By Keiko Ikeda
The highschool reunion happens in the course of the usa and cuts throughout transformations in age, locality, and ethnicity. This renowned occasion is usually considered a light-hearted social get together or an workout in nostalgia that has little different value within the lives of its members. Drawing on candid own narratives derived from reunions starting from the 5th to the 50th, this pathbreaking research demonstrates, besides the fact that, that for plenty of americans the highschool reunion is a wealthy and infrequently poignant event. Of specific curiosity is the truth that this ethnographic research was once performed by means of a eastern anthropologist proficient within the usa, who bargains a comparative viewpoint on excessive faculties within the nations. excessive colleges serve very varied social reasons in Japan and the USA, and the methods humans within the nations view their highschool years range hence. the writer examines the yankee highschool reunion as a dramatic scene within the building of self and that means in maturity. throughout the highschool reunion, americans are thrown right into a room filled with mirrors during which they're faced by way of diversified visions of themselves. There they see photos in their highschool selves filtered throughout the lighting and shadows forged via classmates’ thoughts and projected opposed to the backdrop created by means of the lives of these classmates immediately. via an research of the a number of reflections of self that emerge in the course of reunions, the writer indicates how reunions have the funds for humans an party on which to reevaluate their very own stories and arrive at a brand new realizing of self. the yankee highschool reunion therefore presents members with a sequence of self-perceptions from which they could build new narratives in their personal lives.
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Extra resources for A Room Full of Mirrors: High School Reunions in Middle America
Most Americans can understand and intimately relate to this conversation, even though they may have gone to different high schools in different parts of the country. But what was difficult to grasp from the point of view of a Japanese anthropologist, whose cultural biography does not include an American high school, was the affective meaning particular high school idioms carry, and the memories and sentiments associated with it. "? Why is it intriguing to find that "the ones nobody ate lunch with became doctors and lawyers?
Image complexes of high school characters are condensed into symbols and work to typify people, especially those one does not know well enough, or about whom one does not have first-hand information. Bombeck, for instance, claimed in the same column that she could Page 17 "walk into a roomful of people and with 90 percent accuracy point out those who have been cheerleaders. I can tell without being told that Dyan Cannon was a cheerleader. She's a laugher. Eydie Gorme was a cheerleader. She's cute.
For example, two papers on high school reunions appeared in the same issue of the Journal of Popular Culture in 1985. Each gives a description of the author's own reunion experiences, but little interpretive insight. 2 Page 3 Seen from a Japanese perspective, however, the high school reunion is a fascinating cultural event. Although the phenomenon of reunions associated with all levels of educational experience is not an alien concept in Japanese society, the main features of reunions (to be discussed in Chapter 2) are not as prevalent or uniform as in the United States.