ERIC Number: ED351399
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Structuring of Conflict Events in an Urban High School.
Westheimer, Miriam Yael
A study was done to examine the lived experience of conflict among students in a transitional class for returning long-term absentees in Walker Hill High School (a pseudonym), an inner city New York City high school. The project was a substudy of the New York City Dropout Prevention Evaluation Project. The theoretical framework of the study began with the basic premises of symbolic interactionism for a theory-based methodological perspective. Critical theory was then introduced, and social order was discussed as part of a school's hidden curriculum. Over the course of 2 years, one class was observed by an ethnographer/evaluator approximately twice a week. Data collection included ethnographic interviews, participant observation, and site document collection. Analysis consisted of discovering a salient theme, identifying vignettes with conflict, examining one conflict vignette in detail, and finding and elaborating on a pattern of social interaction. Analysis suggests that fighting is a part of students' everyday lives; and that a recurrent pattern of perceived disrespect, exchange, and audience presence results in conflicts. The paper offers a detailed analysis and description of four conflicts, further discussion of theory and literature, as well as an overview of the implications for conflict mediation programs. Included are 5 figures and 88 references. (JB)
Descriptors: Conflict, Conflict Resolution, Economically Disadvantaged, Ethnography, High School Students, High Schools, Inner City, Interaction, Interpersonal Relationship, Personal Narratives, Potential Dropouts, Public Schools, Reentry Students, Student Attitudes, Urban Youth, Verbal Communication
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Dropout Prevention Program; New York City Board of Education; Process Analysis
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).