(Un)Covering: Examining How Female Youth in Toronto Schools Use Style to Contest Normative Ideals of Girlhood
Cafaro, Brooke Christian Ashley
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This thesis examines how girls in Canadian schools contest dress codes in order to negotiate their identity. I will engage in a critical dialogue that reshapes the discourse of womens equality in new ways by refocusing our attention towards how young girls negotiate in the gaps and fissures of the normative ideal to contest and expand the narrative of girlhood. This research has broad social implications for both educational institutions and society to examine how patriarchal and colonial discourses seek to control female students bodies and how female students respond in the moments of interruption to enact power, agency and construct their identity. It will also demonstrate how educational institutions can deny contestations of the regulatory ideal by foreclosing female students interruptions instead of allowing them to develop into a politics.