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ERIC Number: EJ825981
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1467-9620
Dueling Banjos: Shifting Economic and Cultural Contexts in the Lives of Youth
Weis, Lois; Dimitriadis, Greg
Teachers College Record, v110 n10 p2290-2316 2008
Background/Context: As the economy grows ever more tight, the school (K-16) is increasingly important in relation to life choices and outcomes, and researchers who focus on youth culture, often in and out of school contexts, can no longer afford to ignore such traditional educational institutions. If school credentials do not "guarantee" social mobility, they are certainly the sine qua non of such mobility in the New Economy. Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: In this article, we put these concerns into dialogue with recent work (including our own) that valorizes out-of-school settings and popular texts as sites for the production of authentic and vibrant youth identities. We find ourselves less and less able to read youth practices as removed from the structural realities of schooling and the economic context within which this all plays out. This means that we can no longer valorize youth practices as disconnected from their broader context because the linkage between "success" in school (defined in particular ways such as test scores, attainment, and so forth) and economic and social possibility is becoming tighter than ever. The consequences of what we often theorize as vibrant youth identities as produced in out-of-school sites, then, must be examined and theorized as part of a long-term intellectual project that explores such identities in school spaces and beyond. Research Design: For this article, we critically interrogated and synthesized extant research in three key areas: the New Economy and globalized capitalism; the production of youth identities through popular culture and out-of-school learning settings; and qualitative research and multi-sited ethnography. Conclusions/Recommendations: We offer reconceptualized multi-sited ethnographic approaches as one potential set of responses to this central challenge now facing educational researchers: bridging concerns around the attenuation of economic opportunities for youth and current work on the vibrancy of youths' cultural lives.
Teachers College, Columbia University. P.O. Box 103, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3774; Fax: 212-678-6619; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A