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Toxic SchoolsHigh-Poverty Education in New York and Amsterdam$
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Bowen Paulle

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226066387

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226066554.001.0001

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Recognizing the Real, Restructuring the Game

Recognizing the Real, Restructuring the Game

(p.33) Two Recognizing the Real, Restructuring the Game
Toxic Schools

Bowen Paulle

University of Chicago Press

Chapter Two brings to life the highly ritualized ways of thinking, feeling, and interacting within the overall status hierarchies that entrants into both adolescent societies soon come to experience practically as the natural order of things. This chapter’s main goal is to depict students’ moment-by-moment lived experiences of coping with peer group transactions centered in spaces where the “real” actions tended to unfold: outside classrooms. This chapter also begins revealing why some students had far greater access to (and tended to be more easily seduced into) ultimately self-destructive ways of being than others. Even those seemingly most enchanted with their school’s version of the “ghetto fabulous” life did not buy into some kind of situation transcending ideology or “code of the street.” Yet while immersed in “real” mini-events both reflecting and reinforcing the two broader pecking orders, doing what could otherwise appear as the “right thing” often become nearly impossible.

Keywords:   Interactions, Rituals, Peer dynamics, Ghetto fabulous, Code of the street, Adolescent society

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