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Taking up a Position: Discourses of Femininity and Adolescence in the Context of Man/Girl Relationships

Terry Leahy
Gender and Society
Vol. 8, No. 1 (Mar., 1994), pp. 48-72
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/190071
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Taking up a Position: Discourses of Femininity and Adolescence in the Context of Man/Girl Relationships
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Abstract

The relationship between mainstream femininity and resistance to it has been theorized in a number of ways. In one approach, mainstream femininity is identified as a patriarchal set of public texts that women accept, negotiate, or resist in practice. Another view sees mainstream femininity as a dominant cultural practice to which there are resistant subcultural responses. Taking a poststructuralist view, this article offers an alternative to these models. The focus of the article is the differing ways in which a set of interviewees validated their participation in a type of relationship that is socially constructed as a departure from mainstream femininity, namely, a voluntary sexual relationship between an adult man and an adolescent girl.

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