Louis F. Miron; Mickey Lauria Anthropology & Education Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Jun., 1998), 189-213.
Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0161-776128199806%2929%3A2%3C189%3ASVAARA%3E2.O.C0%3B2-T Anthropology & Education Quarterly is currently published by American Anthropological Association.
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Student Voice as Agency: Resistance and Accommodation in Inner-City Schools
LOUIS F. MIRÓN Uniuersity of California, lruine
MICKEY LAURIA Uniuersity of New Orleans
In this article we describe the results of acomparatiue case study of two inner-city high schools located in the southeastern United States. One school, a citywide school with high admission standards, enrolls un all-African American lower-to-middle-class population. The other school enrolls a more ethnically and racially diuerse population of students from a single lower-class neighborhood. Using Grossberg's notion of identity politics, wedescribe how students' raciallethnic identity to a greater or lesser degree becomes both a means of resistance and accommodation to white hegemony.
In this article we describe the results of a comparative case study of two inner-city high schools located in the southeastern United States. One school, a citywide school with high admission standards, enrolls an all-African American lower-to-middle-classpopulation. The other school enrolls a more ethnically and racially diverse population of students from a single lower-class neighborhood. Using Grossberg's notion of identity politics (1993, 1996; also see Aronowitz 1992) as a conceptual heuristic tool, we describe how students' racial/ethnic identity, to a greater or lesser degree, becomes both a means of resistance and accommodation to whitehegemony.' The broad theoretical question we explore through textual analysis of stmctured in-depth interviews is how the school becomes a mechanism for the social construction of racial/ethnic identity in inner-city schools (see Mirón 1996; Noblit and Dempsey 1996).More concretely, we wonder whether or not the types of schools (citywide and neighborhood) shape the cense of self, that is, students'lived cultural experiences. The question is vital because of the social contexts of our study, one that situates racial/ethnic identity formation in inner-city schools located in areas experiencing high rates of poverty and violent crime. Student Resistance Our primary argument is that in schools, hurnan agency (the intentional capacity to identify and implement alternatives) is most readilyAnthropology G. Education Quarterly 29(2):189-213. Copyright O 1998, American
Anthropology G. Education Quarterly
Volume 29, 1998
evidenced by the presence of student resistance. We build upon a vast literature on resistance theory which has made important contributions toward our understanding of the complexities of students' lived cultural and social...