By Keiko Ikeda
The highschool reunion happens during the usa and cuts throughout transformations in age, locality, and ethnicity. This well known occasion is often regarded as a light-hearted social celebration or an workout in nostalgia that has little different importance within the lives of its individuals. Drawing on candid own narratives derived from reunions starting from the 5th to the 50th, this pathbreaking research demonstrates, although, that for plenty of american citizens the highschool reunion is a wealthy and infrequently poignant event. Of specific curiosity is the truth that this ethnographic learn was once carried out by means of a jap anthropologist educated within the usa, who deals a comparative viewpoint on excessive colleges within the international locations. excessive colleges serve very assorted social reasons in Japan and the U.S., and the methods humans within the international locations view their highschool years vary for this reason. the writer examines the yank highschool reunion as a dramatic scene within the development of self and that means in maturity. in the course of the highschool reunion, americans are thrown right into a room choked with mirrors within which they're faced via various visions of themselves. There they see photographs in their highschool selves filtered during the lighting fixtures and shadows solid through classmates’ stories and projected opposed to the backdrop created by means of the lives of these classmates immediately. via an research of the a number of reflections of self that emerge in the course of reunions, the writer exhibits how reunions come up with the money for humans an get together on which to reevaluate their very own thoughts and arrive at a brand new figuring out of self. the yank highschool reunion therefore presents contributors with a sequence of self-perceptions from which they could build new narratives in their personal lives.
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Additional info for A Room Full of Mirrors: High School Reunions in Middle America
The symbolic system of high school works to define status-ranking and the self-images of high school students. ). Such images include, for example, what can be called authorized ideals of "maleness" (athlete, class leader) and "femaleness" (prom queen, cheerleader). ). Peer groups known as cliques develop within the high school environment. The distinctive styles of speech, behavior, and dress adopted by members of cliques serve as signs for assigning an individual student to a particular category and group.
Claimed (1970: 60): High school is closer to the core of American experience than anything else I can think of ... We have all been there. While there we saw nearly every form of justice and injustice, kindness and meanness, intelligence and stupidity, which we were likely to encounter in later life. Richard Nixon is a familiar type from high school. So is Melvin Laird. So is J. Edgar Hoover. So is General Lewis Hershey. So is everybody. " Of course I know. I went to high school. And since most of us have, using such terms makes it likely we'll be understood from Boston to Burbank.
So is General Lewis Hershey. So is everybody. " Of course I know. I went to high school. And since most of us have, using such terms makes it likely we'll be understood from Boston to Burbank. , high school) shared by many Americans. High school metaphors are unique in their ability to relate two temporal, experiential dimensionsthe present and one's high school years. In metaphorical movement (Burke 1945), Americans see high school from the vantage point of adulthood, and adulthood from the vantage point of high Page 16 school.