For most teenagers knowing who you are or who you are going to be will come to you at an early age. During high school you fit in a certain group of friends or fail to meet their expectations and happen to become someone a bit under the totem poll. Eckert’s findings explained that the cause of a teen’s social life could be influenced by one’s financial status which therefore sets the path of a child’s social standing even as an adolescent. The study focuses on the importance of a family’s role such as the parents and ones personal beliefs that will define who they will be and eventually grow up to be as an adult.
In the reading you will see that Eckert’s gives examples from each social norm of what a Jock or a Burnout are portrayed in high school and how they fit in with certain criteria that defines who they are individually and collectively. Jocks and Burnouts don’t form overnight it happens over time and it happens as they grow. As teens Jocks and Burnouts are known for where they hang out or spend their spare time whether it may be with friends or family. For instance, Burnouts don’t hang out at home they have an independence to fulfill and venture off to do their own thing.
Some examples that the author provides are Skate Parks, restaurant, streets, pool halls or even Detroit. Jocks on the other hand spend more time at home, school, or movie theaters, somewhere safe and approved by parental consent. Each group has their own set of hangouts because it defines who they are collectively. When they are not in school they focus their time where they feel fits that they are and what they stand for. Burnouts tend to hang out where there is no supervision wanted or needed.
As far as Jocks and Burnouts go when it comes to school not only do they go near each other, but also location signifies how they appear to the campus and facility. In school, the Jocks hang out almost anywhere and everywhere unless the Burnouts have territory, which is hardly any of the campus. The Jocks tend to spend most of their time around their lockers especially throughout and in between classes to hang out with other Jocks. Their lockers symbolize their standing in class and their friendships within their group. Burnouts however, stay away from their lockers and hardly touch them.
Burnouts tend to stay in small areas where they can smoke and be away from others except their own. Burnouts seclude themselves from other students and even faculty because they aren’t as involved as Jocks who put time and effort into their education. Each location expresses an oppositional stance between the two groups because each has a specific characteristic that shows the groups identity and defines who they are by displaying a difference in where they hang out. Burnouts and Jocks physically look different but what sets them apart from one another is their style of clothing and choice.
In order to determine who a Jock or a Burnout is one can be identified through his or her clothing. Jocks worry about who they wear and the expense of the outfit while Burnouts wear clothes that have no specific designer and have no concern about how many times it’s worn. The designer of clothing has no existence to a Burnout because it goes back to his/her parent’s financial statues and designer clothes are expensive and out of financial reach. Jocks have a specific look they tend to go for; they go for a preppy look that consists of pastel, light colors, polo’s and Calvin Klein Jeans.
Jocks, especially the girls, attempt to achieve a high number of clothing options unlike Burnouts who feel no need to either have a significant amount of clothes or care to repeat outfits. Clothing is important to each social group because it identifies who they affiliate with and identifies their financial status. Jocks and Burnouts dress differently and act differently in many ways but behavior that sets them completely different is smoking. Smoking symbolizes a Burnout because it’s what they to do and have done for many years even beginning before high school.
Smoking is used as a symbol to achieve membership and allows you to fit into a category that is known as Burnouts. It’s a way for a Burnout establishes communication with a new or transfer student by asking for a cigarette. For Burnouts, it’s their technique used to signify a burnout and creates As far as Jocks go, they don’t smoke and they use sports to symbolize being a Jock. A Jock is known for his athletic ability and being at the top of his team. It’s a new or transfer student way of possibly entering the clique of Jocks especially if he/she has the financial means to support the Jock lifestyle.
Parents and peers have a huge impact on one’s life and what they are labeled as, especially, when entering high school. However, the child may be labeled even sooner than high school due to their economic standing and their living environment. For example, if a child from a working class home where one’s parents are constantly working makes it difficult to have extra money to fund expensive clothing that the children may want. For those parents, they depend on others around to be caretakers for their children such as other siblings, unlike Jocks who have their parents around as caretakers.
The lack of time spent at home puts strains on relationships between Burnout children and parents because they feel a sense of freedom at an earlier age than most. They learn early that this will be the type of lifestyle they will have so the thought of school doesn’t come across as important as it is for Jocks. Jocks on the other hand, grow up differently because they come from a family where both parents have stable jobs and are capable of being home often. Jocks are given additional opportunities due to their parent’s high economic status.
Jocks parents are able to be around for more of their upraising which allows them to have a close relationship. Having parents who are educated set the standard for Jocks because after high school they knew the plan is to go to college by being active in campus activities, playing a sport and getting good grades. By attending college it will be their way of being able to be free from their parents, something they have never been able to do as a teen because their parents have always been involved in their life unlike Burnouts.
Burnouts had little to no supervision growing up unless by an older sibling or a community member. In Phinney’s State, Model of adolescent stages, the Jocks identity development is in the second state of foreclosure because they have a definite understanding of what they will do in high school, which is to succeed in all academic endeavors and with campus activities. During their years in high school the Jocks and Burnouts each have a set understanding of what they will be doing after high school. For Jocks they will continue school and go on to college while Burnouts get ready for the real world and start work right away.
Burnouts on the other hand in Phinney’s State, model of adolescent’s stages reach identity achievement because they knew who they are meant to become at an early age due to their parents economic status. It helps them see their future therefore know at a young age of what they would become one day, a working adult just like their parents. The type of people you would see in the group of Jocks would be those who look studious, athletic and ones who like to be involved on campus with large personalities. A Jock is someone who enjoys school because it allows them to be free and express themselves through activity.
In order to be a member of certain group for a Jock you must look the part and wear clothing that identifies with Jock with a well-known brand. Each member of the Jock society has to be involved and friendly and be able to keep connections with all associated members or know the majority Jocks while having an understanding of who else is a apart of the social norm. Burnouts are made of students who you never see in classrooms or out on the football field playing and wearing old vintage hammy down clothing.
