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ERIC Number: ED218166
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Pages: 35
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Clothing and Dress--Symbols of Stratification in Schools and in Society: A Descriptive Study. Revised.
Johnson, Norris Brock
The sociocultural significance of clothing and dress in Deerfield, a rural, midwestern elementary school, is examined. The underlying assumption is that clothing and dress illustrate the symbolic level of correspondence between patterns and meanings in public school life and those existing in society to which schools are linked. The first part of the paper describes student clothing and dress in preschool through grade six classrooms. Data on student clothing and dress were collected across grade levels by observing and recording clothing worn during the midyear winter semester at Deerfield. Two forms of dress were identified: those clothing items symbolizing high status (dress which is aesthetically rather than functionally oriented, multipurpose, and sex specific) and those items symbolizing low status (clothing which is functional and utilitarian). There was an association between student grouping patterns in rooms and student dress patterns. The second part of the paper discusses the stratification functions of items of student clothing and modes of dress. Across grade levels, it was found that the "tracked" structure of the educational system also "tracks" the clothing and modes of dress symbolic of stratified social identities, statuses, and roles. The third part of the paper notes some secondary cognitive and behavioral implications of these customary items of classroom material culture. Two implications are that clothing and dress influence teacher expectations, attitudes, and behaviors, and that student status and identity have the potential to be associated with student clothing and dress. (NE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A