Coming of Age in New Jersey: College and American Culture

By Michael Moffatt | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Further Comments
This language suggests that Rutgers is a big institutional thing existing independently of any particular actor's perception of it. Rutgers might be redefined more phenomenologically, however, as the sum total of all those imprecise partial understandings that all the actors who make it up have of it, as the negotiated and changing product of their combined understandings. (Power plays a role, of course; the president's understanding has considerably more impact on the sum total than some untenured assistant professor's. And wider definitions are involved as well. One thing most administrators do when planning any big change, for instance, is to call their opposite numbers at half a dozen similar institutions to find out how they do the thing in question.) For my summary sketch of some of the structural complexities of contemporary Rutgers, see appendix two.
See Moffatt 1985b, especially pages ix-x and 261, for a summary of some of my historical sources.
The subjects of these essays are "traditional" college students--in the "college-age" cohort (seventeen to twenty-two years old), residing on campus or, usually as upperclassmen, independently off-campus. Rutgers College served mostly late-adolescent students; adults who attended Rutgers-New Brunswick usually went to University College, the "night school." About one-fifth of the undergraduates at Rutgers College, on the other hand, were commuters with far less access to the pleasures of modern college life than residential students had.
Poindexter and nerd are two negative stereotypes for socially inept youths. Poindexter ("dexter" for short) was the name of a character on a favorite children's TV show, which most of the students had watched when they were much younger. In the late 1980s, the campy musical performer Buster Poindexter had taken his second (stage) name from this old youth cultural meaning. The origins of nerd are unknown (but see chapter 7, note 36).

Note that both terms, by the way, come out of the wider youth culture. They are not specifically collegiate. In past generations, there were college-specific words for such stigmatized students-- "throat" at Rutgers in the 1970s, for instance (see chapter 7, note 12).

One freshman woman on Hasbrouck Fourth in 1984- 1985, on the other hand, reported


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Coming of Age in New Jersey: College and American Culture


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 358

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?