Coming of Age in New Jersey: College and American Culture

By Michael Moffatt | Go to book overview

Appendix Two On Typicality

The problem of typicality is a perennial one for anthropologists because participant observation is an intrinsically microscopic technique. Clifford Geertz has tried to deal with it aphoristically by proposing that "anthropologists don't study villages . . . they study in villages" ( Geertz 1973: 22). But how do they know that their villages contain representative versions of the general things they are after? How much, in the present case, did Rutgers students resemble other American late-adolescents in college in the late 1970s and 1980s? No other anthropologist has applied long-term participant observation to undergraduates in American colleges, so this question cannot be answered with precision. But there are many alternate sources that suggest that the Rutgers students were far from atypical.

First of all, the generalizations in recent, more conventionally researched books about American college students elsewhere are, when they overlap with my own, generally consistent with them. Ernest Boyer College: The Undergraduate Experience in America ( 1987) and the contemporary sections of Helen Lefkowitz Horowitzs Campus Life: Undergraduate Cultures from the End of the eighteenth Century to the present ( 1987) are the most useful of these sources. Mirra Komarovsky Women in College: Shaping New Feminine Identities ( 1985) is also of value. 1

When tapped by standard survey instruments, the attitudes of Rutgers students--their educational vocationalism, for instance (see chapter 7)-- were also in the same range as those reported on a yearly basis by Alexander W. Astin in "The American Freshman: National Norms" ( Los Angeles: American Council of Education and the University of California at Los Angeles). Notes on college student behavior, which occur from time to time in Chronicle of Higher Education, Journal of College Student Personnel, and On-Campus Report (a semimonthly publication of Magma Publications, Madison, Wisconsin), make it plain that what I have seen and heard in the Rutgers dorms is often national if not international collegiate or youth culture. Likewise, keeping tabs on the media makes it clear that the origin of much of the adolescent culture in the Rutgers dorms was general American popular culture as the students absorbed it from television, popular music, certain movies, and certain periodicals (see chapters 2, 3, and 5).

-331-

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Preface xv
  • One / Orientation 1
  • Further Comments 20
  • Two / "What College is Really Like" 25
  • Further Comments 62
  • Three / a Year on Hasbrouck Fourth 71
  • Further Comments 125
  • Four / Race and Individualism 141
  • Further Comments 168
  • Five / Sex 181
  • Further Comments 231
  • Six / Sex in College 247
  • Further Comments 266
  • Seven / the Life of the Mind 271
  • Further Comments 310
  • Appendix One on Method 327
  • Appendix Two on Typicality 331
  • Further Comments 336
  • References Cited 341
  • Index 347
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
/ 358

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.