Mixed-ethnic girls and boys as similarly powerless and powerful: Embodiment of attractiveness and grotesqueness

Laurel D. Kamada

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    An ongoing study examining the discursive negotiation of ethnic and gendered embodied identities of adolescent girls in Japan with Japanese and 'white' mixed-parentage is extended to also investigate and compare boys. This study draws on Feminist Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis which views women and girls as 'simultaneously positioned as relatively powerless within a range of dominant discourses on gender, but as relatively powerful within alternative and competing social discourses' (Baxter, 2003: 39). Here, this is taken further by also giving voice to boys. Furthermore, ethnic discourses are examined alongside of gender discourses. Not only girls constructed the 'idealized Other', within discourses of femininity, but boys similarly viewed their bodies against a model of idealized masculinity within discourses of masculinities. The boys revealed a feminized, narcissistic body consciousness where they struggled to resist a 'discourse of foreign grotesqueness' and instead worked to embody themselves within a positive 'discourse of foreign attractiveness', as did the girls.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)329-352
    Number of pages24
    JournalDiscourse Studies
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jun


    • Adolescents
    • Attractiveness
    • Embodiment
    • Empowerment
    • Feminist Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis Japanese
    • Grotesqueness
    • Mixed-ethnicity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Communication
    • Language and Linguistics
    • Anthropology
    • Linguistics and Language


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