The Modern Girl Analysis

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Miriam Silverburg writes that “the modern girl must be made a part of the political economy and socio-cultural transformations of her time.” This constitutes the foundation of what Silverburg’s historical approach to the issue of gender entails. To Silverburg, the definition of the modern girl is not something easily obtained; indeed, it is the subject of debate even today, and while some scholars still pursue a concrete definition with which to firmly place the modern girl into a specific ideology, Silverburg argues that this is beyond the point of identifying the existence of the modern girl in the first place. Silverburg states that the modern girl “resisted definition,” yet she fundamentally identified as such by basing her life around …show more content…
It is a delicate balance that Silverburg argues for, one that remains in line with notions discussed previously in lecture. For instance, the catalysts for the rise of the modern girl are similar to those for the rise of the New Woman: both Silverburg and the lecture discuss how urbanization, the rise of global capitalism and the mass commodities that came with it, and nationalist movements promoting new attitudes towards the population (specifically women) all contributed to this rise in agency for women. Of course, these changes were not universally well-received, and from the rise of the modern women came an equal and measured rise in anxiety within men who were previously accustomed to a different sort of societal balance. This anxiety is best captured within Madeleine Dong’s text “Who Is Afraid of the Chinese Modern Girl?”, and it became an undercurrent that would influence the way the modern girl was perceived and received over time as the concept began to become more deeply embedded within different socio-cultural

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