ERIC Number: EJ953165
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
Oppositional Behavior in Urban Schooling: Toward a Theory of Resistance for New Times
Nolan, Kathleen M.
International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education (QSE), v24 n5 p559-572 2011
Early resistance theorists analyzed working class students' oppositional behavior at a time of high availability of viable jobs in manufacturing. They argued that oppositional behavior constituted a rejection of middle class culture motivated by an implicit understanding of the myth of meritocracy. But times have changed. This paper seeks to examine the significance of oppositional behavior as a form of resistance in "new times" characterized by increased unemployment, zero tolerance school discipline, and racialized mass incarceration. Drawing on ethnographic data from the study of disciplinary practices, critical theories of resistance, and the social psychological concepts of Goffman, the author demonstrates that oppositional behavior today does not necessarily represent a rejection of schooling or middle class culture. Instead, students are aware of the need for credentials and desire to stay out of prison. Nevertheless, alienated students implicitly seek numerous social and psychological benefits through oppositional behavior in the context of a deep sense of educational and economic exclusion, despite the high price they pay.
Descriptors: Credentials, Working Class, Middle Class, Behavior Problems, Discipline, Middle Class Culture, Correctional Institutions, Ethnography, Psychology, Rejection (Psychology), Urban Schools, Unemployment, Zero Tolerance Policy, Critical Theory, Alienation, Urban Youth, Educational Change, High Schools, Public Schools, Law Enforcement, Police, Games, Probability, Debt (Financial)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York