Document Icon


Since the mid-1990s there has been an increased visibility of girls within popular culture, alongside contradictory socio-cultural attitudes regarding girlhood. Within this intensely mediated environment ‘Girl Power’ is celebrated whilst girls are seen to be in need of protection and to be ‘saved’; constructions of femininity present and perpetuate the ‘good girl’ versus the “bad girl,” or the Madonna/whore dichotomy; and whilst girls have a history of social marginalisation, they have been recognised as a central mass media consumer demographic.

Within this contradictory yet abundant context of girlhood in popular culture, rather than dismissing the mainstream media texts for and about girls, what do they tell us about the current state of Western girlhood? How do they construct notions of girlhood? How do they negotiate the contradictions outlined above? How do they address the figure of the girl, what do they teach her in terms of girlhood and growing up female?

Papers of between 6,000 and 8,000 words are invited from postgraduate students and early career researchers across the humanities and social sciences for this special edition of Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA-PGN. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Representations of girls and girlhood(s) in popular media texts
  • Feminism(s) and girlhood in mainstream media
  • Sexuality/sexualisation and girlhood in mainstream media
  • Girlhood and stardom and celebrity
  • Age demographics within girlhood (e.g. the tween, extended adolescence)
  • Genre and girlhood
  • Girl-centred cross-media adaptations (e.g. from novel to film, from film to television)
  • Girl-centred media franchises
  • Girlhood and branding

Completed articles should be directed to the issue’s guest editor Melanie Kennedy at by 4 November 2011. For any further information, please contact Melanie or NK general editor Tom Phillips at

CFP – Special Issue of Networking Knowledge: Girlhood in Popular Culture