Reveals how friendships and social media can help girls survive even the most tragic consequences of American poverty.
My Girls explores the overlooked yet transformative power of female friendship in a low-income Boston-area neighborhood. In this innovative and compassionate book, researcher Jasmin Sandelson joins teenage girls in their homes, at their hangouts and parties, and online to show how they use their connections to secure the care and support that adults in their lives can't give.
Friendships among young people in poor, urban communities—often framed as "risky" sources of peer pressure and conflict—offer crucial support and self-esteem. In a new, positive take that reveals the primacy of phones and social media in contemporary friendships, Sandelson demonstrates how girls look to one another to battle boredom, find stability, embrace adulthood, and process trauma and grief. This illuminating study—one of the first to combine digital and in-person fieldwork—blends firsthand narratives with tweets, Snaps, and Instagram and Facebook posts. My Girls places young women of color at the center of their own stories to illuminate the worlds of love and care they create.