By Keiko Ikeda
The highschool reunion happens in the course of the usa and cuts throughout transformations in age, locality, and ethnicity. This well known occasion is usually considered a light-hearted social party 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, despite the fact that, that for plenty of americans the highschool reunion is a wealthy and infrequently poignant adventure. Of specific curiosity is the truth that this ethnographic research was once carried out via a eastern anthropologist informed within the usa, who deals a comparative viewpoint on excessive faculties within the nations. 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 range hence. the writer examines the yankee highschool reunion as a dramatic scene within the development of self and which means in maturity. throughout the highschool reunion, americans are thrown right into a room filled with mirrors within which they're faced through assorted visions of themselves. There they see photographs in their highschool selves filtered in the course of the lighting and shadows solid by way of classmates’ thoughts and projected opposed to the backdrop created via the lives of these classmates today. 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 knowing of self. the yank highschool reunion therefore presents members with a sequence of self-perceptions from which they could build new narratives in their personal lives.
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Extra resources for A Room Full of Mirrors: High School Reunions in Middle America
Many studies, each conducted at a different time and locality, similarly point out that high schools in America form a characteristic "microcosm" with a distinctive social and value system and an elaborated ceremonial calendar. 15 Gordon (1957) found that the informal social life of high school peersone of the subsystems he identified in a suburban high school in a midwestern metropolitan communitycomprises a powerful agent that controls and influences adolescent behavior. Whereas in Japan, as Rohlen noted, high school students are defined as "children" both by adults and by the students themselves, and the transition from childhood to adulthood (as in many other non-Western societies) is not dominated by status or identity ambiguity, adolescence in the United States is commonly considered to be a period of struggle for identitythe stage between childhood and adulthood in which teenagers struggle to overcome existential ambiguities associated with this liminal phase.
He then becomes involved in a series of homicides. I sought a cultural parallel, but the high school reunion was used by the author simply as one of many possible social settings in which the thief could obtain a list of addresses. His elaborate criminal scheme is independent of his Page 24 experience in high school. Contrast this novel with an American mystery drama: An ex-football player (played by Rock Hudson) commits a series of murders in his search for a classmate who had written a prophecy just before their graduation that included predictions of what the graduates would become in the next twenty years.
I was impressed, during the course of my research, by the ubiquity and timelessness of certain high school events and personality types that appeared again and again in the stories recounted by my informants of various ages and of different local origins. When asked about their most memorable high school experiences, my informants told stories of ball games, proms, clubs, student government, interpersonal relationships, conflicts between cliques, feelings of rejection, struggles to gain acceptance from peers, dating, and unrequited love.
A Room Full of Mirrors: High School Reunions in Middle America by Keiko Ikeda