Self and School Success: Voices and Lore of Inner-City Students

Hardcover (Print)
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With the problems of the inner-cities reaching catastrophic proportions, Americans must ask themselves whether any young people in these environments can succeed at all. In our high schools, the good news is that some do; the bad news is that most do not. Here the author offers a provocative and probing picture of the lives of the young people who learn and who graduate from comprehensive high schools in an environment that includes drugs, violence, and declining economic conditions. Data for the book were collected by young people in neighborhood schools who taped unstructured dialogue with successful students. Vignettes, told in the words of the young people themselves, address issues of schools and their relation to students' careers, the roles of teachers and parents, the support of community and religious agencies, as well as the influence of peers regarding drugs, violence, and sexuality. Farrell offers a theory of adolescence based on young people who are in the process of finding out who they are and where they fit in. In the final chapter, the author describes existing schools which create environments that make this possible.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791418451
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1994
  • Series: SUNY series, Studying the Self Series
  • Pages: 173
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Identity Formation and Adolescent Selves
Listening to Student Voices
Plan of the Book
Ch. 1 The Career Self 9
An age of Desperation?
Racism, Education, and the Job Ceiling
School and Careers
The Good-, the Bad-, and the Not-Me
Ch. 2 The Sexual Self 21
The Onset of Sexual Activity
Sex Education, Contraception, and AIDS
Sexual Orientation
The Sexual Self and School
Ch. 3 The Peer Self 35
There Are Friends and There Are Friends
Peers and Moral Development
Peer Subculture
School Success and the Peer Self
Ch. 4 The Family Self 47
Families and Children
Family Problems
Single-Parent Families
Mothers and Daughters
Families as Transmitters of Culture
Family, Peer, Sexual, and Career Selves
Ch. 5 Interlude - The Voices of Parents 61
Fearful and Harried Voices
Critical Voices
Hopeful Voices
The Parent Self
Ch. 6 The Student Self 73
Between Success and Failure
Education and the Future
Perceptions of School
School and the Student Self
Ch. 7 Interlude - The Voices of Teachers 87
Power and Powerlessness
Conclusion: The Teacher Self
Ch. 8 The Affiliating Self 101
The Spiritual Self
Communities within Communities
Ch. 9 Will - Student Theory of Success 115
Constellations of Success
Breaking the Will
Strengthening the Will
Will and Boredom
Ch. 10 Voices, Selves, and Symbolic Universes 129
An Etic View of Success
The Different Voice
The Cultural Psychology of Voice, Self, and Symbolic Universes
Ch. 11 Small Is Better 141
Needs of Students and Teachers
River East Elementary School
Central Park East Secondary School
Restructuring for Success
Appendix: Ethnographic Enquiry and Education 153
References 163
Index 169
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