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ERIC Number: EJ865927
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-1066-5684
"I'm Not Really 'that' Bad": Alternative School Students, Stigma, and Identity Politics
McNulty, Carol P.; Roseboro, Donyell L.
Equity & Excellence in Education, v42 n4 p412-427 2009
Public schools in the United States are predicated upon some common, albeit contested, understanding of a "normal" child. Such an identity comes with corresponding rules of behavior. In this study, we use identity politics as the primary lens through which to interpret the experiences of students at an alternative middle and high school. Through ethnographic field observational data and student interviews over a four-month period, we examine student narratives to inform the theoretical framework of this research. We conclude that the alternative school in this case study is a stigmatized space for students with spoiled identities (Goffman, 1963). We offer implications for alternative schools in general and suggest that their design, by definition, can reinforce the stigmatized identity and its corresponding "deviant" behavior. (Contains 1 table.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A