Tweening the Girl: The Crystallization of the Tween Market.
By Natalie Coulter
Peter Lang: Mediated Youth Series.
Tweening the Girl, challenges the accepted argument that the tween market began in the mid-1990s. It was actually during the 1980s that young girls were given the label, “tweens” and were heralded by marketers, and subsequently the news media, as one of “capitalism’s most valuable customers”. Tweening the Girl, expertly traces the emergence of tween during this era as she slowly became known to the consumer marketplace as a lucrative customer, market and audience. It clearly illustrates how ‘tweenhood’ which is often assumed to be a natural category of childhood is actually a product of the industries of the youth media marketplace that began to position the preteen girl as a separate market niche that is notched out of the transitory spaces between childhood and adolescence. Relying predominantly upon a textual analysis of trade publications in the 1980s and early 1990s the book eloquently maps out the synergistic processes of the marketing, advertising, merchandising and media industries as they slowly began to take interest in the girl and began to define her as a tween; an empowered female consumer who is no longer a child but not quite a teen.
|Natalie Coulter is an assistant professor of communication studies at York University. She is a founding member of ARCYP (Association for Research on the Cultures of Young People) and has published in a number of journals including the Canadian Journal of Communication and Juenesse.|