Tomboys, good girls and Amsterdammers: On girls, identity and multiculturalism Linda Duits
Outline  <ul><li>A bit about me </li></ul><ul><li>Context of PhD project </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnography of doing identity <...
Linda Duits  <ul><li>Background in political science </li></ul><ul><li>CW/ASCoR </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnographic approach </...
What to wear to school?  <ul><li>Headscarf </li></ul><ul><li>G-string </li></ul><ul><li>Belly button shirt </li></ul>
Girl culture and popular media  <ul><ul><li>Many opinions, not much research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ MTV-culture’ = g...
Ethnography of doing identity A discursively located position Which implies directions for living + = Subject posistion Ju...
Ethnography of doing identity Distinctive act Performatively constitutes a subject position + = Performance instrument Jud...
Method  <ul><li>8 months participant observation in 8 th  form (age 11-12) </li></ul><ul><li>In-depth interviews with 31 g...
Method n=27 n=28 13 14 11 17 528   539 (national average 536) (scores vary between 500-550)
Popular media in  daily life at school <ul><li>Media use in class </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pop music (more ghettoblaster than...
Popular media in  daily life at school <ul><li>Media talk in the classroom </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Film & TV  </li></ul></ul...
Performing the girl Watching and talking about soaps; Watching and talking about   rom coms;  Reading girls’ magazines; Re...
Identity and subject positions  <ul><li>Discourse spins a web of possible positions </li></ul><ul><li>Individual is like t...
Gender <ul><li>The tomboy </li></ul><ul><li>The girly-girl </li></ul><ul><li>The good girl/virtuous subject </li></ul><ul>...
Gender    the tomboy Reads sports magazines Talks football Different relationship to a more complex gender position Not/l...
Gender    the sexual subject Through dancing as a sexual subject, one becomes a sexual subject
Age <ul><li>The child </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Donald Duck </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talking cartoons </li></ul></ul><ul><li...
Ethnicity <ul><li>Ethnic descent </li></ul><ul><li>Experienced ethnicity </li></ul><ul><li>Performed ethnicity </li></ul><...
Class <ul><li>The preppy girl </li></ul><ul><li>The horse-crazy girl [paardenmeisje] </li></ul>
Class    the horse-crazy girl Financially unobtainable for Gunninggirls Note they did perform animal-friendliness
Conclusions <ul><li>Complex + diverse understandings of femininity and ethnicity </li></ul><ul><li>Discourse of all/auto a...
Conclusions <ul><li>Girls use practices to cite conventions and (thus) to perform subject positions </li></ul><ul><li>Medi...
Implications  <ul><li>For postmodern identity theory </li></ul><ul><li>For theory about the ‘transforming audience’ </li><...
Thank you!  correspondence to:  Linda Duits   [email_address] http://users.fmg.uva.nl/lduits lalalalinder
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Tomboys, Good Girls And Amsterdammers

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Tomboys, Good Girls And Amsterdammers

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

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