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ERIC Number: ED297869
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Social Groups in the Middle School.
Lockledge, Ann
In a study investigating whether middle school students can identify their own social groups, over 200 sixth- and seventh-graders were asked to name the kinds of groups to which they thought students in their school belonged, and to explain or define the groups. Data indicated that the students seemed to have no trouble in agreeing on certain labels, although labels and descriptors were often interchangeable. Phrases used to define groups provided insight into the thought processes of the participants. Many descriptors used for classification fell into two concrete categories concerning appearance and actions. Abstractions used in student responses were typical of early teen vocabulary and reflected experimentation with a developing values structure. Some descriptors seemed to result from biases that depended on perceptions of belonging or not belonging to a particular group. The most frequently named groups were the Populars and Nerds. Other identified groups included Smarts, Rowdies, Jocks, Unpopulars, Hicks and Cowboys, Weird-Funny, Heavy Metallers, and Preppies. One-third of students said they were Mediums, one-third selected positive-sounding terms, and one-third selected negative-sounding terms. Students' comments revealed that few had attained the stage of formal operations. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A