Tweening the Girl challenges the argument that the tween market began in the mid-1990s. It was actually during the 1980s that young girls were given the label tweens and were heralded by marketers, and subsequently the news media, as one of capitalism's most valuable customers. Tweening the Girl expertly traces the emergence of the tween during this era as she slowly became kwn to the consumer marketplace as a lucrative customer, market, and audience. It clearly illustrates how tweenhood, which is often assumed to be a natural category of childhood, is actually a product of the industries of the youth media marketplace, which began to position the preteen girl as a separate market niche carved out of the transitory space between childhood and adolescence. Relying predominantly upon a textual analysis of trade publications from the 1980s and early 1990s, the book eloquently maps out the synergistic processes of the marketing, advertising, merchandising, and media industries as they slowly began to take interest in the girl and began to define her as a tween: an empowered female consumer who is longer a child but t quite a teen.
Natalie Coulter (PhD, Simon Fraser University) is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at York University. She is a founding member of ARCYP (Association for Research on the Cultures of Young People) and has published in a number of journals including the Canadian Journal of Communication and Jeunesse.