Shauna Pomerantz, Ph.D.

Faculty of Social Sciences - Child and Youth Studies

Shauna Pomerantz, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
CRN - 331
Phone (905) 688-5550, Ext. 5371

My research focuses on the construction of youth and girlhood through the complimentary lenses of Sociology and Cultural Studies. I explore how young people use cultural texts to make sense of themselves, each other, and the world around them, paying particular attention to the institution of the school, where teenagers must learn to negotiate complex social worlds and categories. I am committed to doing qualitative research with young people, particularly interviews and ethnography. My past projects include Girl Power, a study of girls’ expressions of empowerment and understandings of feminism, and Dressing the Part, an ethnographic study of how girls use style to negotiate their identities in an urban, multicultural high school. My current SSHRC-funded study (with Rebecca Raby), is entitled, Smart Girls: Negotiating Academic Success in a "Post-Feminist" Era. I received my PhD from the University of British Columbia and teach in the areas of Social Justice, Qualitative Research Methodologies, Popular Culture, Feminist Theories and the Sociology of Childhood and Youth.

Research Interests

  • Sociology of education
  • Youth cultural studies and girls' studies
  • Feminist and post-feminist theories
  • Postmodern, poststructural, and postcolonial theories
  • Popular culture: music, videos, film, books, technologies, zines, scenes
  • Intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, class, age, sexuality
  • Identity, identification, and subjectivity
  • Youth moral panics and media analyses
  • Social justice and critical pedagogy
  • Qualitative research methodologies



Currie, Dawn, H., Kelly, Deirdre, M. & Pomerantz, Shauna. (2009). ‘Girl power’: Girls reinventing girlhood. New York: Peter Lang.

Pomerantz, Shauna. (2008). Girls, style, and school identities: Dressing the part. New York: Palgrave.

Book Chapters

Pomerantz, Shauna & Raby, Rebecca (forthcoming). The post-nerd: Reading smart girls in post-feminist popular culture. In Clare Bradford & Mavis Reimer (Eds.). Girls, Texts, Cultures. Waterloo, ON: Wilfred Laurier Press.

Currie, Dawn H., Kelly, Deirdre M., & Pomerantz, Shauna (2011). Skater girlhood: Resignifying femininity, resignifying femininism. In Rosalind Gill & Christina Scharff (Eds.), New Femininities: Postfeminism, neoliberalism and subjectivity. London: Palgrave.

Pomerantz, Shauna. (2008). Style and girl culture. In Claudia Mitchell & Jacqueline Reid-Walsh (Eds.), Girl culture: An encyclopedia,(64-72). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Kelly, Deirdre, M., Pomerantz, Shauna & Currie, Dawn H. (2007). “You can break so many more rules:” The identity play and work of becoming girl skaters. In Michele Donnelly & Michael Giardina (Eds.), Youth cultures & sport: Identity, power, and politics (113-126). New York: Routledge.

Pomerantz, Shauna. (2006). “Did you see what she was wearing?” The power and politics of schoolgirl style. In Yasmin Jiwani, Claudia Mitchell, and Candis Steenbergen (Eds), Girlhood: Redefining the limits (173-190). Montreal: Black Rose Books.

Articles in Refereed Journals

Pomerantz, Shauna & Raby, Rebecca. (2011). "Oh, she's so smart": Girls' complex engagements with post/feminist narrative of academic success. Gender and Education, 23(5).

Pomerantz, Shauna. (2009). Between a rock and a hard place: Un/defining the “girl.” Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 1(2), 147-158.

Kelly, Deirdre, M. & Pomerantz, Shauna (2009). Mean, wild, and alienated: Girls and the state of feminism in popular culture. Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.1(3).

Pomerantz, Shauna. (2007). Cleavage in a tank top: Bodily prohibition and the discourses of school dress codes. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 53(4), 373-386.

