ERIC Number: ED392172
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-May
The Ritual and Liminal Dimensions of Student Resistance to the Formal Culture of Schooling: The Relational Conditions That Promote Resistance.
Anfara, Vincent A., Jr.
Few empirical studies have examined student resistance and counterculture. This paper presents findings of a study that investigated the subjective experience of high school students to understand student resistance to the formal culture of schools. The research used a conceptual framework based on the anthropological concepts of "ritual" and liminal experiences in order to: (1) identify student behaviors that constitute resistance; and (2) identify school conditions that promote acts of resistance. Data were gathered from interviews with 48 students at four inner-city high schools in the southeastern United States, observation, and focus-group interviews with students. The four schools were comprised of two citywide schools and two neighborhood schools. Of these, the citywide schools had relatively high admission standards. Findings indicate that students at the neighborhood schools were treated as children, they lacked trust in the teaching and administrative school practices, they viewed the curriculum as irrelevant, and they were silenced by the administration. In the citywide schools, students and teachers engaged in education framed as purposeful social cooperation. Both teachers and students were active participants in the educational process. The citywide schools were characterized by trust, a relevant curriculum, students who were treated as adults, and allowance of student diversity and voice. Code maps of qualitative data are included. (Contains 65 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A