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In this timely and insightful book, award-winning sociologist Murray Milner tries to understand why teenagers behave the way they do. Drawing upon two years of intensive fieldwork in one high school and 300 written interviews about high schools across the country, he argues that consumer culture has greatly impacted the way our youth relate to one another and understand themselves and society. He also suggests that the status systems in high schools are in and of themselves an important contributing factor to the creation and maintenance of consumer capitalism explaining the importance of designer jeans and designer drugs in an effort to be the coolest kid in the class.
Part I: The Puzzle And The Tools Introduction 1. Why Do They Behave Like That? 2. The Tools fro Understanding Part II: Explaining Teens' Behavior 3. Fitting In, Standing Out and Keeping Up 4. Steering clear, Hanging Out and Hooking Up 5. Exchanges, Labels and Put downs Part III: Why Schools Vary 6. The Pluralistic High School 7. Other Kinds of Schools Part IV: Teen Status Systems and Consumerism 8. Creating Consumers 9. Consuming Life 10. Conclusions and Implications Appendix I: Theory of Status Relations : Elaborations Appendix II: Data and Methods Appendix III: Sample Research Materials