"Still alive and kicking" : girl bloggers and feminist politics in a "postfeminist" age
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This dissertation refutes the notion that contemporary girls are uninterested in feminism by exploring how teenage girls are engaging in feminist activism as bloggers. Using a feminist cultural studies approach I analyze how girl bloggers produce feminist identities and practices that challenge hegemonic postfeminist and neoliberal cultural politics. I employ feminist ethnographic methods, including a series of in-depth interviews with U.S. -based girl feminist bloggers and an online collaborative focus group, as well as a discursive and ideological textual analysis of girl-produced feminist blogs. Using these methods, I privilege girls' voices while proposing a model for conducting feminist ethnography online. In doing so, I demonstrate how girls' feminist blogging functions as an activist practice through networked counterpublics, intervening in mainstream and sometimes even commercial public space. I position this activism within a lengthy tradition of American feminism, analyzing how my participants remain in conversation with feminist history while simultaneously responding to their unique cultural climate. Finally, I argue that we must recognize the political importance of girls' feminist blogging by theorizing it as an emergent citizenship practice that makes feminism an accessible discourse to contemporary teenage girls.