Smart girls : a deconstructive discourse analysis of smartness
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This project is a deconstructive discourse analysis of smart girlhood. From a feminist post structural framework, with a focus on discourse and performative identity, I scrutinize three dominant discourses of smartness that are prevalent and academic and popular press. These constructions frame smart girls as being either Losers, Have-It-All Girls, or Imposters. By conducting semi-structured group interviews with six self-identified smart girls, I explore the question of how smart girls perform their smart girl identities in their current sociocultural context. After analyzing the data from the group interviews, I outline five themes that seem to be prevalent in the stories told by the smart girls in this thesis. Finally, I discuss how the performative identities of the smart girls in my thesis appear to be much more complex, multiple and rhizomatic than the discourses under review allow.