Images of excess : southern girls' subjectivity and small-town education
Jackson, Alecia Youngblood
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This poststructural feminist qualitative study is a Foucauldian power/knowledge reading of the construction of subjectivity by six, eighteen-year-old adolescent southern girls, four White and two Black, within the conditions of their small-town education. The researcher engaged in six months of fieldwork and used the following ethnographic methods to conduct this study: interviews with former classmates, people in the community, and school officials; observations of six senior girls at the community’s high school; and analyses of historical documents of the school system. To employ a power/knowledge reading, the researcher located strategic conditions that formed and deployed a discourse of the girls’ small-town education. The researcher also described and analyzed the girl’s social relations and cultural and material practices that were enabled by those strategic conditions. This power/knowledge reading produced an analysis of the possibilities for subject formation within political, historical, communal, and cultural conditions of their small-town education.