Delinquent Daughters: Hollywood's war effort and the 'juvenile delinquency picture' cycle

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This paper examines a short-lived cycle of ‘juvenile delinquency pictures’ that have been almost entirely ignored in scholarship on the teen film, perhaps in part because they focus on female rather than male youth. Whilst individually unremarkable, collectively these films were central to political debates about the role of Hollywood in wartime. This paper maps the widespread discursive struggles between Hollywood, the middlebrow press, industry regulators, and various government agencies over the production of this cycle. It moves on to analyse the New York reception of these films, highlighting how this ‘cycle of sensation’ was debated in relation to the very local contexts of New York's ‘bobby soxers’ and ‘victory girls’ and the strategies to police them in and around Times Square. It demonstrates that focusing on the localized and contested terrain of discourses surrounding historically situated media cycles reveals the complexity and local specificity required of micro-historical enquiry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-72
Number of pages7
JournalNew Review of Film and Television Studies
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


  • Second World War
  • juvenile delinquency
  • teen film
  • cycles
  • New York
  • bobby soxer

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