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Girling can be defined as the process of becoming socially intelligible as a girl according to precedents for the performance of girlhood in any given sociocultural, geographic, political, economic, and historical context. In this usage, girl names a gendered social category and embodied process that is more complex and contingent than a self-evident, universal, biological, or demographic indicator for a young, non-adult, female-bodied, or feminine presenting person. The concept of girling is relevant to childhood studies because it provides a theoretical framework for documenting and analyzing how various bodies become socially understood as girls, and therefore, troubles articulations of girl as a biologically determined social category. This entry first discusses girling as a theoretical concept named by feminist philosopher Judith Butler. The remainder of the ...

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