By Sue Ellen Henry (auth.)
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Extra info for Children’s Bodies in Schools: Corporeal Performances of Social Class
The idea that self-control is the central element necessary to transform the body has a deep history in science and draws from the deeply racist origins of early scientific and psychological thought that attempted to ascertain various psychological dispositions that correlated with certain races. This idea also has particular purchase in a capitalist society where one’s value is related to one’s economic productivity. Any feature that apparently differentiates one from the “norm” diminishes one’s stature.
Gazes off into space]. Susan: Well, I’m sure Pravit could be boring too if he practised. Why don’t you teach him how and he can be boring with you. With this comment, they turned their gaze from Susan to each other, both shuffled, leaned further back into the [play structure] and gazed into the distance. . [The message] was very clear to me, as an observer, that they were “being” big boys, too old to play. This message was communicated through their citations of teenage bodies with lots of lounging, stretching and haute or low levels of expression and activity.
I recall feeling that who I was was enough, perhaps for the first time. My life became more typically middle-class by attending public high school and then going on to Washington State University for a major in psychology. I did not apply to any other college; the choice of my state land-grant institution seemed right in a way that was confirmed by my new social class status and the fact that many others from my high school in my working-class/middle-class town were also attending. Only those students who were deemed “upper-class” went to Stanford, Reed, or Whitman.
Children’s Bodies in Schools: Corporeal Performances of Social Class by Sue Ellen Henry (auth.)