Tomboys, Good Girls And Amsterdammers

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Presentation on parts of PhD research

Presentation on parts of PhD research

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  • 1. Tomboys, good girls and Amsterdammers: On girls, identity and multiculturalism Linda Duits
  • 2. Outline
    • A bit about me
    • Context of PhD project
    • Ethnography of doing identity
    • Axes of identity
  • 3. Linda Duits
    • Background in political science
    • CW/ASCoR
    • Ethnographic approach
      • Critical, respectful, ‘whole’ culture
    • Assistant professor since Jan 2009
      • Qualitative methods
      • Youth & subcultures
  • 4. What to wear to school?
    • Headscarf
    • G-string
    • Belly button shirt
  • 5. Girl culture and popular media
      • Many opinions, not much research
      • ‘ MTV-culture’ = gangrapes, ‘breezer sluts’
      • One-sided perspective black/white
      • Where/what is girl culture?
      • How do girls position themselves in multicultural society?
  • 6. Ethnography of doing identity A discursively located position Which implies directions for living + = Subject posistion Judith Butler Michel Foucault Stuart Hall
  • 7. Ethnography of doing identity Distinctive act Performatively constitutes a subject position + = Performance instrument Judith Butler Michel Foucault Stuart Hall
  • 8. Method
    • 8 months participant observation in 8 th form (age 11-12)
    • In-depth interviews with 31 girls of 2 schools
    • Websites made by 14 of these girls
    • Photo-narratives made by these 31girls
    • Essays written by 21 of these girls
    • Visits to 7 secondary schools
    • 5 focus groups with 21 of these girls
  • 9. Method n=27 n=28 13 14 11 17 528 539 (national average 536) (scores vary between 500-550)
  • 10. Popular media in daily life at school
    • Media use in class
      • Pop music (more ghettoblaster than MP3)
      • Books
      • (IM)
      • Not: cell phone
  • 11. Popular media in daily life at school
    • Media talk in the classroom
      • Film & TV
      • Pop music
      • Computer games
      • MSN
  • 12. Performing the girl Watching and talking about soaps; Watching and talking about rom coms; Reading girls’ magazines; Reading books about girls; Playing The Sims ; Only imitating female stars.
  • 13. Identity and subject positions
    • Discourse spins a web of possible positions
    • Individual is like the spider, navigating the web
    • Different parts form different axes of identity
      • Sensitized by conventional identity categories
      • gender, age, ethnicity, class
    • Focus on girls’ experience of these positions
  • 14. Gender
    • The tomboy
    • The girly-girl
    • The good girl/virtuous subject
    • The sexual subject
  • 15. Gender  the tomboy Reads sports magazines Talks football Different relationship to a more complex gender position Not/less available at Gunningschool
  • 16. Gender  the sexual subject Through dancing as a sexual subject, one becomes a sexual subject
  • 17. Age
    • The child
      • Donald Duck
      • Talking cartoons
    • The mature subject
      • Pimp my ride
      • GTA San Andreas
    • The knowing subject
      • Knowledge about popculture
      • Knowledge about street and hiphop culture
    Play
  • 18. Ethnicity
    • Ethnic descent
    • Experienced ethnicity
    • Performed ethnicity
    • The Amsterdammer
    • The (non)-Muslim
    Less role for popculture
  • 19. Class
    • The preppy girl
    • The horse-crazy girl [paardenmeisje]
  • 20. Class  the horse-crazy girl Financially unobtainable for Gunninggirls Note they did perform animal-friendliness
  • 21. Conclusions
    • Complex + diverse understandings of femininity and ethnicity
    • Discourse of all/auto always-already positions girls of non-Dutch descent as Others
      • Teachers
      • Girls themselves
    • The body limits performance
      • Femininity
      • Ethnicity
      • Age
    • Subject positions are temporary, but need for authenticity necessitates more or less stable performance
  • 22. Conclusions
    • Girls use practices to cite conventions and (thus) to perform subject positions
    • Media talk means reflecting on AND performing these positions
    • Media use means performing these positions
    • Identification-rehearsal-performative constitution of position e.g. dancing like a sexual subject
  • 23. Implications
    • For postmodern identity theory
    • For theory about the ‘transforming audience’
    • … and much, much more
    • Multi-girl-culture ordinary, everyday
    • More than ‘just a girl’ or ‘just a Moroccan’
  • 24. Thank you! correspondence to: Linda Duits [email_address] http://users.fmg.uva.nl/lduits lalalalinder