Browsing by Author "Anttila, Anna"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-1 of 1
  • Anttila, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The subject of my research is the romantic dating culture, the practice of 'going with', among preadolescents ('tweens') in Finland during the 1990s. Preadolescence is a cultural construction of the post-industrial period, experienced by school students between the ages of 7 to 13. Deemed by researchers as a shallow, unchallenging and uninteresting period, it has been shadowed in previous studies by early childhood and puberty. This study combines paradigms of the folkloristic research of children's lore, which began in the 1970s, with those of later, turn-of-the-century girls study. The phenomena of romantic girl culture are studied in several ways, through ample and varied subject materials collected in different places at different times. The research material was collected directly from schoolchildren through interviews, questionnaires and the observations of preadolescents' behavior in discos, among other methods. Part of the material consists of reminiscent thematic writings and parts have been quoted from tween message boards. A general picture of romantic preadolescent dating culture is formed in this study from five previously published articles and a summary. The influence of western culture, with its respect for relationships, is evident in tween dating culture. Seven- to thirteen-year olds use the elements of the society around them to construct an appropriate way for themselves to 'go out' with someone. Many expressions in preadolescent dating culture are contrary to the models of adult relationships. For example, a couple isn't necessarily expected to meet each other even once, or the other party, the boy, doesn't even need to know he's dating someone. Girls organize and experience relationships by playing card fortune-telling, calculating 'Love Percentages', and other methods. Categorizing tween dating culture and its related emotional qualities from an adult point of view as simply a play is one example of the hierarchical system of generations where childhood emotions, actions and conceptions of reality aren't valued as highly as the 'real life' of adults. Lowest on the totem pole are little girls, who in this study get their voices backed up by the researcher's adulthood and research-based sisterhood. Keywords: childhood, children's lore, dating culture, girls and boys, girls study, fortune-telling games, preadolescence/tweens