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Understanding girls' everyday acts of resistance: evidence from a longitudinal study in nine countries

Loveday, Lilli, Rivett, Jenny and Walters, Rosie ORCID: 2023. Understanding girls' everyday acts of resistance: evidence from a longitudinal study in nine countries. International Feminist Journal of Politics 25 (2) , pp. 244-265. 10.1080/14616742.2021.1996258

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In recent years, scholars of girlhood studies focused their attention on the long-overlooked topic of girls’ political agency and activism. This endeavour has increasing urgency since several prominent girl activists have come to the attention of politicians, the media and international institutions. Girls’ political agency is more visible than ever and yet, in media and in policy, is still understood in narrow terms, focused almost entirely on the Global North. The focus on Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg and their books, tweets, marches and speeches frames girls’ activism as the high-profile work of a few spectacular individuals, ignoring the many, everyday ways that girls do politics. In this article, we analyse data from a longitudinal study with girls across nine countries in the Global South to show one way in which they are resisting conservative discourses about girlhood: in their friendships with boys. While the girls may not themselves identify as political, or indeed as feminists, we argue that they are gradually and subtly negotiating more opportunities for themselves in their communities and challenging sexualised discourses about their bodies. The findings offer insights into how we might begin to theorise girls’ everyday acts of resistance in feminist International Relations scholarship.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 1461-6742
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 May 2021
Date of Acceptance: 6 May 2021
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2023 17:49

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