Global femininities: consumption, culture and the significance of place

Kehily, Mary Jane and Nayak, Anoop (2008). Global femininities: consumption, culture and the significance of place. Discourse: Studies in the cultural politics of education, 29(3) pp. 325–342.



This paper considers globalisation from below by looking at young women in the context of their everyday lives. By focusing upon the cultures of youthful femininities, we aim to explore young women's relationship to the global and particularly the ways in which the products of a globalised media culture feature in their lives. In exploring young women's negotiations with cultural globalisation, we seek to illustrate the ways in which the cultural commodities of global flows may be appropriated, adapted and subverted within the texture of their everyday lives. Using empirical data drawn from ethnographic research in different geographical locations, our discussion draws attention to the significance of place in the production and appropriation of youthful femininities. We suggest that cultural studies accounts of music, television and media technologies offer ways of understanding the performance of gender in 'new times'. Furthermore, young women's participation in global media consumption across different sites indicates that many of the 'opportunities' for young women appear to exist beyond the school in the reconfigured labour and leisure patterns of late modern culture. It is our contention that exploring young women's interactions with global culture is a means of 'troubling' the more parochial understandings of gender in late modernity.

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