Throughout the de-industrialised world, huge transformations are taking place in the social fabric, leaving few lives untouched. The shift from a manufacturing base to service and communications industries is accompanied by the decreased participation of men and the increased number of women in the labour market. Girls growing up today face huge changes in the organisation of family, education and work. This book explores the lives of girls who have grown up in the last decades of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, examining the complex ways that wealth and poverty, class and ethnicity are forever changed but terribly present in their experiences and life chances. Providing a ground-breaking and sobering antidote to platitudes about 'girl power' and a feminine future, this book is essential reading for all those concerned with the lives of girls and women today.