Perfectly Prep

Perfectly Prep : Gender Extremes at a New England Prep School

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Description

Although New England boarding schools have been educating America's elite for four generations, they, along with their privileged students, rarely have been the subject of study. Living in a senior boys' dorm at a co-ed school, Sarah Chase was able to witness the inner workings of student culture and the dynamics of their peer groups. In an environment of ivy-covered buildings, institutional goals of excellence and aspirations to Ivy League colleges, the boys and girls acted extremely masculine or feminine. While girls typically worked themselves into a state of sleep deprivation and despair during exam period, the boys remained seemingly unconcerned and relaxed. As much as the girls felt pressure to be "cute" and "perfect," the boys felt pressure to be "bad ass" and the "best at everything." Tellingly, the boys thought that "it would suck" to be a girl, while over one third of the girls wanted to be male if given the chance. From her vantage point of sitting in the back of the football and field hockey buses, attending prom and senior pranks, and listening to how students described their academic and social pressures, competition, rumors, backstabbing, sex, and partying, Chase discovered that these boys and girls shared similar values, needs and desires despite their highly gendered behavior. The large class, ethnic and individual differences in how the students perform their genders reveal the importance of culture in development and the power of individual agency. This book examines the price of privilege and uncovers how student culture reflects and perpetuates society and institutional power structures and gender ideologies.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 160.02 x 236.22 x 33.02mm | 635.03g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 14 black and white illustrations
  • 0195308816
  • 9780195308815

Table of contents

CULTURE AND DEVELOPMENT; STUDYING UP; GETTING BEHIND THE SCENES; MORE SIMILARITIES THAN DIFFERENCES; THE OVERT VALUE OF "OTHER"; THE COVERT VALUE OF "SELF"; RELATIONSHIPS - THE DOMAIN OF GIRLS; THE SAGA OF PROM; SPORTS TEAMS; COMMUNITY SERVICE; MAGAZINES; DORM ROOMS; CONCLUSION; THE OVERT VALUE OF INDIVIDUALITY; THE COVERT VALUE OF CONFORMITY; PERFORMING CLASS; PERFORMING GENDER; SEXUALITY; CONCLUSION; OVERT VALUE OF EQUALITY; COVERT VALUE OF INEQUALITY; RACE; HIGH CLASS CLUB & THE BITCH SQUAD; PREPPIES VS. TOWNIES; FORM HIERARCHY; CLIQUES; CONCLUSION; OVERT VALUES OF EXCELLENCE AND FUN; REALITY - INDIVIDUALISTIC AND GENDERED; EXCELLENCE; FUN; FREEDOM AND CONSTRAINT; CONCLUSION; "PART OF A CLUB"; THE MALLEABILITY OF GENDER; EDUCATED IN EXCELLENCE; MASCULINITY OVER FEMININITY; BROADER IMPLICATIONS; THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE; ENDNOTES; BIBLIOGRAPHYshow more

Rating details

22 ratings
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5 9% (2)
4 41% (9)
3 41% (9)
2 9% (2)
1 0% (0)
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