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ERIC Number: ED539231
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 416
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-8441-2
Growing up Fast: The Rhetoric of Resilience among Inner City Neapolitan Girls
Loyd, Heather Michele
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
Rooted in sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in the inner city Neapolitan neighborhood of the Quartieri Spagnoli, this dissertation analyzes the sociocultural and linguistic lifeworlds of five- to twelve-year-old girls as they grow up amid urban poverty. The dissertation demonstrates how Quartieri Spagnoli girls learn and deploy "rhetorical practices of resilience" to cope with chronic adversity, inequality, and risk. It reveals that Quartieri Spagnoli girls develop the protective factors of rhetorical precocity and an overall conflictual style of talk as a means for self empowerment, gaining status in their peer groups, securing social networks, handling life predicaments and otherwise participating in the social life of the street and family. While a majority of resilience scholarship has concentrated on which protective factors exist in risky environments and why certain protective factors are indeed protective, this study offers an additional focus on "how" protective factors are operating on the ground in day-to-day interactions, a topic gone more-or-less unstudied. In addition, it reveals possible implications of the operation of those protective factors for the maintenance of the status quo and intergenerational hardship in the community. In particular, the study argues that girls' communicative oppositional strategies, including monitoring, policing, and counter-attacks deployed through the genre of "appiccecarse" (conflict), while imperative for resistance and survival in this neighborhood, contemporaneously contribute to a gendered conservative project that advances the maintenance of the status quo. It illuminates that girls' "shut down" strategies, which they use to control others' actions and attitudes, discourage deviance and reward conservativism. Girls' ever-present policing and monitoring practices are facilitated by the socio-spatial density of the neighborhood and family homes; girls are always under the gaze of others. Alternatively, the socially porous environment affords girls' access to all the goings on of their neighborhood. As such, girls are socialized at a very young age into the performance of "bravata" (boldness) by older females, as well as a heightened concern for romantic relations and femininity. The study suggests that the socialization of these values and practices among Quartieri Spagnoli girls can have implications for early school dropout, early motherhood, limited access to the labor market and other socioeconomic resources, and ultimately bind girls to their neighborhood, as well as to a cycle of vulnerability. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy