ERIC Number: ED058372
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-Nov-20
Reference Count: 0
Ethnic Status, Culture and Community: The Polish-American Underclass in the Roman Catholic School System.
Hill, Robert F.
Social honor--or status--in the school and larger community, and selected aspects of traditional Polish-culture maintenance, are important factors relating to Polish-American ethnicity in the school. This is demonstrated using data collected by questionnaire and participant observation in an urban Roman Catholic secondary school in the American North-East, where the students are predominantly Polish-American origin. Like culture in the broader, more definitive sense, a school has a history and, thus, certain historically derived values, expectations, and a place in its community setting. These tend to greatly influence not only the school's relation to its students but also its relation to parents and the community as a whole. Thus, the staff, of predominantly German and Irish background, tends to stereotype students according to perceived ethnic origin despite high ethnic heterogeneity. Student apathy is explained by theories of "broken homes" or "Polishness." Choice of school program for girls is highly predictable along ethnic lines. The value of higher education for girls is negatively reinforced in the Polish-American family, providing functional congruity with the school. (Author/JM)
Descriptors: Academic Aspiration, Bias, Catholic Schools, Catholics, Community Characteristics, Cultural Influences, Ethnic Status, Ethnic Stereotypes, Family Characteristics, High School Students, High Schools, Lower Class, Occupational Aspiration, Polish Americans, School Community Relationship, Teacher Attitudes
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pittsburgh Univ., PA. Dept. of Anthropology.
Note: Paper presented at the "Ethnicity and Education" symposium, American Anthropological Association annual, meeting, November 20, 1971