The ‘Social Processing Chamber’ of Gender: Australian Second-Wave Feminist Perspectives on Girls’ Socialisation

  • Isobelle Barrett Meyering


In the early 1970s, second-wave feminist theories of sex-role socialisation provided a new way of understanding the experience of Australian girlhood. While part of a transnational feminist discourse, this chapter argues that critiques of girls’ socialisation gained traction through activists’ often painstaking efforts to trace its origins and generate evidence of its effects at a local level. Three key themes are explored: feminists’ efforts to link girls’ socialisation to a distinctive form of Australian sexism; the use of personal testimony to develop more individualised accounts of socialisation; and the emphasis in early research studies on the gap between sex-role ideology and social realities. This process in turn brought greater specificity to claims about girls’ socialisation while also revealing the limitations of this model.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isobelle Barrett Meyering
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia

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