By Keiko Ikeda
The highschool reunion happens through the usa and cuts throughout adjustments in age, locality, and ethnicity. This renowned occasion is often considered a light-hearted social social gathering or an workout in nostalgia that has little different importance within the lives of its contributors. Drawing on candid own narratives derived from reunions starting from the 5th to the 50th, this pathbreaking examine demonstrates, in spite of the fact that, that for lots of american citizens the highschool reunion is a wealthy and infrequently poignant event. Of specific curiosity is the truth that this ethnographic research used to be carried out via a jap anthropologist informed within the usa, who bargains a comparative viewpoint on excessive colleges within the nations. excessive faculties serve very varied social reasons in Japan and the U.S., and the methods humans within the nations view their highschool years fluctuate therefore. the writer examines the yankee highschool reunion as a dramatic scene within the development of self and which means in maturity. throughout the highschool reunion, americans are thrown right into a room jam-packed with mirrors during which they're faced by way of varied visions of themselves. There they see pictures in their highschool selves filtered during the lighting and shadows forged via classmates’ thoughts and projected opposed to the backdrop created by way of the lives of these classmates at the moment. via an research of the a number of reflections of self that emerge in the course of reunions, the writer exhibits how reunions find the money for humans an social gathering on which to reevaluate their very own stories and arrive at a brand new knowing of self. the yankee highschool reunion hence presents contributors with a chain of self-perceptions from which they could build new narratives in their personal lives.
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Additional resources for A Room Full of Mirrors: High School Reunions in Middle America
Although Janet loses her perduring high school dream, she gains a new understanding and esteem for her adult self. In Taxi, the routine of a woman cabdriver (Elaine) is disturbed when she finds Mary, one of her former classmates with whom she led cheers, in the back seat of her cab. Elaine, now a divorced mother of two, compares her life with the success story told her by her ex-cheerleader classmate and is struck by her own perceived shortcomings. " In her high school yearbook, Elaine was listed as Most Likely To Succeed and Most Talented.
And it makes no sense to throw out the baby with the bath water. But suppose for a moment that we try to learn only the rules of the game. Imagine, for example, the ethnographer returning from the last game of the World Series and reporting these remarkable discoveries: three strikes make an out, three outs retire the side, and so on. Eager to learn about every move in the game's key plays, the avid fan could only (correctly) say that the ethnographer was a fool who said nothing untrue but managed to miss the whole point of the game.
Bette Midler). 19 The other metaphorical movement goes in the opposite direction, past to presentinformation about what a person was like in high school brings out a new understanding or a sense of "knowing" that person in the present: "knowing what a person was like in high school can make, or seems to make, everything fall into place" (Keyes 1976: 45). This can be exemplified by numerous instances in which the media refer to the high school identities of public figures or of people who have done unusual thingssuch as receiving an award or attempting to Page 18 assassinate the presidentin an effort to understand how or why such things happen.