". . . a big, rich book . . . a well-crafted book. Just like teenage girls, it is dramatic, entertaining, and endearing."?- JRAI
". . . an exhaustive study, theoretically sophisticated, beautifully written, and an enlightening read." - Australian Women's Book Review
Through the innovative methodology of asking them to record their experiences on videotape, this book offers an evocative and fascinating cross-cultural exploration into the everyday lives of a number of teenage girls from their own broad social, cultural and ethnic perspectives. The use of the video camera by the girls themselves reveals their exploration and experimentation with possible identities, highlighting their awareness that the self is not ready made but rather constituted in the process of continuous performance. The result is an active self-conscious exploration of the continuous "art" of self-making. Through their play, the teenagers are shown to strategically test out various possibilities, while keeping such explorations within the bounds of what is acceptable and permissible in their own micro-cultural worlds. The resulting material challenges previous findings in those feminist and youth anthropological studies based on too narrow a concept of class, ethnicity or populist approaches to culture.
Gerry Bloustien is a senior lecturer in Communications at the University of South Australia.