“I Want to BE Loved” Tween Girls Make Media about Relationships: A School-Based Participatory Research Project
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This paper analyzes the media collages produced by female participants during a participatory research project conducted at an elementary school in Toronto, Ontario. The research project employed a variety of arts-based techniques, of which collage-making was one, to elicit girls’ perspectives on the theme of relationships. Participants were in grade seven and eight between the ages of eleven and fourteen at the time of the study. To contextualize the girls’ use of media in their collages, a brief introduction to current representations of girlhood in mainstream culture is provided. The girls’ collages are then analyzed using strategies of content analysis and narrative analysis. Emphasis is placed on understanding how the girls engage with media messages about gender and sexuality through their collages. Drawing on the results of this research, recommendations for integrating media literacy into health education programmes are presented.