Friendship Never Ends? Postfeminism, Power, and Female Friendships

Alison Mackiewicz, Sarah Riley, Adrienne Evans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter offers a useful framework for theorizing gender and power and applies it to examine girls and young women’s friendships. The theoretical framework brings into dialogue postfeminist ideas of ideal femininity with poststructuralist theories of how power shapes individual desires. The chapter employs this framing to offer a novel analysis of girls and young women’s friendships, describing the pleasures of female friendship in togetherness, camaraderie, validation, and safety. It also shows how, in circulating postfeminist notions of ideal femininity, friendships often regulate young women to work on their appearance, always be happy, and manage the risks of male aggression. The outcome is that female friendships may offer strategies of survival that also reinforce gender inequities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Power, Gender, and Psychology
EditorsEileen L. Zurbriggen, Rose Capdevila
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783031415319
ISBN (Print)9783031415302
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2023


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