The invisible girl: Ceci n'est pas une fille
2010 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
This presentation describes The Invisible Girl, a Swedish multi-disciplinary research project in which power relations, gender, online youth culture and learning are the primary objects of study.
Many studies on young girls' and boys' internet use have been conducted during the last fifteen years of rapidly developing mass use of the internet. However, the vast bulk of this research has had a top-down, adult perspective, with very little or no intention at all to give voice to the young informants themselves. There have also been tendencies to over-emphasize the generation gap and exoticisize young people's actions. Taking a closer look at this body of research, we find the presence of discomforting gender blindness. This is evident in, for instance, the use of boys' knowledge as a norm in the sense that girls should develop the same interests and competences as boys (ITU, 2008). Furthermore, in the gender blind school, girls' digital competence has been invisible and girls' knowledge is often hidden by their own terminology (Enochsson, 2005). Simmons (2004) also claims that we do not have words to describe girls' aggressions and that the lack of words leads to difficulties in discussing the question.
As researchers we are concerned about the unequal nature of this research field. When trying to find out what these inequalities consist of we have identified an important blind spot, both from a societal and a research point of view, which has led us to call our project The Invisible Girl. The name is inspired by Ralph Ellison's novel Invisible Man (1952). Just like Ellison portrays black Americans as being invisible, it is possible to view girls as invisible on the internet in the sense that their actions cannot be described with the existing male oriented terminology.
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IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-38001DiVA: diva2:371668
Association of Internet Researchers