Schoolgirl Fictions

Schoolgirl Fictions

  • Paperback

What are little girls made of? In this book, Valerie Walkerdine examines the idea that femininity and masculinity are fictions, imbued with fantasy but lived as fact. It is often assumed that girls passively take on roles and stereotypes. Schoolgirl Fictions challenges that assumption, and looks at the many ways in which girls' identities are created, how these are lived, and how girls and women struggle to change the plot — and to invent alternative endings.

In a series of images and interventions, the author explores the creation of femininity in schools, at home, and in such forms of popular culture as magazines and television programmes. Walkerdine analyses her own struggle with such fictional person as 'daddy's girl', and the making of her identities as schoolgirl, teacher and academic. Combining techniques of autobiography, psychoanalysis and cultural criticism, Schoolgirl Fictions provides an imaginative and transgressive account of female subjectivity.


  • It's been said that in theoretical space no one can hear you scream! In engaging with new questions of class, gender and subjectivity, here's a work which not only provides a safe enough space to rehearse screaming but also to move through it into creative political energy.

    Jo Spence
  • A powerful analysis...For all those in the education world seeking to develop more equitable and thus more effective educational practice, I recommend it.

    Carol Adams, Director of Education, Wolverhampton, and co-author of The Gender Trap