Discover how girls develop a sense of self as they struggle to make sense of complex and complicated times.
Working Relationally with Girls: Complex Lives, Complex Identities examines the experience of being a girl in today’s society and the difficulties social work practitioners face in developing a universal theory that represents that experience. This unique book analyzes how—and why—gender is still a complicated barrier for most girls, despite living in “post-feminist” times. Working from a variety of orientations, the book offers practical suggestions on how to help girls deal with interpersonal tensions, interpersonal conflicts, relational dilemmas, and the difficulties that stem from rules and norms of what is still a male-dominated society.
Human service practitioners, regardless of their fields, face an everyday struggle to understand how adolescent girls construct identities in relation to the culture in which they live. The contributors to Working Relationally with Girls call on a range of disciplines, including child and youth care, cultural studies, feminist theory, counseling, and social psychology, to examine how girls interpret cultural expectations to develop a sense of self under complex conditions. This unique book addresses the subtle—and not-so-subtle—practices (symbols, metaphors, images, scripts, rules, norms, and narratives) that shape girls’ lives, providing the tools to build a basic framework that will help you understand how girls are alike—and how they’re different.
Working Relationally with Girls examines:
how mothers and daughters perceive general differences regarding sexual experiences in adolescence
how girls’ health issues are constructed within the context of their dating relationships
what do mothers and daughters want to know about each other’s sexuality
the difficulty girls have in articulating their needs and desires in romantic relationships
how many girls deal with what they see as an impossible choice—compromising their sense of self to maintain a relationship or compromising the relationship to maintain their sense of self
how the dynamics of a dating relationship can affect a girl’s development and health
the influence of media on constructing an identity
how minorities form an identity when dealing with exclusion and belonging in a predominately white community
using theater to examine the experience of identity formation
and much more!
Working Relationally with Girls is an essential guide to understanding how girls make sense of the world and how their decisions affect their gender and identity development. Social workers, health care professionals, child and youth care practitioners, and counselors will find this rich combination of theory and practice invaluable as an everyday resource.
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“An essential guide to understanding the social context within which the lives of girls are constructed. . . . Provides an expanded view of what young women are up against and how we as practitioners can assist them in restorying their lives.” -Deb Wandler, MSW, RSW, Coordinator/Instructor, Human Services Programs, School of Health and Human Services, Selkirk College
"A must-read for any practitioner interested in connecting and consulting with adolescent girls...offers new insight into the often contradictory and conflicted relational lives of young adolescent women. . . . explores important questions about how girls develop and construct their identity in a culture that is still saturated with paradoxical messages about what it means to be a woman. The research presented in this collection is immensely interesting and insightful. This book is very compelling and will challenge practitioners and scholars alike in their ideas about who girls are today and what notions help them negotiate their lives safely. Experienced and novice practitioners alike will find the authors' discourse and ideas thought-provoking. -Catharine Andrew, MA, Professor, Child and Youth Care Program, Malaspina University College; Registered Clinical Counselor in Private Practice