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Freaks, Geeks, and Cool Kids: American Teenagers, Schools, and the Culture of Consumption
In this timely and insightful book, award-winning sociologist Murray Milner tries to understand why teenagers behave the way they do. Drawing upon two years of intensive fieldwork in one high school and 300 written interviews about high schools across the country, he argues that consumer culture has greatly impacted the way our youth relate to one another and understand ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Routledge
(first published 2004)
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Decent introductory text for sociological method. Has some interesting things to say about youth culture; I particularly agree with his main point, which is that, so long as you bar kids from actual power and responsibility, they'll obsess over pointless shit and snipe at each other. Limited by the excessive epistemological modesty that is characteristic of the field. Also, not exactly a thrill ride. High time I resubscribe to the New Yorker, since I'm getting desperate for bathroom reading
I read this book for a high school sociology project. I loved it for many reasons, but I think I mostly enjoyed the book because of how relatable it was to my own life and the lives I see among my peers. I think it was extremely well written, with factual evidence as well as real life stories, and there would be an interesting section for any teenager, or adult, to relate to from some point of their life. It did begin to become a bit repetitive with the ideas towards the end, but was still inter ...more
This book is written by my colleague Murray Milner. I gave this book 5 stars because it is good sociology. Murray has a tight methodology and he develops a lucid theory of status groups based on his data. This book is intended for an academic audience so it may not entertain a broad audience. It makes some really important points about how adults unwittingly set teenagers up to become status mongering consumers. I like Murray's big picture approach to thinking about social problems.
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“Until the middle of the twentieth century, men earned most of the income for the family, while women, as “traditional housewives,” were responsible for providing services to family members and converting money into status.54 This was seen most clearly in the value placed on neatness, cleanliness, decorations, and entertaining as lavishly as budgets would allow.”More quotes…