Social Identities and Divisions in High School

 

Write two pages contrasting two peer cultures (or “cliques”) from your high school. Pick ones that were widely recognized as being different from, and

perhaps even antagonistic toward, one another. Focus on how the cliques differentiated themselves from each other through their practices as well as how they were known, or stereotyped, by outsiders. Differences to consider include: the places where they assembled; activities in which they participated (e.g. sports,smoking, partying, drug-use, dating, student-council, AP classes, etc.); material culture (e.g. fashion, cars, accessories, food, etc.); cultural tastes more broadly (e.g.

music, books,movies, digital media, etc.); and uses of language. In analyzing these cliques, reflect on how they did, or did not, re-construct historical social divisions, such as those rooted in social class, racialized ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and/or

disability. You may, but do not have to, reflect on your own participation, or lack of participation, in these cliques, and how your participation may have been structured by your upbringing. You do not need to cover all of the potential differences discussed above, nor all forms of social division. As with the last assignment, focus on concrete details and subtle observations instead of broad generalizations and

cliches.

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