Adolescent girls, clothing, and identity formation
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this research project is to examine how middle school girls use dress as a signifier of self during a critical period identity formation. More specifically, this study examined what societal and cultural structures influence clothing choice at this age through a case study of six seventh grade girls. Through analyzing a series of open interviews during the three month period of December 2010 to February 2011 organized around (1) clothing and school dress code, (2) sexual education, (3) friend groups and social structure in school, and (4) popular culture, the study gauged how cultural perceptions about gender and consumerism influenced clothing choices subjects made despite perceived autonomy. Findings of this study support examining how sports teams reinforce gender norms within schools, relevant sexual education curriculum for middle school students that includes a discussion of romantic relationships, and teaching critical media literacy. It also has implications for teacher educators and teacher education classrooms.
Clothing and dress.