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Super Girls, Gangstas, Freeters, and Xenomaniacs

Gender & Modernity in Global Youth Culture

by Susan Dewey and Karen Brison

Publication Year: 2012

A compelling look at the ways in which youth, gender and gender identities are being transformed around the globe.

Published by: Syracuse University Press

Cover, Inside Flap

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-x

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Introduction: Cross-Cultural Visions of Youth and Modernity

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pp. 1-21

Standing near an informal housing settlement in southern Mozambique, a teenage girl shades her mobile phone from the sun as she dials the number of a male admirer. She is calling to ask him if he will buy her family’s bread for the day. “The way it happens these days,” a male acquaintance of this young woman explained to anthropologist Julie Soleil Archambault, “women are the ones who gain more and the men who spend more.” ...

I. Gender and Generation

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pp. 23

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1. Mobile Phones and the “Commercialization” of Relationships: Expressions of Masculinity in Southern Mozambique

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pp. 25-41

“Nowadays, relationships are more commercialized,” explained Antonio, a twenty-two-year-old Mozambican who had recently broken up with his girlfriend. “If you don’t phone back when a girl sends you a bip, she’ll run to another guy.” As he recalled the events that led to their breakup, Antonio used mobile phone etiquette as an idiom to express his understanding of contemporary gender relations. In Mozambique, many people have passed...

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2. Claiming Youth, the Modern Feminine Self, and Womanhood in Northern Namibia

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pp. 42-57

Linda, a thirteen-year-old girl, pointing out one picture in her small photo album, told me, “This is me. I was the Miss XXX Primary School last year.” In the picture, she had a shy smile on her face, as she stood wearing a long white dress, a sash with the title “Miss XXX Primary School” over her shoulder, and a cute little tiara on her head. Indeed, one of the most striking phenomena I encountered while conducting my fieldwork in northern...

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3. Still a Child?: Liminality and the Construction of Youthful Masculinities in Japan

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pp. 58-81

“I’m still a child,” twenty-two-year-old Kazuyuki noted by way of explanation for his refusal to work full-time, as a seishain, in favor of pursuing his professional break-dancing dreams. Kazuyuki is one of many young men known as “freeters” (a category of part-time workers) in Japan, and their reluctance to fit into normative masculine roles has provoked profound controversy. In this chapter I explore how the concepts of youth...

II. Mass-Mediated Modernities

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pp. 83

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4. Gendered Modernities among Rural Indigenous Fijian Children

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pp. 85-103

On the day that I returned to the Fijian village of Rakiraki to spend the summer studying play, the local children decided to help me by organizing a large game of American-style baseball for me to record for “TV” with my video camera. This game resulted in two hours of raucous fun, as more and more children joined in and one very puzzled anthropologist struggled to understand the Rakiraki version of baseball. Innings continued...

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5. Androgynous Beauty, Virtual Sisterhood: Stardom, Fandom, and Chinese Talent Shows under Globalization

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pp. 104-124

Three decades of post-1978 rapid economic growth have made China the world’s second-largest economy. Its 2002 integration into the World Trade Organization further affirmed its place in the global capitalist order. The accelerating marketization and globalization of the Chinese economy have changed every aspect of contemporary Chinese society, including its gender ideology and cultural politics. Transnational capital and cultural...

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6. Teenage Girls and Global Television: Performing the “New” Hindi Film Song

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pp. 125-144

The image flickering across the television screen features a teenage girl running among the paddy fields in one of eastern India’s rural corners. Viewers watch the girl playing with a goat and riding her bicycle in a bucolic setting far from media-saturated urban India. A first-person voice-over reveals the obvious: the girl comes from a small village in the state of West Bengal, a world away from the competitive big city. The girl, whose name...

III. Youth as a Symbol of Modernity’s Contentions

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pp. 145

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7. Xenomania: Globalized and Gendered Discourses of the Nation in Cyprus

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pp. 147-165

A typical scene at an urban mall in Nicosia resembles what Augé (1995) terms “a metropolitan non-place” devoid of localized features in favor of now familiar western European and North American styles. Clutching mobile phones, sporting the latest Puma athletic shoes, and pierced in trendiest of places, Greek Cypriot urban youth look much like their peers in any other European capital city. Yet on a different day of the week, these...

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8. Children as Barometers of Social Decay: Perceptions of Child Sex Tourism in Goa, India

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pp. 166-190

“Enjoy our beautiful beaches,” reads a billboard on the palm-lined road that ferries arriving European and Israeli vacationers from Dabolim Airport to resorts in the western Indian state of Goa, “but remember that Goa is not a pedophile’s paradise.” This jarring statement, accompanied by a photograph of a young ethnic Goan1 child’s smiling face juxtaposed against a sweeping backdrop of blue skies and sandy beaches, raises a number of troubling...

IV. Agency and Refining Youth Identities

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pp. 191

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9. Negotiating Agency: Local Youth Activism in Aotearoa–New Zealand

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pp. 193-210

Reflecting statistics in the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia, youth in Aotearoa–New Zealand are reported to have falling rates of political and social engagement. In 2005, the New Zealand Electoral Commission (2005) noted that rates of political participation in New Zealand are “trending down.” These trends have prompted two responses: a public perception that youth engagement in “citizenship” activities is low and...

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10. Imagining Papua New Guinean Cultural Modernities in Urban Australia: Youth, Cultural Schools, and Informal Education

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pp. 211-229

Young Australian–Papua New Guineans are at the forefront of imagining alternative cultural markers of modernity through their conscious decision to adopt and display facets of their Papua New Guinean cultural heritage and reframe them within an Australian context. Both of the opening examples illustrate young Australian–Papua New Guineans’ internalization of external influences in forming new senses of...

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11. Islanders among a Sea of Gangs: Diasporic Masculinities and Gang Culture among Tongan American Youth

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pp. 230-250

On one of those overly humid afternoons in the Island Kingdom of Tonga, G-Money sits on a beat-up, old brown couch, reminiscing about his childhood experiences of gang life on the streets of Los Angeles. G-Money’s arms, buff from prison-yard workouts, are marked with tattoos signifying his affiliation with one of LA’s many Crip sets as well as his identification as a Tongan. Outside his rented house on the outskirts of the capital...

References, Index

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pp. 265


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pp. 253-281


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pp. 283-296

Back Flap, Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780815651697
E-ISBN-10: 0815651694
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815632740
Print-ISBN-10: 0815632746

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2012