Just Girls: Hidden Literacies and Life in Junior High

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Teachers College Press, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1997 - Education - 144 pages
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Margaret Finders provides a rich portrait of adolescent girls in middle school–the "social queens" and the "tough cookies." She follows the girls, focusing on what they read and write, not just school-sanctioned activities but also the important "hidden literacies", signing yearbooks, writing notes, bathroom graffiti, and reading teen ’zines. She spends time interviewing and interacting with the girls in and out of the classroom, on sleepovers, mall visits, and other recreational activities. And what she sees leads us to question what we know about girls’ lives. Highlighting the importance of friendship, family, and social networks in girls’ sense of themselves, she suggests that literacy plays an important role in maintaining friendship groups and in the construction of self. This provocative new book questions many common assumptions about early adolescence, most importantly, the "good girl" role so often assigned to and reinforced in female students.

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