Analysis Of Mean Girls By Cady Heron

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In Mean Girls (2004), Cady Heron is shown to move from the periphery to a hard-core member through the adoption of various plastic characteristics and consumption activities. Cady’s physical appearance removes the barriers to entry and opens the metaphorical doors that allow her to be first accepted as a potential member of the Plastics since she is described as a “regulation hottie”. Her physical appearance reflects that of the hard-core members of the Plastics and as a result, prompts an invite sit with them at lunch for the rest of the week. She achieves periphery or prospect status by conforming to the specific uniform worn by the girls, one of the various idiosyncrasies that differentiate the Plastics from everyone else. The rules or dress …show more content…

Once Cady was considered on the periphery, a mimicry member who is fascinated by the Plastics and demonstrate their admiration by donning “Plastic apparel” she was put through various tests to assess her commitment to the subculture (Schouten and Alexander 1995 pg. 48-50). However, interaction between popular female cliques have particular dynamics: “meanness became an essential feature of their competition for, and conflict over, popularity” (Merten 1997). However, as mentioned in Mean Girls (2004) Cady states. Merten (1997) explains that “these avoidance patterns were shaped by tacit cultural understandings that discouraged open competition among females”. Therefore, this explains why the tests Cady was put through were inherently ‘mean’ in nature. Cady achieved soft-core status when she writes in the burn book: “Ms Norbury - Sad, old drug pusher”. The burn book is a mock yearbook that the Plastics designed as an outlet for their meanness towards their fellow students. Gretchen tells Cady to as the burn book was a necessary outlet to remain popular since they had to be friendly and nice (Merten 1997 pg. 179). Cady demonstrates that she is adopting the behaviour of the surrounding subculture, Plastics. And is therefore, going through the process of socialization by demonstrating her commitment to by the establishment of material (clothes, makeup, etc.) and …show more content…

This is evident through Cady’s development from sweet, homely girl, to. Cady cements her status as a hard-core member when she instrumentally uses meanness to gain a competitive advantage in pursuit of popularity through conducting her first 3-way call attack. Cady orchestrates this so to push out Regina from a hard-core member to a periphery wannabe by pitting her two loyal friends, Gretchen and Karen, against her. Merten (1997) describes this type of behaviour as "double-voiced" or "single-voiced" conversation where the purpose of a 3-way call attack is for an individual member to have their way in a conflict situation without promoting outward interpersonal disharmony. Hence, double voiced discourse both pressed an individual's interests and took the other person into account in doing so, thereby preserving interpersonal ties in conflict situations. In short, Sheldon (1992) and Hughes (1983, 1988) both described how girls managed to dull the interpersonal sharp edges of their actions by mediating competition or conflict (Merten 1997). Cady is able to preserve her image as a nice, popular girl by constructing and negotiating her actions in the local context, especially by mediating mean versus nice with the idea of nice-mean through being ‘a good friend’ (Merten 1997). Schouten and Alexander (1995) states that the structure of a subculture, which governs social interactions within it, is a direct

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