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Abstract

Adolescent girls are inundated with contradictory messages on sexuality. Adolescence is socially constructed as being controlled by “raging hormones” but ‘good girls” are asexual, devoid of any desire or passion. Schools discipline students’ bodies to prohibit any spilling over of sexuality that may pollute the educational environment. At the same time girls are also exposed through the internet to ‘girl power’ culture speaking of freedom, autonomy and choice in matters of sexuality. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 25 adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 years belonging to the middle class, going to reputed English medium private schools in Kolkata, a city in India, this article explores how adolescent girls speak of denial of their sexual subjectivity and disciplining of their bodies through surveillance in schools.

Note on the Author

Dr. Piyali Sur currently is Professor, Department of Sociology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. Her research interest is in the area of Gender Studies, Childhood Studies, Sociology of Crime and Deviance, Qualitative Research Methodology. She has publications in edited books and peer reviewed journals. Presently she is working on sexuality of adolescent girls and urban children and consumption. This research project is funded by Rastriya Uchchatar Shiksya Abhiyan (RUSA) 2.0

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