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Perfectly Prep: Gender Extremes at a New England Prep School

Sarah A. Chase

Abstract

Moving into a senior boys' dorm at a co-ed New England preparatory school, I soon noticed vast behavioral differences among the students that I found hard to understand. In an environment of ivy-covered buildings, institutional goals of excellence and aspirations to Ivy League colleges, I observed that many girls worked themselves into a state of sleep deprivation and despair during exam period while the boys remained seemingly unconcerned and relaxed. I noticed that the girls felt the pressure to be “cute” and “perfect”, while the boys felt pressure to be “bad ass” and the “best at everything ... More

Keywords: ethnography, adolescents, class, gender, teenage culture, race, ethnicity, gender ideals, prep schools, agency

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195308815
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195308815.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sarah A. Chase, author
Brown University

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