SEXY GIRLS AS « THE OTHER » : THE DISCURSIVE PROCESSES OF STIGMATIZING GIRLS

Abstract : This paper examines the media discourse on that phenomenon known in Québec as the « hypersexualization of girls » which has lead to a public debate over girls and clothing in the province's schools. Although my past research has focused on mapping the media discourses on hypersexualization, missing from this inital mapping were the voices of girls. To address this absence I designed a research project intended to bring the opinions and concerns of a pluraity of francophone girls into the debate. The research is qualitative in nature, based on conversations established through individual interviews and focus group discussion conducted in 2007 with girls and young women aged from 11 to 21, in Quebec, Montreal and Trois-Rivières. These conversations have been a great source of learning and insipiration. As I proceeded with the work, I became troubled by some of the statements made by my participants and their « ordinary » or habitual ways of talking. For example, the term « slut » (« salope », in French) was commonly used to refer and stigmatize girls whose clothing is « inappropriate » and too « provocative ». In this presentation, I will comment and reflect on the ethical dilemmas of doing research with girls by examining the process of stigmatization by which a specific group of girls is constructed as the « Other ». In offering these reflections, I will connect my interviews to the problematic status of girls within media and public discourses. I will also consider the research literature on girls in Canada and Quebec. As some have observed, a monolitic conception of girls as a research category may smooth over the complexity and diversity of girls' lived experiences (Canadian Women's Foundation 2005; Gouin et Wais, 2006).


http://archivesic.ccsd.cnrs.fr/sic_00352831
Contributor : Caroline Caron <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 12:00:45 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - 10:00:26 AM

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  • HAL Id : sic_00352831, version 1

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Caroline Caron. SEXY GIRLS AS « THE OTHER » : THE DISCURSIVE PROCESSES OF STIGMATIZING GIRLS. 2008. <sic_00352831>

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