The Politics of Voice in Tween Girls’ Music Criticism

  • Diane Pecknold
Keywords: music, tweens, voice, youngsters


The tween girl music fan is often constructed as the antithesis of the normative critic; she is imagined to be naive, hysterical, or driven by repressed sexuality. This essay argues that girls employ unique forms of collaborative and embodied criticism, and that their engagement with popular music is one of the primary ways they translate their sensory perception of the world into social and political meaning. Using their aesthetic judgments about the musical voice as one example of this process shows how girls understand the politics of gender through sonic regimes and how music allows them to imagine an intimate public of girlhood. 


DOI: 10.1353/jeu.2017.0025

Author Biography

Diane Pecknold

Diane Pecknold is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Louisville. She and Sarah Dougher are currently at work on two books: a collection of essays on girls, popular music, and feminist pedagogy and a study of tween girls’ music criticism. Their work has appeared in Voicing Girlhood in Popular Music (2016), Mediated Girlhoods, v. 2 (forthcoming), and a special issue of The Journal of Popular Music Studies on girlhood and popular music (2016).

How to Cite
Pecknold, D. (2018). The Politics of Voice in Tween Girls’ Music Criticism. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 9(2). Retrieved from
Articles for Special Section on Youngsters