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23 October 2012

"Sing We Hail to Alma Mater..."

Things have been busy on my end the last few days so just a quick note today. Posting may be limited this week.

Last week while I was on a bike ride, a name on a sign roused some memories of high school. I had forgotten how tribal one's social life can be through adolescence. I'm not thinking about cliques, although that's probably part of it. I'm thinking more along the lines of high school spirit and town loyalty. Our worlds are decidedly smaller when we're younger. I remember when boys from our rival school started dating "our" women early in high school. It angered a lot of us and made us jealous. Later in high school, though, as our social sphere's widened, many of us met and got to know more and more people who attended our rival school, and our prejudices and irrational hatred for them were softened and eventually eliminated. Simultaneously, the tremendous solidarity we had generated among those in our town and at our school was increasingly ruined. What this meant for many of us is that it was that much easier to sever ties and leave for college.

I occurs to me that this area is ripe for research. In particular, it'd be a great way to adjudicated between functional and critical theoretical perspectives. Does the sustain or decline of solidarity at certain point in one's lifecourse facilitate mobility or does the renegotiation of group loyalty (i.e. class consciousness?) allow for class reproduction?

This could also lead to a great teaching exercise in which students engage with their own lingering high school loyalties.

Still, the St. Joe Bears rule! The Lakeshore Lancers are a bunch of farmers. ;)

1 comment:

  1. "Hail to thee, Our Alma Mater, May thy cause prevail, And thy name fore’er be honored... GMC all hail!"

    It took me three years to get that out of my head. You just put it back; thanks for that...

    In all seriousness though, this is an interesting point. As someone who took the non-traditional path through secondary education, it is still interesting to observe. My father is well into retirement age, and he still talks about his high school rivals with disgust, including the new rivals which didn't even exist when he was in high school.