Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Balancing ActsYouth Culture in the Global City$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Natasha Kumar Warikoo

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520262102

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520262102.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 01 August 2021

Balancing Acts

Balancing Acts

Peer Status and Academic Orientations

(p.107) Chapter 6 Balancing Acts
Balancing Acts

Natasha K. Warikoo

University of California Press

Peer culture involves maintaining and defending one's status in front of peers, which sometimes comes into conflict with adult expectations for school achievement, especially for boys. Furthermore, the quest for peer status, rather than oppositional culture, best explains second-generation teen attitudes, behaviors, and tastes. This chapter develops a theory of peer culture in schools that is relevant for children of immigrants in New York and London, emphasizing the role of peer status. A careful look at youth cultures in the two schools—York High School, New York City; and Long Meadow Community School, London—reveals a distinct youth subculture in school, but not an oppositional culture. The subculture involves a distinct set of cultural accoutrements related to a status hierarchy in which racial authenticity, pride, toughness, having the right tastes in music, style, and language, and having the right comportment are all important. An emphasis on peer status drives youth cultures, which, rather than rebellion or rejection of the dominant society, explains the taste preferences and behaviors of the teens. According to the youth, success is the balancing act of maintaining high status in the peer social world and in the dominant or academic world.

Keywords:   balancing acts, peer status, academic orientation, immigrants, youth culture

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.