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Why Girls Fight – Female Youth Violence in the Inner City - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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Why Girls Fight: Female Youth Violence in the Inner City

Cindy D. Ness


In low-income U.S. cities, street fights between teenage girls are common. These fights take place at school, on street corners, or in parks, when one girl provokes another to the point that she must either “step up” or be labeled a “punk.” Typically, when girls engage in violence that is not strictly self-defense, they are labeled “delinquent,” their actions taken as a sign of emotional pathology. However, this book demonstrates that in poor urban areas this kind of street fighting is seen as a normal part of girlhood and a necessary way to earn respect among peers, as well as a way for girls ... More

Keywords: street fights, teenage girls, girls' violence, poor urban areas, street fighting, girlhood, urban girls, physical aggression, Philadelphia

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780814758403
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814758403.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Cindy D. Ness, author