Bookmarks : girlhood reading that marked us women

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Arelis, Deanna L.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 1995
This thesis is contained within the frame of a plot diagram, since it is a story about telling stories about stories. The conflict was initiated when it struck me that I had been living unawares inside a contradiction: I called myself a feminist, yet I loved and promoted the "Great Works of Western Literature", a canon reflecting patriarchal metanarratives. This conflict shaped the question, "What does it mean to say that we are gendered by what and how we read as girls?" I looked for clues by re-searching my graduate coursework, amongst the discourses of critical pedagogy, postmodernism, interpretive inquiry, and feminist literary criticism. Translating theory into rising action, I adopted as my approach the memory-work techniques described in Female Sexualization (1987), an exemplary work of feminist research. I formed the BookMarks Collective, comprising an affinity group of six women, including me, who met and responded to the question for five months by writing, critiquing, and rewriting memory-stories about their girlhood reading. The experience of collectivity itself became the story's climax: together we opened the door to a world we would not have discovered alone or lived theoretically. Together we brought to life the belief that change in ourselves preceeds pedagogic change, our conversations having sparked insights about our beliefs and practice that none had come to on her own. Together, we re-read "gendering" as a process within a complex and contradictory constructed reality in which we both act and are acted upon. Together, we recognized the power of collective consciousness-raising to enable us to re-view the textual meanings of our lifestories, allowing us to become conscious agents in their ongoing construction.
viii, 232 leaves ; 29 cm.
Girls -- Books and reading , Reading , Role concept , Sex role in children's literature , Socialization , Dissertations, Academic