ERIC Number: ED380340
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Subculture as Mediator: The Counterculture Student Subcommunity.
Williams, Lee Burdette
This paper reports on a 1992 study that examined a group of 16 students and non-students, all paid workers at a university's food co-op. The purpose of this study was to understand more about the lives of counterculture students, their beliefs and values, and preferences and politics, specifically as those factors relate to their educational experience. While the study began as an exploration of students' perspectives, it became obvious that "student" was not easily defined. Workers in the co-op during this study were at various stages of education. Some were currently enrolled, some had dropped out for a period of time, others had dropped out permanently, and still others had graduated and chose to remain employees of the co-op. The study focused on the meaning that counterculture students and non-students find in the educational experiences they have had, and how that meaning fits within their lives. It showed that counterculture students are not especially comfortable when they are confined by the structures of a traditional college education. Some were able to navigate those expectations, others were not. Most enjoyed the intellectual stimulation of an academic environment. The food co-op in which all the respondents worked was a place that provided them some respite from the expectations of higher education and society. There they were able to play out the three significant themes of their lives: (1) education; (2) community; and (3) social responsibility. These interconnected themes are driven by values consistent with those most often associated with the U.S. counterculture. Contains 19 references. (Author/DK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).