Women without Class – Julie Bettie Ch. 1
Julie Bettie starts the article by discussing her research goals and relevant research in the field of
gender studies and identity. She talks about a reading called ‘Reviving Ophelia’ by Mary Pipher, that
speaks of a “girl poisioning culture” but felt this book was written by someone who oversimplified gender
identity and did not even take the time to get to know and earn the trust of the girls she was writing about.
Julie Bettie wants to crack these stereotypes and unlock the cultural and identity issues underlying these
problems and the development of girls in today’s society. She sets up the first chapter to describe her
method of obtaining research information and the demographic she was working with, which included
ethnographic field work and a diverse population of girls at a Central Valley High School.
Bettie realized that much of the research and reading she did lacked ethnographic field work, so
she decided to go into the field and clear up any stereotypes or misconceptions about identity and
hierarchy in the younger age group of high school girls. Her main goal was to compare girls across race
and class, and to do so she had to integrate herself within the groups and approach the task through hands
on observation and interactions with the girls for her research. In order for her to obtain the most reliable
research she had to work hard to gain the trust of the girls, rather than be viewed as a researcher, which