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Discourses of Femininity and Adolescence in the Context of Man/Girl Relationships - Essay Example

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Abstract “Nobody will ever win the Battle of the Sexes. There's just too much fraternizing with the enemy.” Henry Kissinger. This paper revolves around the topic of feminity. Specifically, this study examines the representations of female adolescence in the film Mean Girls since the emergence of girls in crisis and the girl power discourses (approximately 1995-2005) with an aim of addressing the following question: does the cinematic representation of adolescent females respond or contribute to either the girls in crisis or the girl power discourse?…
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Discourses of Femininity and Adolescence in the Context of Man/Girl Relationships
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Download file to see previous pages It also focuses on the discourses of the adolescent female body as portrayed in this film, the extent to which these discourses rely on specific representations the extent to which these portrayals rely on specific discourses of girlhood. Underlying all of these points is an awareness of the powerful commercialism of media like film. In relation, the study also investigates the extent or level to which consumerism permeates these texts. Most of the discourses obtained have resulted in the seclusion and bad perception towards popular and rich girls. Some of the discourses presented assert that physical attractiveness is crucial for girls, a girl has to be promiscuous to be part of the popular clique in school, a girl to has to be sexy to get noticed and has to be rich so as to be popular and liked in college. Discourses around Femininity and How Feminism is portrayed in Adolescent Girls Introduction An understanding of the discourses on femininity and their justification is important because they not only help in understanding women/girls but they also affect how women/girls are treated. Feminism can be viewed as a social organisation of relations between women and men and among women which is mediated by media such as television, film, painting, writing, newspapers, magazines among others (Smith 1988). Leahy (1994) explains that there are a number of public texts that girls and women resist, negotiate or accept in practice. One finding on discourses around femininity touches on beauty. According to Labre and Walsh-Childers (2003), young women’s magazines have promoted women’s beauty as a central theme reinforcing the belief that physical attractiveness is an essential element for young women. The media covers various categories of women differently. Female politicians and young working class women for example, are portrayed as being promiscuous and people who are out to seek personal gain (Tyler, 2008, Cherrington & Breheny, 2005). The category “girl” as a socially constructed identity has been used as a coercive tool of consumer capitalism and patriarchy. Such systems subordinate girls in many ways, most obviously as adolescent and as females. More so, this situation is exacerbated for non-white, lower class girls, working or queer or who fit in two or more combinations of these. The representations of girls by the media demonstrate class and race distinctions, examples of young women from various backgrounds embodying or embracing this term proliferate. Evidently, there is little literature on the discourses around femininity that have been constructed from female relations, meaning that there is a gap in the examination of the discourses around femininity. This is the rationale of this study. The study was based on the Mean Girls film. The film was chosen because many girls have it and will watch it. It is popular among women and teenage girls. Figures from the big box office films indicate that the film has sold over $86 million units in the US alone and over $129 million units worldwide. In addition, the film makes a special focus on female adolescence relationships, the sexuality of girls and conversations between characters are very clear making it easy ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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