Just Girls: Hidden Literacies and Life in Junior High
This text provides a portrait of adolescent girls in middle school - the ""social queens"" and the ""tough cookies"". The author, Margaret Finders, 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 magazines. She spends time interviewing and interacting with the girls in and out of the classroom, on sleepovers, mall visits nd other recreational visits. What she sees raises questions about what is known about girls' lives. Highlighting the social 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 the self. The study questions many common assumptions about early adolescence, mostly importantly the ""good girl"" role so often assigned to and reinforced in female students.
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