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ERIC Number: ED522358
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 142
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-2160-8
The Fighting Phenomenon: What It Means to Be a Girl Who Fights
Seibert, Maureen Louise
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)
The purpose of this study is to investigate why girls in an urban high school setting engage in physical fights in order to better understand the female student's mindset about fighting. A search of ERIC, Sociological Abstracts, Psychological Abstracts, Dissertation Abstracts and dissertations was conducted to review research in the following areas: physical fighting, violence, aggression, bullying, adolescent females, and lower socioeconomic influences associated with violence in youth. A further review examined quantitative and qualitative studies similar in nature to this study. Variables predicting aggression and physical violence were neighborhood stressors, exposure to violence in the community, low socioeconomic status, depression, sexual and physical abuse, lack of parental involvement, bullying, and racism. This phenomenological study addresses the overarching question of how adolescent female fighters attending school in the urban setting make sense of their world. Various examples drawn from the interviews illustrate the phenomenon of fighting from a fighter's perspective, and these examples are enhanced by the researcher's observations as an administrator. Qualitative interviews and observations demonstrate how emotional insecurity and jeopardized physical safety were underlying themes to fighting behaviors and the data demonstrates that increased intensity of the characteristics indicated in these themes exacerbated fighting behaviors. Poverty also magnifies the effects of emotional insecurity and jeopardized physical safety, as girl fighters experience loss and stress in their daily lives. The analysis employs a Marxist framework to demonstrate how the issues surrounding girls' fighting manifest broader societal problem, and the themes of social and material poverty parallel the Marxist framework. Marx argues that capitalism creates competition, aggression, a lack of interdependence, and a loss of sense of community. Competition and aggression are expressed to regain a sense of self, especially by those living in impoverished conditions. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A