Embodying the Tween: Living Girlhood in Global and Digital Spaces


Project Summary:

The purpose of this project is to explore the tensions between the commercial constructions of youth cultures and the lived experiences of the embodied young person. It will address how the tween girl is framed by and how she engages with such framings. This research has two foci. The first is an exploration of how the cultural industries of girlhood, including digital media and global transmedia properties contribute to the synergistic forces of global capitalism to produce the tween as a global assemblage. The sites of this research include online advergames such as Moshi Monsters and Movie Star Planet, and the websites of media companies such as Disney and Nickelodeon, and digital market research companies such as KZero. The second foci is to explore what girls do with the tween cultures that are produced for them but rarely by them by asking how they negotiate these resources of subjectivity in their everyday lives by looking at the immaterial labour of their participation in digital media and social media networks.

Project Description:

This is an important contribution to the field as it begins to fill a void in the fields of critical technology studies, media studies and girls’ studies. In the past decade academics in these fields have lamented the lack of scholarship on the use of media culture by young people and the role of media culture in the lives of young people (Buckingham 2000; Henteges 2000; Kearney 2011; Livingston 1998; Prout 2008;). This study will move beyond the work that is currently being done in the fields of critical technology studies, media studies and girls’ studies by exploring how girls engage with a construction of girlhood that dominates much of the transnational mediascape and meets the needs of the global marketplace. In doing so I will uncover some of the tensions between the commercial worlds of youth cultures and the lived experiences of the embodied young person.

Project Type:
Funded

Project Role:
Principle Investigator

Country 1:
Canada

Country 2:

Country 3:

Country 4:

Month
Year
Start Date:
Jan
2013
End Date:
Dec
2016

Funder:
SSHRC

Year Project Started:
2013

Collaborator:

Collaborator Institution:

Collaborator Role:

Funder
Amount
(e.g type 1000 for 1,000)
1
SSHRC
$69 500
2
3
4
5
6