Sociology - Pro and Anti School Subcultures

Shain 2003 - Asian Girls

  • Interviewed Asian girls in a number of different schools in the Manchester area
  • Identified 4 different groups of girls and each group used different strategies for coping with school experiences
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Shain 2003 - Gang Girls

  • Held anti-education and anti-school views
  • Were confrontational and had developed a 'them' and 'us' attitude
  • Felt they had experienced racism in school and that led them to form an all Asian female subculture
  • This subculture excluded white students and teachers
  • They used survival tactics of resistance through their culture
  • Had a clear and positive Asian identity which they defended
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Mirza

  • Found the Black girls in her study were held back by the well-meaning but misguided behaviour of most od the teachers whilst rarely encountering open racism
  • Their 'help' was often patronising and counterproductive, curtailing both career and educational opportunities that should have been available to the black girls.
  • They were entered for fewer subjects to 'take the pressure off', or they were given ill-informed, often stereotypical, careers advice.
  • Had to look for alternative strategies to get by, some of which hindered their progress such as not asking for help.
  • They helped each other out with academic work but were seen to resist the schools values by refusing to conform through their dress, appearance, and behaviour
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Archer and Yamashati 2003

  • Studied the Harkton boys - a group of year 10 boys in a London comprehensive school
  • Displayed norms and values that were anti-school and anti-education
  • Style, clothes, and accent were crucial parts of their identity in school and the local area where they wanted to be visible and seen by others.
  • Displayed strong commitment to local area and spoke about importance of staying local, not moving away when they left school
  • Enjoyed rap culture, showed attachment to the 'bad boy' image
  • Considered reading and education to be 'soft'
  • Thought they would be labelled as a '*****' if they worked hard in class - did not want to be seen to make an effort to learn.
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Jackson 2006 - Ladettes

  • Researched ladette culture in secondary schools and claimed they displayed anti-school and anti-swot characteristics
  • Norms and values included acting hard, smoking, swearing, disrupting lessons, being cheeky/rude to teachers, loud/gobby and open about their heterosexual sex lives
  • These were displayed in and out of school
  • Mostly white and working-class and were in danger of seriously underachieving in school becasue of their attitude of 'it is not cool to be cleaver'.
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