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Fighting like a girl… or a boy? An analysis of videos of violence between young girls posted on online fight websites


Larkin, A and Dwyer, AE, Fighting like a girl or a boy? An analysis of videos of violence between young girls posted on online fight websites, Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 27, (3) pp. 269-284. ISSN 1034-5329 (2016) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2016 Institute of Criminology

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DOI: doi:10.1080/10345329.2016.12036046


How young women engage in physical violence with other young women is an issue that raises specific concerns in both criminological literature and theories. Current theoretical explanations construct young women’s violence in one of two ways: young women are not physically violent at all, and adhere to an accepted performance of hegemonic femininity; or young women reject accepted performances of hegemonic femininity in favour of a masculine gendered performance to engage in violence successfully. This article draws on qualitative and quantitative data obtained from a structured observation and thematic analysis of 60 online videos featuring young women’s violent altercations. It argues that, contrary to this dichotomous construction, there appears to be a third way young women are performing violence, underpinned by masculine characteristics of aggression but upholding a hegemonic feminine gender performance. In making this argument, this article demonstrates that a more complex exploration and conceptualisation of young women’s violence, away from gendered constructs, is required for greater understanding of the issue.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:young girls, violence, gender, fight sites, fight videos, theories, masculinity, femininity
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Criminology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Gender and sexualities
UTAS Author:Dwyer, AE (Dr Angela Dwyer)
ID Code:105689
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2016-01-13
Last Modified:2017-11-09

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