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Prom Night: Youth, Schools, and Popular Culture


reviewed by David Bills & Monica Geddes — 2002

coverTitle: Prom Night: Youth, Schools, and Popular Culture
Author(s): Amy L. Best
Publisher: Routledge/Falmer, New York
ISBN: 0415924286, Pages: 228, Year: 2000
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Much of what is important about the experience of American schooling has curiously failed to arrive on the research agenda of the sociology of education community. While we know a great deal about such matters as the social organization of schooling, the formal curriculum, the linkages between schools and workplaces, or the consequences of tracking, we have less systematic research on the kinds of rituals and practices that are typically dismissed as trivial or somehow non-central to the life of the school. These practices are, however, far from trivial to those who are living them. Amy L. Best’s Prom Night: Youth, Schools, and Popular Culture is an admirable effort to understand one of these – the high school prom. Best argues that there is much at stake in high school proms, despite their evidently being regarded by researchers as too marginal to the really important issues of schooling to merit much serious attention. Best rejects the notion that the prom is simply a "rite of passage"... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 104 Number 5, 2002, p. 930-933
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10772, Date Accessed: 10/23/2017 3:05:13 PM

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About the Author
  • David Bills
    University of Iowa
    E-mail Author
    DAVID B. BILLS is a sociologist with interests in labor markets, the organization of work, and the role of schooling in social stratification. His volume The Sociology of Education and Work will be published in 2004. He has recently published in Sociology of Education and Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, and has edited a volume on The Sociology of Worker Training.
  • Monica Geddes
    University of Iowa
    E-mail Author
    Monica Banks is a doctoral student in the Division of Planning, Policy, and Leadership Studies at the University of Iowa and a Spanish lecturer in the Department of Foreign Languages at Augustana College (Rock Island, Illinois). Scheduled to take her comprehensive examination in the Fall of 2001, she has concentrated her academic program on policy studies and international education and is currently exploring the impact of Immersion language instruction on participating students’ appreciation for and understanding of non-native cultures.
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