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Vues, mais non entendues : les adolescentes québécoises francophones et l'hypersexualisation de la mode et des médias


Vues, mais non entendues : les adolescentes québécoises francophones et l'hypersexualisation de la mode et des médias

Caron, Caroline (2009) Vues, mais non entendues : les adolescentes québécoises francophones et l'hypersexualisation de la mode et des médias. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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NR63390.pdf - Accepted Version


In Quebec, as in many Western countries, the fashion for provocative clothing worn by teenage and preteen girls has sparked concern and strong reactions since the turn of the 21 st century. In the fields of education, social work and public policy and within the feminist movement, this has led to a call to arms against the precocious sexualization of young girls and the hypersexualization promoted by fashion and the media. However, the viewpoint of those most closely concerned has not been really been taken into account in public debates and dress code reforms adopted to counteract the phenomenon in schools. The present thesis breaks this silence by giving voice to 28 French-speaking Quebec teenage girls (aged 11 to 18) interviewed individually and in focus groups in 2007. The "methodology of sensitivity" developed by the author is based on a poststructuralist feminist theoretical framework and documentation relating to the intersection of cultural studies and girls' studies. Centred on listening, involvement and an ethic of representation, this inductive approach allows conversations to be established with participants and lets their preoccupations influence the research agenda. The results of this study raise questions about the hegemonic conceptualization of the issue in public and media discourse (2000-2006) and reveal its normalizing effects in the daily life of adolescent girls. The analysis of mediated discourses and the participants' perspectives show that the question of hypersexualization has stirred a deeply emotional controversy rather than a debate; that education and psychosexology are the main sources of knowledge in public and scholarly discussion; that the controversy has led to increased regulation of adolescent girls' bodies and sexuality; that school uniforms do not represent as consensual and effective a response as school authorities have claimed; that clothing styles have different, shifting meanings for teenage girls and that the fashion for sexy clothing gives rise to othering micro-practices based on gender, class, sexuality and a heteronorrnative culture. On the whole, the results of this study raise the issue of the legitimacy of desire and sexual expression among adolescent girls, while also questioning the conditions under which young people are allowed to participate in institutions and in democracy as sexual political subjects.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Caron, Caroline
Pagination:xii, 307 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Communication Studies
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sawchuk, K
ID Code:976447
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:26
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:42
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