Abstract

This article investigates two of the discourses currently organizing meanings of girls and girlhood. These are the multi-stranded "Girl Power" and "Reviving Ophelia," which both emerged in the early 1990s. I argue that "Girl Power" and "Reviving Ophelia" set up an intriguing illustration of not only competing definitions of femininity but also how discourses may interpellate feminine/feminist subjects in a non-unitary way. At first glance, the two discourses seem to offer opposing significations of femininity. On the one hand, "Girl Power" represents a "new girl," assertive, dynamic, and unbound from the constraints of femininity. On the other hand,"Reviving Ophelia" presents girls as vulnerable, passive, voiceless, and fragile. However, this article demonstrates that it is also possible to view the two discourses as other than opposing, competing, and contradictory. Rather, this article investigates how the two discourses position girls in varying ways in relation to the emerging configurations of subjectification demanded by shifting relations of production, globalizing economies, and redefined relationships between governments and citizens related to the rise of neoliberal policy and practice.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2151-7371
Print ISSN
2151-7363
Pages
pp. 1-23
Launched on MUSE
2006-06-26
Open Access
No
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