Book Review: Future Girl: Young Women in the Twenty-first Century

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Reviews the book, "Future Girl: Young Women in the Twenty-first Century," by Anita Harris. In this book, the author argues that young women are currently being constructed as 'a vanguard of new subjectivity,' that is both celebratory and regulatory. The book contrasts the proliferation of popular stories about young women's apparent successes, as they 'make it', providing us all with hope for the future, with the lives of those many young women who are not living this story of success. For these young women, with limited educational qualifications, living in poor housing, with no jobs or in low paid temporary work, life is rather different. They are frequently represented as failures, argues the author, and constituted as responsible for the material, economic, social and psychological conditions in which they live. The book examines the coincidental discourses of 'can-do' and 'at risk' girls, moving into an interesting and important discussion of the diversity of young women's engagement in political activities, defined in the broadest sense. The book explores how the discursive constitution of 'can-do' and 'at risk' girls operates in the fields of education, employment, citizenship and leisure, and how welfare and justice systems discipline young women for appearing to 'fail'. The book owes a debt to the work of many theorists of femininity and subjectivity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-353
Number of pages3
JournalFeminism & Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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