What else can a crush become: working with arts-methods to address sexual harassment in pre-teen romantic relationship cultures

Tuija Huuki*, Kata Kyrölä, Suvi Pihkala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article focuses on a study in which feminist new materialist and arts-based methodologies were employed to explore how three girls address their experiences of sexual harassment as part of ‘crushes’ with boys in fourth and fifth grade. The study stems from longitudinal research on how Finnish children from pre-school to pre-teen years are caught up in entanglements of power in the formation of romantic relationship cultures. Such entanglements often escape articulation and are therefore difficult to study using more traditional research methods. During the arts-based process, the girls began to negotiate consent and self-determination in new ways through collecting, crafting, and making a booklet and a YouTube video. Conceptualising the changes as minor gestures [Manning, Erin. 2016. The Minor Gesture. Durham, NC: Duke University Press] that gradually transform girls’ somatic archives [Paasonen, Susanna. 2013. “Grains of Resonance: Affect, Pornography and Visual Sensation.” Somatechnics 3 (2): 351–368. doi:10.3366/soma.2013.0102], we argue that arts-methods can empower children to relate differently to each other, refuse harassment and assert their desires.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGender and Education
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Arts
  • children
  • harassment
  • new materialism
  • sexual cultures

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