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ERIC Number: EJ743597
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4391
Why We Harass Nerds and Freaks: A Formal Theory of Student Culture and Norms
Bishop, John H.; Bishop, Matthew; Bishop, Michael; Gelbwasser, Lara; Green, Shanna; Peterson, Erica; Rubinsztaj, Anna; Zuckerman, Andrew
Journal of School Health, v74 n7 p235-251 Sep 2004
Parents know adolescents can be cruel. They do not want their child rejected by peers. What is it like to be denigrated by one's middle school classmates? How common is a predatory anti-teacher peer culture in junior high school? Does it typically last into high school? How do peer norms of different crowds in a school get established? Who sets them? How are they enforced? Why are some crowds and individuals more influential in establishing peer norms that apply generally to all students? Why do some crowds have higher status than others? What happens to crowds and individuals who challenge normative dominance of the dominant/popular crowds? What are the long-term effects of being popular/unpopular during secondary school? What effects do context and educational policy have on norms that prevail in the youth culture? These questions are being addressed by a research program of the Educational Excellence Alliance. This paper discusses the relationship between the study behavior and academic engagement of individual students, the norms and attitudes of close friends, and the peer culture of school. The authors focus particularly on how the academic orientation of students and their close friends invites or protects them from harassment by peers. Description of peer culture in this paper is based on review of ethnographic studies of adolescent peer cultures, structured and unstructured interviews conducted by the authors, and responses to survey questionnaires completed by nearly 100,000 middle school and high school students. Some of the theory's predictions are tested using data from the Educational Excellence Alliance's survey of Student Culture, and the paper concludes with suggestions for school administrators about strategies to influence the peer culture at their school. (Contains 2 tables and 6 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A