Burnouts tend to keep to themselves and have no involvement in campus activities, which sets them clearly apart from Jocks who base their high school career being involved. In order to keep cohesiveness Jocks follow a hierarchy system. In the Jocks community you can see that there will be one or a group of individuals who “are in charge” of all Jocks. Those Jocks are the star athletes or have the better grades and know more people especially faculty. In the Jock community they will always have someone or a small group in charge to keep order and peace amongst all Jocks.
Burnouts on the other hand, see no need for dominance and follow egalitarian way of living. They see all Burnouts as equals, which allows them to keep peace amongst all because there is no better Burnout than other. Jocks and Burnouts differ in many aspects especially in the type of activities they are involved in. For example, Jocks are more school orientated and participate in school athletics, student government. Jocks will be ones to make floats, banners and plan events while Burnouts stay clear of all school related activities.
Burnouts tend to find fun in outside school activities such as cruising the neighborhood in one’s car or smoking and drinking. Activities for Burnouts take place anywhere but school such as skate parks around the area or some travel to Detroit a near by city that they travel too to find more activities or to meet up with friends they’ve met on their ventures. Jocks however, tend to stick close to home and will hang out at home or at public locations like movie theatres, family orientated restaurants that their parents know of and are okay with.
Burnouts tend to venture off where no parental supervision is given especially to Detroit, Detroit is their sanctuary where they go to enjoy themselves and have fun. For each group they have their own set of expectations whether its trust loyalty or competition. For Jocks, it is easy to trust their friends and Jocks are able to trust teachers as well because they form a bond due to their academic commitment. Also, Jocks are careful to maintain trust with parents by becoming their own disciplinarians when out with their friends. Burnouts do what they want regardless of parent’s approval because they’ve been raised without parent consent.
When it comes to loyalty, Burnouts triumph over Jocks because Jocks refuse to hangout with students who are new or transfer even if they are appear to be Jock like because they stick to whom they know. Burnouts accept anyone as long as they fit the criteria of a Burnout. The simplest gesture such as a smoke is what gets them to have a sense of solidarity/loyalty to someone new. There is less loyalty to each other and more loyalty to the group image and hierarchy. One might also reach the top of the hierarchy because of the information he/she knew or who they knew such as faculty/staff.
For the Jocks it’s important that one of them especially a senior be seen as one of the highest student. Unlike for Burnouts, it’s completely the opposite because they follow egalitarian system where no one is higher than another. They believe that each one of them is equal and are able to trust one another with their own belongings and if one is having parental issues they lead a helping hand to one another by opening their doors for a place to stay. Burnouts treat one another equally while Jocks tend to use a power structure that allows them to keep somewhat of a peach amongst all Jocks whereas peace for Burnouts happens aturally. For many Jocks and Burnouts they grow up with advantages and disadvantages starting at a young age and transitions into their adulthood. For instance, Jocks are expected to go to college due to their parent’s beliefs and values they must achieve that expectation. Parent’s high expectations of their children could put a lot of strain on their relationship. Having a parent with high expectation especially at an early age can cause disappointment if expectations are meant and could deteriorate the relationship.
A Jock may resent his/her parents for making their every move watched with a close eye as they get older and transition into college because when college comes that’s there way of getting away from their parents. Throughout their high school years many teachers put focus on Jocks because they do better in school and are more involved and tend to shut out Burnouts or pay no attention to them. Having a relationship with a faculty member allows a Jock to have better and more opportunities than most students. That teacher or faculty member does anything possible to have that student reach his/her highest potential.
A teacher may help with recommendations for college applications or put in a good word. Burnouts on the other hand will be overlooked and are not given any opportunities to excel. Teachers have a clear mindset that they will not pass; so most teachers will just pass them along with a D or C. Even though a Burnout may have potential a teacher won’t help them because their time will be focused on a Jock. If teachers were focusing more on all students some teachers could change the way a Burnout thinks and achieve a higher education than high school.
When a Burnout is passed up by a Jock it can discourage them even more than before because they see that no one will help them or put in the effort to help them. Jocks are given anything possible, while Burnouts who may want to go to college but don’t know it or left behind. Burnouts are more prone to working right after high school because of teachers neglect. In Eckert’s study of Jocks and Burnouts she believes that the school should have somewhat more involvement with school activities and possibly integrating some of Burnouts outside activities into the school curriculum.
Eckert’s believes that instead of putting them down they should understand what they do in order for them to be more involved in school activities for their wouldn’t be differences amongst the two groups. She states that it’s important for us to understand both social norms and to not shun what they do as negative behavior but to praise and treat them equally as they do with Jocks. In my opinion I think it’s important to understand the objectives of why they do what they do and their beliefs in why it’s a factor to determine their characteristics.
One can take the activities they do and implement them in daily school activities that cause them to be more involved with the in-betweeners, and/or Jocks. During my years in high school I would say I was an in-betweener, I played sports, was in good academic standing and had relations with my teachers. However, I wasn’t one who was into everything I wore. I had what I had and I was satisfied. My parents raised me to be grateful for what I have that others didn’t especially coming from two working parents who strived to give my brothers and me everything we needed.
During high school it was easy for me to get along with anyone and everyone so I knew students who were considered preppy, gothic, and all in between. Being able to be versatile and have multiple friendships with everyone and anyone allowed me to be able to come to college and be open with others and make friends easily and make my transition to college easier than I could imagine. Growing up being non-judgmental due to my parents raising and valuing what I have to the fullest extent has allowed me to see everyone as an equal individual and appreciate what I have especially in college and will teach my future children the same.
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