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Maiden USA: Girl Icons Come of Age (Mediated Youth) [Paperback]

Kathleen Sweeney
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 7, 2008 0820481971 978-0820481975
Maiden USA: Girl Icons Come of Age explores images of powerful, contradictory pop culture icons of the past decade, which run the gamut from Mean Girls and their Endangered Victims to Superheroines and Ingenue Goddesses. Are girls of the Title IX generation in need of Internet protection, or are they Supergirls evolving beyond gender stereotypes to rescue us all? Maiden USA provides an overview of girl trends since the ‘90s including the emergence of girls’ digital media-making and self-representation venues on MySpace, Facebook and YouTube as the newest wave of Girl Power.

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Maiden USA: Girl Icons Come of Age (Mediated Youth) + The Media and the Models of Masculinity + Racism, Sexism, and the Media: Multicultural Issues Into the New Communications Age
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Editorial Reviews

Review

«An expansive survey of girlhood in contemporary American media culture, ‘Maiden USA’ is a welcome sequel to Susan Douglas’ ‘Where the Girls Are’. Written in a fresh, accessible voice, Sweeney’s insightful explorations of today’s teen girl iconography and impassioned discussions of girls’ media literacy and digital media-making are must-reads for anyone interested in girl culture.» (Mary Celeste Kearney, The University of Texas at Austin; Author of ‘Girls Make Media’)
«This timely and important book illuminates the significance of the powerful but often puzzling pop culture female icons that have arrived on the American scene (and screen) in the past decade. The spirited discussion of the positive alternatives already out there offers real hope and inspiration.» (Jean Kilbourne, Visiting Research Scholar, Wellesley Centers for Women)
«Kathleen Sweeney knows girl culture. Her experience as a filmmaker working directly with teenage girls informs this book with keen insight and authentic observation. She gives us an insider’s peek into the rich landscape of girl media culture from someone who intimately knows the terrain. For anyone wanting to explore this world, this is your road map.» (Malory Graham, Founder and Director of Reel Grrls)
«At a time when girl icons have agency, driving industries the world over, Maiden USA invites those of us invested in ‘ordinary girls’ living and breathing outside the media’s gaze to take action. It reminds us that the tools needed to rebel against the media machines are within girls’ reach. It is our simple job to show them the route and get out of the way. What results is pure magic.» (Purva Panday, Girls’ Programming Consultant)
«‘Maiden USA’ is an insightful book with constructive, practical approaches to media literacy to help girls re-image their true strengths and voices. Parents, educators, and media professionals will benefit from the ideas presented, whether they have teenage daughters, were teenage girls or are interested in current media icons and influences. ‘Maiden USA’ focuses on the majority of girls, who are neither celebrities nor troubled youth. It offers adults ways to encourage girls to believe in themselves in a thoughtful, grounded style. [This is a] book for anyone who cares about girls’ well-being.» (Mara Alper, Media Artist; Associate Professor, Roy H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College)
«Kathleen Sweeney’s in-depth analysis leads us effortlessly through an exposé of the fabrication of contemporary ‘teen’ and ‘tween’ girl icons. Drawing examples from film, TV, print, the Internet, and ancillary markets, her evocative prose examines the impact the commoditization of the ‘maiden’ image has had on real girls and the collective psyche. Well aware of the mythological power of these cultural signifiers, Sweeney gifts the reader with an unparalleled degree of media literacy.» (Mark Greene, Department of Counseling and Psychology, Hong Kong Shue Yan University)
«In ‘Maiden USA’, Kathleen Sweeney provides an engaging and thoughtful testament to proactive programming for girls that addresses the lack of gender representation behind the camera and in decision-making leadership positions in media.» (Deborah Aubert Thomas, Institute for Women’s Leadership, Rutgers University; Former Associate Director of National Programs, Girls Inc.)

