Being “Nice” or Being “Normal”: Girls Resisting Discourses of “Coolness”

Carrie Paechter, Goldsmiths, University of London, considers discourses of friendship and belonging mobilised by girls who are not part of the dominant “cool” group in one English primary school. She discusses how, by investing in alternative and, at times, resistant, discourses of “being nice” and “being normal” these “non-cool” girls were able to avoid some of the struggles for dominance and related bullying and exclusion found by us and other researchers to be a feature of “cool girls” groupings and  argues that there are multiple dynamics in girls’ lives in which being “cool” is only sometimes a dominant concern.

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