ERIC Number: ED407206
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Stuff That Dreams Are Made of: Culture, Ethnicity, Class, Place, and Adolescent Appalachian Girls' Sense of Self.
Carter, Carolyn S.
Based on an ongoing study of rural and urban Appalachian adolescent girls, this paper examines ways in which culture, class, ethnicity, and place influence girls' developing sense of self and beliefs about their lives, schooling, and futures. The 65 girls in the study are participants in "Rural and Urban Images: Voices of Girls in Science, Mathematics, and Technology (SMT)," a 3-year program grounded in a social constructivist view of both knowledge and identity, which seeks to support the development of girls in grades 6-8 with regard to SMT learning, beliefs, and career aspirations. The girls attend schools in McDowell County, West Virginia--an isolated, economically depressed region--and in Charleston, West Virginia. By far the greatest differences among the girls are directly attributable to rural or urban place. Social class also shapes roles and expectations for adolescents in both rural and urban communities. Ethnicity is a less powerful influence but figures strongly in the self-image of some urban African American girls. While many urban and middle-class rural girls can talk about themselves and their futures, lower-class rural girls generally cannot. But, these "have-nots" are rich in family and social support; express the strongest ties to family, community, and environment; have a strong sense of family and community norms; and have difficulty thinking of themselves outside this context. The urban girls do not express ties to a particular place but have a much stronger sense of identity and control over their destiny. An appendix describes the "Voices" program. Contains 23 references. (SV)
Descriptors: Adolescent Development, Aspiration, Cultural Context, Early Adolescents, Educational Attitudes, Family Relationship, Females, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Racial Differences, Rural Urban Differences, Science Programs, Self Concept, Social Class, Social Support Groups, Student Attitudes, Subcultures
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia