Revisiting the Jewish American princess : Jewish girls, the J.A.P. discursive stereotype, and negotiated identity
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This qualitative exploratory research investigates how Canadian Jewish girls understand the discursive stereotype of the Jewish American Princess (JAP), and how they take up these understandings of the J AP in relation to their identities. Three focus groups and six interviews were conducted with girls attending Jewish high schools in Toronto, Canada to explore these questions. From a third wave Jewish feminist perspective, and taking a mediated action approach to identity, two analyses were conducted. A thematic analysis of peer relations, gender, community, and religious understandings demonstrates how aspects of individual identities mediate interpretations of the JAP. A series ofpor t rai t s of JAP-related identity were constructed to analyze how the JAP discursive stereotype also functions as a cultural tool that is taken up by the participants to mediate expressions of their identities. These findings establish the contradictory ways these Jewish girls describe, interpret, and utilize the JAP discursive stereotype, and the complex roles it plays in their social worlds.