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ERIC Number: ED231725
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Ritual Resolution of Ideological Tensions in a Parochial High School.
Lesco, Nancy
The role of religious and secular rituals in the mediation of conflicting goals and the socialization of students into harmonious unity is analyzed in the context of a Catholic high school in the Midwest. Data were gathered by a participant-observer who attended classes and extracurricular activities, conducted formal interviews, and informally observed school life throughout the building. Two rituals were examined: the first all-school mass of the 1981-82 school year and the homecoming spirit assembly. Both rituals removed students from normal time (daily classroom routine) and placed them in special time (an all-school assembly), heightening the symbolic impact of the ceremonies. Visual, musical, and verbal symbols were emphasized. The mass stressed that belief and action is eventually rewarded; the small become great; and the last, first. Although the homecoming court illustrated the social competition of schools and distinguished winners and losers, differences and inequalities were banished in the form of activities and in the wearing of costumes on spirit day. Both rituals served to release the social structural tensions that divide students by establishing egalitarian spirit among members. Thus, while classrooms remain the sphere of formal authority, all-school rituals help students develop emotional ties. (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.