1st Edition

Adolescent Life and Ethos An Ethnography of a US High School

By Heewon Chang Copyright 1992
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    Originally published in 1992, this Asian-authored book presents a cultural description and interpretation of American high school adolescent life and ethos, based on anthropological fieldwork in a semi-rural school and its surrounding community in Oregon. It combines a realistic account of late 1980s adolescent culture and a confessional tale of the Asian ethnographer’s fieldwork experiences among American youngsters.

    The three main parts of the book focus on a portrayal of adolescent daily life, an interpretation of these young people’s cultural values and ideals, and a reflection on the ethnographer’s fieldwork experiences respectively. Part 1, Adolescent Life, includes five chapters presenting a brief version of a key informant life history, a profile of the school, a portrait of the community, a sketch of a typical school day, and adolescent life out of school. Divided into four chapters, Part 2, Adolescent Ethos, identifies three dimensions of adolescent ethos and analyzes dynamics between the dimensions and reflecting ideals. The last chapter of this part, ‘The Duality of Ideals’ discusses how adolescents negotiated themselves in a complicated web of various ideals pressing on them. Part 3, Doing Ethnography, reports procedural and personal aspects of doing ethnographic research in two separate chapters. The former discusses each step from locating a field to writing an ethnography; the latter describes personal feelings and scholarly thoughts which occurred during and after fieldwork.

    Adopting the most inconspicuous, unobtrusive form of research methods (she even dressed like them and acted with and among them), the ethnographer tried to listen to the young people’s voices, peek into their lives from outside, and look out at the world through their eyes.

    Introduction.  Part 1: Doing Ethnographic Fieldwork  1. Doing Ethnographic Fieldwork  Part 2: Adolescent Life  2. Introduction to a Greenfield Teenager  3. Green Lake Community  4. Greenfield High School  5. A Typical School Day  6. Life Outside School  Part 3: Adolescent Ethos  7. Getting along with Everyone  8. Being Independent  9. Getting Involved  10. The Duality of Adolescent Ideals  Part 4: Reflections on Ethnographic Experiences  11. Reflections on Ethnographic Experiences.  Appendix.  Bibliography.  Index.

    Biography

    Heewon Chang