ERIC Number: EJ1096211
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Being "Nice" or Being "Normal": Girls Resisting Discourses of "Coolness"
Paechter, Carrie; Clark, Sheryl
Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, v37 n3 p457-471 2016
In this paper we consider discourses of friendship and belonging mobilised by girls who are not part of the dominant "cool" group in one English primary school. We explore how, by investing in alternative and, at times, resistant, discourses of "being nice" and "being normal" these "non-cool" girls were able to avoid some of the struggles for dominance and related bullying and exclusion found by us and other researchers to be a feature of "cool girls" groupings. We argue that there are multiple dynamics in girls' lives in which being "cool" is only sometimes a dominant concern. There are some children for whom explicitly positioning themselves outside of the "cool" group is both resistant and protective, providing a counter-discourse to the dominance of "coolness". In this paper, which is based on observational and interview data in one school in the south of England, we focus on two main groupings of intermediate and lower status girls, as well as on one "wannabe" "cool girl". While belonging to a lower status group can bring disadvantages for the girls we studied, there were also benefits.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Children, Females, Friendship, Peer Acceptance, Discourse Analysis, Resistance (Psychology), Prosocial Behavior, Bullying, Social Isolation, Social Status, Group Unity, Group Dynamics, Case Studies, Elementary Education, Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (London)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A