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'She aint getting them, she needs like, big knickers': the policing of young sexualities and working-class femininities

Mannay, Dawn ORCID: 2013. 'She aint getting them, she needs like, big knickers': the policing of young sexualities and working-class femininities. Presented at: The Young Sexualities Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK, 25 January 2013.

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Despite the rhetoric of egalitarianism, many young women continue to operate within gendered spaces and are often denied access to places which are defined as beyond the confines of respectable femininity. This paper examines the positioning of adolescent girls within the confines of the home and the moral boundaries that lay out respectable and acceptable bench marks; which act to police their movements and trap them in patriarchal relationships. The paper presents a case study of one teenage girl, Suzie; focusing on the ways in which her use of space, social life and clothing are policed by her father and older brother. The paper considers the ways in which restrictions are presented as a response to threats to Suzie’s safety but also to her morality, her respectability, and the respectability of the family. Drawing on discourses of working-class respectable femininities, the stigma of the local area and aspects of family legacies; the paper explores the factors that contribute to Suzie’s assignment of ‘big knickers’ and the space of gendered restriction. The analysis presented was drawn from a wider research project that employed visual and narrative methods of data production to explore the everyday experiences of mothers and daughters, residing on a marginalised housing estate in urban south Wales.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
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Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 09:17

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