From the Back Cover

"An expansive survey of girlhood in contemporary American media culture, Maiden USA is a welcome sequel to Susan Douglas’ Where the Girls Are. Written in a fresh, accessible voice, Sweeney’s insightful explorations of today’s teen girl iconography and impassioned discussions of girls’ media literacy and digital media-making are must-reads for anyone interested in girl culture." Mary Celeste Kearney, The University of Texas at Austin; Author of Girls Make Media

"This timely and important book illuminates the significance of the powerful but often puzzling pop culture female icons that have arrived on the American scene (and screen) in the past decade. The spirited discussion of the positive alternatives already out there offers real hope and inspiration." Jean Kilbourne, Visiting Research Scholar, Wellesley Centers for Women

"Kathleen Sweeney knows girl culture. Her experience as a filmmaker working directly with teenage girls informs this book with keen insight and authentic observation. She gives us an insider’s peek into the rich landscape of girl media culture from someone who intimately knows the terrain. For anyone wanting to explore this world, this is your road map." Malory Graham, Founder and Director of Reel Grrls

"At a time when girl icons have agency, driving industries the world over, Maiden USA invites those of us invested in ‘ordinary girls’ living and breathing outside the media’s gaze to take action. It reminds us that the tools needed to rebel against the media machines are within girls’ reach. It is our simple job to show them the route and get out of the way. What results is pure magic." Purva Panday, Girls’ Programming Consultant

"Maiden USA is an insightful book with constructive, practical approaches to media literacy to help girls re-image their true strengths and voices. Parents, educators, and media professionals will benefit from the ideas presented, whether they have teenage daughters, were teenage girls or are interested in current media icons and influences. Maiden USA focuses on the majority of girls, who are neither celebrities nor troubled youth. It offers adults ways to encourage girls to believe in themselves in a thoughtful, grounded style. [This is a] book for anyone who cares about girls’ well-being." Mara Alper, Media Artist; Associate Professor, Roy H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College

"Kathleen Sweeney’s in-depth analysis leads us effortlessly through an exposé of the fabrication of contemporary ‘teen’ and ‘tween’ girl icons. Drawing examples from film, TV, print, the Internet, and ancillary markets, her evocative prose examines the impact the commoditization of the ‘maiden’ image has had on real girls and the collective psyche. Well aware of the mythological power of these cultural signifiers, Sweeney gifts the reader with an unparalleled degree of media literacy." Mark Greene, Department of Counseling and Psychology, Hong Kong Shue Yan University

"In Maiden USA, Kathleen Sweeney provides an engaging and thoughtful testament to proactive programming for girls that addresses the lack of gender representation behind the camera and in decision-making leadership positions in media." Deborah Aubert Thomas, Institute for Women’s Leadership, Rutgers University; Former Associate Director of National Programs, Girls Inc.


Product Details

  • Series: Mediated Youth (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers (January 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820481971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820481975
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #823,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maiden power February 22, 2008
Format:Paperback
This gem of a book is not only important, informative, and thought-provoking--it's also clever, funny, and downright brilliant. If you have a daughter, or you are one, or you know one--or even if you don't--Maiden USA is an enthralling read. What a splendid job!
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Kathleen Sweeney's analysis of the doomsday predictions that "girls are in trouble," is intelligent and insightful, optimistically re-visioning the state of adolescent girls as an opportunity for empowerment. Her critique of Piper's "Reviving Ophelia" is the best I have read, challenging the notion that what Ophelia represents should be revived, and instead offering up new "Icons" of positive, powerful adolescent girls representing a new energy emerging in our culture. Combining psychology, art, new media, and mentoring, "Maiden USA" is a bold take on the heroic archetypal feminine making itself know to us all.

-- Laura Zegel, LCSW
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Survey of Millenial Girl Icons April 24, 2008
Format:Paperback
A candid, accessible, brilliant review of girl icons as presented in the media over the past 20 years (with nods to Barbie and a few other earlier famed love/hate icons). While so much academic writing can be abstruse and sometimes even cynical, Kathleen's book is optimistic and readable. Her call for media literacy as an antidote to negative narratives is cogent and smart. Her descriptions of work done by Real Grrls and other girl filmmakers and photographers is inspiring. Required reading for Millenial Girls, their parents, teachers and anyone else who loves media.
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