Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Seo Young Park
© 2021 Claire M Sulzer
I investigate how the two models of gendered personhood―one founded upon and advanced through the discourse of sisterhood and the other on neoliberal feminist ideals―that are promoted by so many girls’ schools are embodied by girls’ school graduates as they transition to college and form new friendships with women, men, and others. I argue that though graduates may attempt to embody these models of personhood as they move on to college, college is a transformational time in which they begin to recognize the limitations and weaknesses of these models. For example, the experience of making new friends in college allows graduates to see that sisterhood often obscures important differences between women and cannot be replicated in all settings. Likewise, stepping away from the extremely competitive environments of girls’ schools allows graduates to critique the elitism, stress, and social isolation that neoliberal feminism, by promoting a hard-working, high-achieving model of personhood, creates on girls’ school campuses. College therefore becomes a journey of finding meaningful friendships with women, men, and others that avoid or transcend these limitations.
Sulzer, Claire, ""Exceptional Friends:" Sisterhood and Neoliberal Feminism Among Girls' School Graduates from High School to College" (2021). Scripps Senior Theses. 1615.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.