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Abstract

My group of high school friends sought out the experience of high school from a vantage point of resistance against the high school as an institution, as well as the institution of teen culture. Our group interactions were a result of the disgust we felt for how greatly these two institutions shape teenage experiences. We were able to rebel because we had a strong group identity with a safe space that we fought to protect. Further, we were able to get away with this rebellion without consequences because our protests still observed societal rules. As far as I can tell, we were the only group in my high school that practiced this form of resistance. Because this is the only experience of high school that I have had, I do not know if my experience is a common one. Perhaps my group was prone to this form of resistance identity because of the way our group formed. Because many of us had childhood connections from growing up together, perhaps it was easier to form a close bond that facilitated the kind of reaction we had to stereotypical teen culture. Maybe suburbanization plays a role as well, as it provided me with numerous playmates my age with whom I went to school and with whom I shared experiences from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Or perhaps it was just coincidence and we all developed the identity as a result of some experience that we all had together. Possibly there is a larger societal pattern based on race, class, or geographic location as to why my group of friends all came together under this one identity of resistance. Regardless of how we formed this identity, I am glad that we did, because it demonstrates that there is an alternative to conforming to institutional hegemony, in which individuals have the opportunity to choose for themselves how they experience high school.

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