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Producing SuccessThe Culture of Personal Advancement in an American High School$
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Peter Demerath

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226142395

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226142425.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Identities for Control and Success: The Acquisition of Psychological Capital

Identities for Control and Success: The Acquisition of Psychological Capital

Chapter:
(p.85) Chapter Four Identities for Control and Success: The Acquisition of Psychological Capital
Source:
Producing Success
Author(s):

Peter Demerath

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226142425.003.0005

This chapter talks about the high-achieving students in the school. The chapter inventories the suite of identity characteristics in these students that were oriented toward controlling their school experiences. The components of psychological capital exhibited by achievement-oriented students at Burnham included strong agentic beliefs in students' capacities to influence the kinds of people they were and would become, and the self-conscious development of a strong work ethic resulting in a habitual proclivity to be “productive.” “High-achieving” and “under-achieving” are terms given to the eight focal students who were selected through consultation with teachers and review of grade point average (GPA). “Achievement-oriented” refers to a larger group of students at the school with various GPAs and in various classes who exhibited characteristics of striving for academic success. The chapter tries to interpret these identity characteristics as components of psychological capital oriented to maximize students' abilities to compete.

Keywords:   high-achieving, productive, under-achieving, grade point average, GPA, psychological capital

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