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Regulation and rupture: Mapping tween and teenage girls' resistance to the heterosexual matrix

Renold, Emma ORCID: and Ringrose, Jessica 2008. Regulation and rupture: Mapping tween and teenage girls' resistance to the heterosexual matrix. Feminist Theory 9 (3) , pp. 313-338. 10.1177/1464700108095854

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Recent feminist theorizing has pointed to a `resurgent patriarchy' within neo-liberal postfeminist times, which re-orders and restabilizes the heterosexual matrix through a politics of `postfeminist masquerade' demanded of girls and women (McRobbie). This paper seeks to complicate this thesis, exploring the regulation and rupture of Butler's `heterosexual matrix' as a complex performative politics through which girls' conflictual relationships with themselves, and other girls and boys are staged and through which dominant versions of tweenage and teenage femininity are reinscribed but also reworked, in race and class specific ways. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari's powerful conceptual repertoire for disrupting Oedipal logics in Anti-Oedipus, we offer a `molecular mapping', illustrating cracks and ruptures in what is a porous heterosexual matrix, exploring a rhythm of `deterritorializations' and `reterritorializations' of the normative in our respective ethnographic and narrative interviews with girls. We also trace more sustained ruptures of heteronormative femininity drawing upon Deleuze and Guattari's notion of `lines of flight' and Braidotti's concept of `alternative figuration'. We argue ruptures and alternative figurations are not constitutive of total `molar' resistance to norms, but are significant spaces of doing girl differently and crucial to map if we are to perceive the malleability and multiplicity of contemporary girl subjectivities, which exceed heteronormative femininity and phallogocentric desire.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Uncontrolled Keywords: Deleuze and Guattari; femininity; girls; heterosexuality; queer theory; violence
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1464-7001
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 08:25

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