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Smart GirlsSuccess, School, and the Myth of Post-Feminism$
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Shauna Pomerantz and Rebecca Raby

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520284142

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520284142.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

Cool to Be Smart

Cool to Be Smart

Microresistances and Hopeful Glimpses

(p.149) Chapter Six Cool to Be Smart
Smart Girls

Shauna Pomerantz

Rebecca Raby

University of California Press

In this chapter, we focus on two themes that offer glimpses into places in smart girls’ lives where possibilities for social transformation might be fostered. First, we explore ways that some of the girls in our study were contesting popular femininity through micro-resistances. These small yet potentially influential challenges to popular femininity help shift the landscape of girlhood by subtly expanding who and what a (smart) girl can be. Second, we focus on the importance of school culture in fostering girls’ comfort with academic success. If the culture of the school was open to less traditional forms of gender and sexuality, it seemed that smart girls had a much better chance of thriving rather than hiding. Finally, we conclude with a renewed call for greater care in making broad statements – in media outlets and academic research – about girls and boys in school. Greater attention is needed to intersections of identity, such as gender, ‘race’, class, sexuality, age, and nationhood, including privileges and disadvantages that cut across these categories.

Keywords:   resistance, hope, transformation, femininity, school culture, cool

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