Material girls and Material love: Consuming femininity and the contradictions of post-girl power among Kenyan schoolgirls

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Abstract

In this paper, I use qualitative data to explore the practices engaged in by Kenyan schoolgirls to participate in modern consuming womanhood, as well as the contradictory implications of these practices for thinking about globalized mediated femininities and their enactment in resource-poor settings. The paper examines the centrality of consumption to valued modern femininity among young women around the world, as well as the structural reality of gendered access to income. I show how the co-optation of the materiality of romantic love and normative expectations of male provision in romantic relationships bridge the gap between consumption desires and economic realities among Kenyan schoolgirls in both powerful and problematic ways. The paper ends with a reflection on the implications of these findings for post-girl power, the post-feminist age and the re-inscription of patriarchy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-229
Number of pages12
JournalContinuum
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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