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Smart GirlsSuccess, School, and the Myth of Post-Feminism$
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Shauna Pomerantz and Rebecca Raby

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520284142

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520284142.001.0001

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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: 21 January 2022

A Deeper Look at Class and “Race”

A Deeper Look at Class and “Race”

Belongings and Exclusions

(p.123) Chapter Five A Deeper Look at Class and “Race”
Smart Girls

Shauna Pomerantz

Rebecca Raby

University of California Press

In Chapter Five we focus on other contextualizing features of smart girls’ lives: intersections of class and ‘race’. Class emerged as a powerful force. On the one hand, it was a source of advantage and judgment between students, and thus a tool that some girls used to bolster their privilege and exclude others. But on the other hand, the deep effects of class were also something that was hidden and simplified. Similarly, ‘race’ emerged as a central feature in definitions of academic success, particularly in relation to the stereotype of the ‘smart Asian’. The girls in our study with Asian backgrounds lamented their pigeonholing as automatically good at math and laughed off these racist stereotypes as “just joking around,” yet such assumptions reproduce a narrow idea that being too smart is not only anti-social, but also the mark of a cultural outsider.

Keywords:   race, class, stereotype, smart, Asian, joking, exclusion

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