ERIC Number: EJ1071915
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
"Styled by Their Perceptions": Black Adolescent Girls Interpret Representations of Black Females in Popular Culture
Muhammad, Gholnecsar E.; McArthur, Sherell A.
Multicultural Perspectives, v17 n3 p133-140 2015
Identity formation is a critical process shaping the lives of adolescents and can present distinct challenges for Black adolescent girls who are positioned in society to negotiate ideals of self when presented with false and incomplete images representing Black girlhood. Researchers have found distorted images of Black femininity derived from history, including the mammy, jezebel, and Sapphire, are still pervasive in contemporary media outlets that are often viewed by adolescent girls. The current qualitative interview study examined literate interpretations of current media representations depicting Black girlhood from eight adolescent girls. Findings show that participants believed that Black girlhood is portrayed as being judged by their hair; is seen as angry, loud, and violent; and is sexualized. Following the interview, the girls used their pens to write against each of these portrayals and also to write toward social change. The ways the girls desired to be represented were in opposition to the ways they felt society and media viewed them. Their responses and literary writings suggest that Black adolescent girls need spaces to negotiate depictions of self and identity.
Descriptors: Self Concept, Femininity, Qualitative Research, Interviews, Females, Adolescents, Mass Media Effects, Physical Characteristics, Violence, Sexuality, Stereotypes, Racial Bias, Popular Culture, Middle School Students, High School Students, Student Attitudes, Multicultural Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A