"Ovanligt välgymnastiserade töser" : Genus och progressivitet hos Sofiaflickorna 1942-1964
Sammanfattning: This master’s thesis examines the Swedish gymnastics troupe, the Sofia Girls 1942-1964 from the perspective of gender and girlhood. The aim is to analyse the construction of the Sofia girl by their leader Maja Carlquist, the audience and the girls themselves, focusing on their characteristics, abilities and experiences. By applying Yvonne Hirdman’s theory of the Gender contract on another subject than the housewife, the girl, it is possible to discover a more nuanced history on gender. The results show that through her leadership of the Sofia Girls, Carlquist created the idea of a particular kind of girl to present to the world. This girl was strong, yet feminine, natural, and resolved to the ideals of womanhood while also challenging them. The girls who adapted to this construction, therefore agreeing to this particular kind of gender contract, were given opportunities to travel and were situated in positions of responsibility. This gave them self-esteem as they continued their lives. Thus, by conforming to the ideals, opportunities were created for the girls rather than holding them back. In this sense, the Sofia Girls displayed signs of progress during a period where it was rare at best.
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