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NCJ Number: 211685 Find in a Library
Title: Using Popular Theatre for Engaging Racialized Minority Girls in Exploring Questions of Identity and Belonging
Journal: Child & Youth Services  Volume:26  Issue:2  Dated:2004  Pages:95-118
Author(s): Jo-Anne Lee; Sandrina De Finney
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 24
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the use of popular theater as a means of examining racialized minority girls' processes of identity formation and experiences of exclusion and belonging in predominantly White, urban Victoria, British Columbia (Canada).
Abstract: Through storytelling, dramatic interpretation, symbolic representations, and nonverbal and embodied techniques, popular theater provides both a context and process for girls to safely express feelings and attitudes and develop peer supports. Researchers drew on a network of girls developed from previous research and community connections to form a group of 10 girls, ages 14-18, from various backgrounds. The selection process favored girls who were willing to reflect on their experiences and were interested in using the theater project as a means to explore their identities and social interactions. The project began with all-day, group-building workshops that combined program and research tasks. Theater games and exercises were incorporated in every step of the process, so as to delve into the stories, memories, and experiences that girls shared. The girls were eased into becoming actors in expressing their own culturally derived consciousness about gendered, racialized, class, and sexualized stereotypes in the context of devised skits with broad parameters for expression. Skits were performed before an audience of peers as a way of validating and revealing experiences. The process spurred and facilitated sharing hidden feelings and insights about submerged consciousness. The experience helped the racialized girls to acknowledge and reflect upon their strategies for functioning across the various cultural spheres of their daily lives. In the process of acting out feelings and behaviors in scenarios pertinent to their daily lives, the girls became aware of their identity formation as a complex developing process under social and cultural environments both chosen and imposed. 11 notes and 78 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention programs
Index Term(s): Adolescent females; British Columbia; Cultural influences; Minorities; Role playing; Self concept; Youth development
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