Publication Details

Wood, D. & Vialle, W. (2015). Popular culture: a support or a disruption to talent development in the lives of rural adolescent gifted girls?. Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 24 (1), 13-22.


Gifted adolescent rural girls live in a world where popular culture is a key source of information about their present and future lives. This study asked whether, as a key influence, popular culture supported or disrupted the talent development process of gifted adolescent girls in rural settings. Through an embedded case study approach this research study explored the responses of two groups of gifted adolescent girls to the messages presented to them in popular culture about talent development and giftedness. Data were generated predominantly through a series of focus groups and interviews. A narrative recount emerged after analysis of the recurring themes and stories. The study confirmed that, for girls, popular culture is a key source of influence on aspiration and identity, and that it tended to emphasise the importance of physical appearance and relationships. It identified popular culture as potentially both a disruption and a support to talent development for rural gifted girls. While popular culture was a key influence, it was not the only source of influence on young girls. The study concluded with a number of possible strategies for maximising the supportive aspects of popular culture while countering the disruptive elements.