Girl Trouble: Panic and Progress in the History of Young Womenby Carol Dyhouse
Since the suffrage movement, young women’s actions have been analyzed and decried exhaustively by mass media. Each new bad behavior—bobbing one’s hair, protesting politics, drinking, swearing, or twerking, among other things—is held up as yet another example of moral decline in women. Without fail, any departure from the socially dictated… See more details below
Since the suffrage movement, young women’s actions have been analyzed and decried exhaustively by mass media. Each new bad behavior—bobbing one’s hair, protesting politics, drinking, swearing, or twerking, among other things—is held up as yet another example of moral decline in women. Without fail, any departure from the socially dictated persona of the angelic, passive woman gets slapped with the label of “bad girl.”
Social historian Carol Dyhouse studies this phenomenon in Girl Trouble, an expansive account of its realities throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Dyhouse looks closely at interviews, news pieces, and articles to show the clear perpetuation of this trend and the very real effects that it has had—and continues to have—on the girlhood experience. She brilliantly demonstrates the value of feminism and other liberating cultural shifts and their necessity in expanding girls’ aspirations and opportunities in spite of the controversy that has accompanied these freedoms.
Girl Trouble is the dynamic story of the challenges and opportunities faced by young women growing up in the swirl of the twentieth century and the vocal critics who continue to scrutinize their progress.
"Dyhouse's analysis of the sexual revolution of the 1960s is deliciously smart. The book is a loud, disturbing, eloquent, and crucial rallying cry against the concept of a 'post-feminist' world, a narrative deeply relevant today." - Publishers Weekly
"There's a certain twisted pleasure to be had from revisiting some of the wild and wonderful things that men (and women, too) have believed in the past about women's incapacity for education and employment." - The Guardian
"Carol Dyhouse's Girl Trouble is a brilliant, magisterial and moving account of the changes and continuities in the history of young women from the Victorian period to the present day. Ranging with great assurance across a dazzling array of sources, from court cases to film, popular music and political commentary, Dyhouse shows how the lives of young women and debates over youthful femininity lie at the very heart of modern British history and society. Girl Trouble is intellectually provocative, laced through with wit and acuity, and a model of historical writing. It deserves the widest possible readership." - Stephen Brooke, York University, Toronto, Canada
"Girl Trouble offers readers an accessible and beautifully written history of adolescent girls and young women from the late Victorian era to Cameron's twenty-first-century Britain. Balancing animated accounts of girls' adventures on the cultural scene with sober analyses of the 'moral panics' they caused, Carol Dyhouse has written a thought-provoking book so brimming with stories and insights that it is practically impossible to put down." - Professor Birgitte Søland, Ohio State University, USA
"Girl Trouble will appeal to an academic and general audience as Dyhouse turns her historian's eye to an investigation of stereotypes of bad girls from suffragettes to flappers and Beatlemania to girlpower. Meticulous and detailed research unearths familiar and not so familiar narratives of girls gone wrong. Lively, engaging and scholarly, this is a book to be read from cover to cover or to dip into. Richly illustrated, it will evoke memories and perhaps cause a few blushes as Dyhouse's incisive analysis puts young women and their detractors under the spotlight." - Stephanie Spencer, author of Gender, Work and Education in Britain in the 1950s
"Written by a leading researcher in the field, this lucid and lively book traces what it means to be a girl in Britain from the 1880s to the present. Marshalling an array of sources, Dyhouse presents a critical and insightful history that places girls and young women centre stage, whilst avoiding casting them simply as either the beneficiaries or victims of social and cultural change. For those interested in girls today or historically, this book is an essential, engaging and rewarding read." - Professor Penny Tinkler, University of Manchester, UK
"This richly illustrated narrative history, accessibly written by a pioneer in the field of girls' studies, adroitly traces cultural anxieties about social disorder generated by changing constructions of girlhood as well as generations of girls who sought personal pleasures and political freedoms in Britain from the late nineteenth century to the present. To document shifting representations of girls' cultures and discursive debates among feminists, reformers, professionals, officials, and others troubled by 'modern' girls' brains, bodies and behaviour, Dyhouse draws upon a treasure trove of critical and colorful sources - photographs, pamphlets, medical texts, government reports, newspapers, novels, feminist scholarship, movies, music, plays, consumer goods, fads, etc. Crossing lines of class, race, region, sexual identity, age, genders and generations, this lively, girl-focused narrative will provide much-needed content and context for instructors, students and scholars in girls' studies, women's studies, children's and youth studies, and in British history." - Professor Miriam Forman-Brunell, University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA
“There's a certain twisted pleasure to be had from revisiting some of the wild and wonderful things that men (and women, too) have believed in the past about women's incapacity for education and employment.”
- Zed Books
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- 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Meet the Author
Carol Dyhouse is a social historian and research professor of history at the University of Sussex.
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