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ERIC Number: ED309217
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar-27
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Salience of Ethnicity at a Multiethnic Urban High School from the Students' Perspective.
Semons, Maryann
The articulation or suppression of ethnicity among high school students depends on the individual's estimation of the relevancy of ethnicity, an estimation linked to structural factors in society. Data for this ethnographic study were derived from extensive observations of students by a participant-observer at a multiethnic urban high school. The ethnic breakdown of the 1,300 students was as follows: (1) 38 percent Black; (2) 24 percent Hispanic; (3) 23 percent White; (4) 11 percent Asian; (5) 3 percent Filipino; and (6) 1 percent Native American. Fieldwork extended over the course of one academic year and consisted of an initial week of regular classroom observations followed by informal interviews of about 50 students, representing the four predominant ethnic groups and a number of students of mixed background. Six of the faculty and staff were also interviewed to corroborate or challenge the findings. Conclusions include the following: (1) the articulation of ethnicity is based on ritual, conflict, interest, and values; (2) the denial of ethnicity is based on racism and internalized oppression; (3) students frequently suppressed ethnicity to avoid being stereotyped; (4) ethnicity was emphasized during conflict situations that often were not racially based or when promoting individual and group interests; and (5) ethnicity emerged most frequently for Asian and Hispanic students in intragroup situations, but ethnicity was more relevant for Black and White students in an intergroup situation. A list of 42 references is appended. (FMW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27, 1989).