Class construction: White working-class student identity in the new millennium
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Class Construction: White Working-Class Student Identity Construction in the New Millennium explores the identity development of a group of white working-class high school students in a deindustrialized area of the Northeast. This ethnographic study explores class, racial and gender identity construction and focuses on the ways the students' perceptions of their current and future classed, raced and gendered selves are negotiated within the context of the school. Specifically, the ways that white working-class girls and boys frame their future plans is discussed. Although both the girls and boys almost unanimously wanted to attend college, the girls talked about college as an economic necessity. They framed the discussion of their future plans around the life lessons they had learned from witnessing their mothers' struggles with family, employment and education. The boys acknowledged economic necessity, but also viewed college as an individual opportunity and did not relate their aspirations to family histories. The dissertation also explores the school structure and the social structure within the school and how these structures pave the way for how students relate to knowledge and how they explore and define their own classed and raced selves.