, contributors to this volume interrogate the ways in which social and educational aspiration interact with young women’s developing and embodied identities. This book was originally published as a special issue of Pedagogy, Culture and Society.
Introduction: Pedagogical responses to the changing position of girls and young women Carrie Paechter, Rosalyn George and Angela McRobbie
1. Changing times, future bodies? The significance of health in young women’s imagined futures Emma Rich and John Evans
2. From DIY to teen pregnancy: new pathologies, melancholia and feminist practice in contemporary English youth work Fin Cullen
3. A girl is no girl is a girl_: Girls-work after queer theory Mart Busche
4. ‘Too pretty to do math!’ Young women in movement and pedagogical challenges Ulrike Graff
5. Becoming accomplished: concerted cultivation among privately educated young women Claire Maxwell and Peter Aggleton
6. Dissident daughters? The psychic life of class inheritance Valerie Hey and Rosalyn George
7. Young women online: collaboratively constructing identities Carrie Paechter
8. Growing-up challenged and challenging: gender and sexuality norms in referential research on ‘internet risks’ and in children Renata Šribar
9. Trainee hairdressers’ uses of Facebook as a community of gendered literacy practice Julia Davies
10. ‘Not girly, not sexy, not glamorous’: primary school girls’ and parents’ constructions of science aspirations Louise Archer, Jennifer DeWitt, Jonathan Osborne, Justin Dillon, Beatrice Willis and Billy Wong