Girl Trouble: Panic and Progress in the History of Young Women [NOOK Book]

Overview

Girls behave badly. If they're not obscenity-shouting, pint-swigging ladettes, they're narcissistic, living dolls floating around in a cloud of self-obsession, far too busy twerking to care. And this is news.

In this witty and wonderful book, Carol Dyhouse shows that where there's a social scandal or a wave of moral outrage, you can bet a girl is to blame. Whether it be stories of 'brazen flappers' staying out and up all night in the 1920s, inappropriate places for Mars bars in ...

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Girl Trouble: Panic and Progress in the History of Young Women

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Overview

Girls behave badly. If they're not obscenity-shouting, pint-swigging ladettes, they're narcissistic, living dolls floating around in a cloud of self-obsession, far too busy twerking to care. And this is news.

In this witty and wonderful book, Carol Dyhouse shows that where there's a social scandal or a wave of moral outrage, you can bet a girl is to blame. Whether it be stories of 'brazen flappers' staying out and up all night in the 1920s, inappropriate places for Mars bars in the 1960s or Courtney Love's mere existence in the 1990s, bad girls have been a mass-media staple for more than a century. And yet, despite the continued obsession with their perceived faults and blatant disobedience, girls are infinitely better off today than they were a century ago.

This is the story of the challenges and opportunities faced by young women growing up in the swirl of the twentieth century, and the pop-hysteria that continues to accompany their progress.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this engaging book, British social historian Dyhouse (Glamour: Women, History, Feminism), a charming and compelling writer, narrates the story of young English women, from the emergence of first wave feminism pre-WWI to the present. Her analysis is anchored by the “moral panic” that pops up each time young women take a step towards liberation. As girls begin to travel alone in the 1900s, a widespread fear of a nonexistent white slave trade emerges. As women began to seek higher education, anxieties rise that the over-education of women would cause damage to femininity, even death. As a result of “more liberal attitudes to female sexuality” in the interwar period, one study reports, “professional prostitutes… were being replaced by amateurs.” In the post-war period, juke boxes and clubs are identified as dens of iniquity. 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. As Dyhouse writes: “Young women need feminism as much as ever, if they are to see their lives in context and live them fully.” Agent: Maggie Hanbury, Hanbury Agency, U.K. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
'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, Professor of History, York University, Toronto

'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.' - Birgitte Søland, Professor of History, Ohio State University

'Girl Trouble will appeal to an academic and general audience as Dyhouse turbans 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.' - Penny Tinkler, University of Manchester

'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.' - Miriam Forman-Brunell, Professor of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Library Journal
The subtitle of this book is a good one. Dyhouse (history, Univ. of Sussex; Glamour: Women, History, Feminism) is an academic with a keen eye for popular culture. The result here is a kind of time line, from the 1920s to the recent past, delineating the challenges faced by young women as they approached adulthood. Challenges have ranged from an early assumption that "badness" in girls was the result of being "oversexed" and the belief that "higher-educated girls were a danger to themselves and to the race" to more recent stereotypical ideas about beauty and fashion. Dyhouse is both earnest and funny: she describes American psychologist Stanley G. Hall's writing as "mawkish and creepy," and she dutifully reports that in a 1949 survey, "large numbers of girls fantasized about their husbands dropping dead in middle age, leaving them with a new freedom." VERDICT The author only briefly acknowledges that race and gender identity can complicate the picture; the majority of the books, movies, and newspaper headlines she cites here are heavily skewed to British examples, possibly a weak spot for American readers. Selectors of women's studies and other social science materials may not wish to spring for this title as a first choice, but if budgets allow, it is a worthy one.—Ellen Gilbert, Princeton, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780325569
  • Publisher: Zed Books
  • Publication date: 6/12/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Sales rank: 373,297
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Carol Dyhouse is a social historian and currently a research professor of history at the University of Sussex. Her acclaimed book Glamour: Women, History, Feminism was published by Zed Books in 2010. Longer-term, her research has focused on gender, education and the pattern of women's lives in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain. Her books include Girls Growing Up in Late Victorian and Edwardian England; Feminism and the Family in England, 1890-1939; No Distinction of Sex? Women in British Universities, 1870-1939; and Students: A Gendered History.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. White Slavery and the Seduction of Innocents
2. Unwomanly Types: New Women, Revolting Daughters and Rebel Girls
3. Brazen Flappers, Bright Young Things and 'Miss Modern'
4. Good-time Girls, Baby Dolls and Teenage Brides
5. Coming of Age in the 1960s: Beat Girls and Dolly Birds
6. Taking Liberties: Panic Over Permissiveness and Women's Liberation
7. Body Anxieties, Depressives, Ladettes and Living Dolls: What Happened to Girl Power?
8. Looking Back

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