By Fiona MacDonald

This booklet explores the ways that notions of formative years are being inspired through a speedily increasing consumer-media tradition within the 21st Century. it's been argued that new phases of formative years are being created and outlined by means of children’s function as shoppers. the idea that of ‘tween’, women elderly among nine and 14, has generated the best debate. whereas the fable international of ‘tween’ bargains ladies an area to model a tender, female id it's been broadly argued that the consumer-media’s messages strain tween women to devour and undertake hugely sexualised appearances and behaviours.

The writer considers how the artwork of intake for ‘tween’ women is intrinsically associated with their hope for independence and belonging, and the way their intake is interwoven with different very important social and cultural affects.

The publication may be of curiosity to students and scholars within the fields of youth and adolescence reviews, Cultural reviews, Feminist and Women’s stories and Sociology.

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Extra resources for Childhood and Tween Girl Culture: Family, Media and Locality

Sample text

The girls had on jeans or trousers with a nice top although Sally has on a pink, dropped-waist dress with a pink cardigan. I know they have all spent considerable time preparing themselves. Hair, showers, getting dressed all took considerable time and when I popped into Hayley and Rachel’s cabin for a chat there was a very sweet aroma of perfume powder. Hayley told me it was Rachel’s toiletries as she has much nicer ones. ‘Classy’ I think was the word Hayley used to describe Rachel, in clothes as well as scented girls toiletries.

Despite the broader societal concerns around the sexualisation of pre-teens it has been argued that the girls themselves are not necessarily motivated by the desire to fashion their own sexy body from the tween market’s products (Chan et al. 2011; Harris 2005; Kehily 2012). Pre-teen girls’ perception of gender roles and identities are not necessarily fashioned around a ‘sexy appearance’: Analysis of interviews and images found that tween girls’ perceived gender roles for females were based on a mixture of traditional and contemporary role models.

While pre-teen girls are not in control of the representations presented to them, tweens are not simply naive consumers but active agents in fashioning their own young, feminine girlness. THE PRE-TEEN GIRLS’ DESIRE TO BELONG The goods and services promoted under the auspices of the tween market are designed to respond to the developmental desires and needs of its target market. However its common interest, and subsequently its power, lies in its key aim: to socialise girls in consumption activities and to create a ‘commercial persona’ of the tween girl.

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