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Working Hard to Create a Visible Self: Social Constructions of (In)Visibility in Relation to Girls' Stress
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS). (Stress and Health in Youth (Umeå SHY))
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2012 (English)In: Invisible Girl: "Ceci n'est pas une fille" / [ed] Gun-Marie Frånberg, Camilla Hällgren & Elza Dunkels, Umeå: Umeå University , 2012, 21-31 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this article we problematise the stress girls experience in the light of invisibility and visibility, including the gendered tensions around the social constructions of girls as (in)visible. Our analysis is based on a rereading of narrative interviews with Swedish girls experiencing stress-related problems. Issues of girl's health and illness are found to be undeveloped in the wider sociocultural context of both health research and cultural youth studies. Our analysis suggests that stress as an illness among girls seems invisible and diminished, and also that girls themselves feel invisible and not good enough. We emphasise that girls' efforts and the external demands on them need to be acknowledged and addressed instead of individualised. Furthermore, we relate the tension between visibility and invisibility, which seems central to the girl's distress, to limiting norms of femininity and gender orders. According to our analysis the girls' efforts to create a visible self seem to come at a price.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University , 2012. 21-31 p.
Keyword [en]
youth, girls, young women, gender, femininity, social constructions, stress, stressors, mental health, qualitative method, interviews, Sweden, medical sociology, health
National Category
Health Sciences Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Gender Studies Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-56481ISBN: 978-91-7459-727-1OAI: diva2:535252
Stress and Health in Youth (Umeå SHY)
Available from: 2012-06-21 Created: 2012-06-19 Last updated: 2016-04-06Bibliographically approved

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Invisible Girl 2012(48072 kB)2843 downloads
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Wiklund, MariaBengs, Carita
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PhysiotherapyUmeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS)Department of Sociology
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