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The High School Scene in the Fifties: Voices from West L.A.

The High School Scene in the Fifties: Voices from West L.A. (Hardback)

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Writer Kurt Vonnegut once said that high school is closer to the core of the American experience than anything else. Our high school reputations-as leaders or scapegoats, good girls or fast girls, popular athletes or feared delinquents-haunt Americans long into adulthood. The High School Scene in the Fifties: Voices from West L.A. offers a look at the high school clubs and social pecking order of postwar Los Angeles, when students' social lives were determined by male or female rites of passage, and Jewish or Gentile identities. Through interviews of adults attending primarily Jewish public schools, the author examines the school-mandated segregation of Jews and Gentiles in social clubs and the defiance of those students who tested the barriers. Reconstructing their former adolescent pecking order through informal narrative, both male and female, Jewish and Gentile school alumnae recall the Americanization process of their teenage years in the 1950s, and the often painful social hierarchies intended to direct them to their adult place. For women in particular, challenging the status quo by dating across accepted lines brought real risks.

The accounts offer a fresh framework for understanding the American experience of gender and ethnic segregation-and the possibility of change, proven by young students who themselves pushed beyond conformity in the McCarthy years.

EducationEducation TheorySchoolsSecondary schoolsHistory & PoliticsHistory: specific events & topicsSocial & cultural historyLGBT & Gender StudiesGender studiesPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesCultural StudiesPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesSocial groupsEthnic studies Publisher: ABC-CLIO Publication Date: 25/03/1997 ISBN-13: 9780897894944  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Printed to order. Despatched in 2-3 weeks.  

BONNIE J. MORRIS is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at George Washington University.

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