Currie, Dawn H., Kelly, Deirdre, M. & Pomerantz, Shauna. (2007). Listening to girls: Discursive positioning and the construction of self. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 20(5), 377-400.

Currie, Dawn H., Kelly, Deirdre, M. & Pomerantz, Shauna. (2007). “The power to squash people”: Understanding girls’ relational aggression. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 28(1), 23-37.

Currie, Dawn H., Kelly, Deirdre, M. & Pomerantz, Shauna. (2006). “The geeks shall inherit the earth”: Girls’ agency, subjectivity and empowerment. Journal of Youth Studies, 9(4), 419-436.

Kelly, Deirdre M., Pomerantz, Shauna & Currie, Dawn H. (2006). “No Boundaries?” Girls’ Interactive, Online Learning about Femininities. Youth and Society, 38(1), 3-28.

Kelly, Deirdre M., Pomerantz, Shauna & Currie, Dawn H. (2005). Skater girlhood and emphasized femininity: “You can’t land an ollie properly in heels!” Gender and Education, 17(3), 229-249.

Pomerantz, Shauna, Currie, Dawn H. & Kelly, Deirdre M. (2004). Sk8er girls: Skateboarding, girlhood, and feminism on the move. Women’s Studies International Forum, 27(5-6), 547-557.

Recent Conference Papers

Pomerantz, Shauna & Raby, Rebecca (2011). The new (post) nerd: Smart girls, post-feminism, and popular culture. Paper presented at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Canadian Society for Studies in Education), June 1, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Canada. (Peer reviewed)

Pomerantz, Shauna & Raby, Rebecca (2010). The new nerd: Girls re-signifying academic success. Reimagining Girlhood: Communities, Identities, Self-Portrayals Conference Resignifying Girlhood Conference, SUNY, Cortland, USA. (Peer reviewed)

Pomerantz, Shauna & Raby, Rebecca (2010). Smart girls: Negotiating academic identities in a “post-feminist” era. American Educational Research Association (AERA), April 30-May 4, Denver, Colorado, USA. (Peer reviewed)
Pomerantz, Shauna (2009). Un/defining the “girl.” Paper presented at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Association for Research in Cultures of Young People), May 26, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. (Invited)
Pomerantz, Shauna (2009). “What are you doing here, anyway?” Performing feminist poststructural ethnography in the school. Paper presented at the Researching Youth Conference, March 28, University of Toronto, Canada. (Invited)
Pomerantz, Shauna (2008). The art of girls’ style. Paper presented at the Teenage Cultural Practices Symposium, November 7-8, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. (Invited).

Raby, Rebecca & Pomerantz, Shauna (2008). Beyond Lisa Simpson and Rory Gilmore: Girls, Smartness, and the School. Paper presented at the Canadian Association for the Study of Women and Education (CASWE) Institute. Vancouver, Canada. (Refereed)

Pomerantz, Shauna (2007). Plugging into Youths’ Pop Culture: Music, Style and Identities. Redefining Student Engagement Conference, November 8-9, Centre for Urban Schooling, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, OISE/UT, Toronto, Canada. (Invited)

Pomerantz, Shauna & Kelly, Deirdre, M. (2006). Mean, lost and alienated: Girls and the state of feminism in popular culture. Midwest Popular Culture Association, October 27-29, Indianapolis, USA. (Refereed)

Pomerantz, Shauna. (2005). “I have my style”: Girls, social worlds, and school identities. American Education Research Association, April 11-15, Montreal, Canada. (Refereed)

Pomerantz, Shauna. (2003). “Did you see what she was wearing?” The power and politics of schoolgirl style. Transforming Spaces: Girlhood, Agency and Power Conference, November 21-23, Montreal, Canada. (Refereed)

Pomerantz, Shauna. (2002). Gaining “props” in the skate park: Emerging feminisms on the new micro-battlefield. Third Wave Feminism Conference, University of Exeter, July 23-25, Exeter, England. (Refereed)