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Child & Youth Care Forum

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 107–120 | Cite as

The Sad, the Mad and the Bad: Co-Existing Discourses of Girlhood

  • Marion Brown
Original Paper

Abstract

Three significant, prevailing and overlapping narratives of teenage girls have dominated North American popular consciousness since the early 1990s: the sad girl, victimized by male privilege and misogyny of adolescence and beyond; the mad grrrls who rejected this vulnerability through music and media; and the bad girls of much current popular debate, those girls who are bad because they are conniving and/or because they are violent. This article reviews these three discourses by locating them within their historical contexts, including conceptualizations of the ‘girl’ from feminist poststructuralist perspectives. Literature from the field of girlhood studies provides the basis from which the discourses of growing up female are explored.

Keywords

Girlhood Femininity Discourse Gendered constructions Violence Relational aggression Intersectional analysis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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