JOCKS AND BURNOUTS PDF

It involved two years of ethnographic work in one high school in the Detroit suburbs that I call "Belten High", and one to two months in each of four other Detroit suburban schools. In all of these schools, there was a hegemonic opposition between two social categories, referred to as jocks and burnouts. The jocks are a school-oriented community of practice, embodying middle class culture. The burnouts are a locally-oriented community of practice, embodying working class culture. This kind of split occurs in many schools across the country, sometimes corresponding to ethnic boundaries as well. The project focuses on the Northern Cities Shift, shown at the bottom of this page.

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Detroit, in the U. S state of Michigan. Her research method: Social Practice: the shared activity speakers engage in together Ethnography: a study method involving detailed observation What Eckert did in her research was define groups in terms of the social practices the speakers engaged in.

She did this by observing friendship groups in a school in Detroit; this method of detailed observation of a community is known as ethnography. What she established were two very different groups in the school, the jocks and the burnouts, each containing individuals with a mix of social class parental occupation, housing etc. The jocks were a group in the school who actively engaged in and enjoyed school life.

The diagram below shows their key characteristics. The burnouts were quite the opposite of the jocks, choosing not to become involved and interactive with the goings-on of the school and engaging in rebellious behavior.

What did she find out? Eckert found that people tend to speak more like their friends - those who shared social practices together - than others belonging in the same demographic category as them, ie. Would you expect the speech of the girl in the top picture to be greatly different from the speech of the boy in the bottom picture?

Would you expect the topic of conversation to be about school in a negative or positive way? Who do you think would be more polite and respectful towards others? References Eckert, P. New York: Teachers College Press. Eckert, P. MA: Blackwell.

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