In Jocks and Burnouts

In Jocks and Burnouts - Samantha Snyder Analysis of...

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Samantha Snyder Analysis of Category Symbols in Film In Jocks and Burnouts: Social Categories and Identity in the High School, Penelope Eckert explains what symbols identify categories within American high schools. Eckert explains that categories are defined by symbols, which can be any of the following; opposing school territories, appearances, demeanors, activities, clothing, adornment, ways of speaking, substance abuse, and school performance. These symbols illustrate what categories students identify with. The movie, The Breakfast Club exemplifies category membership in American high schools in the 1980s. The five students, Andrew, John, Brian, Allison, and Claire are all members of different categories but are united on a Saturday in detention. As Eckert discusses, high school students are categorized within a spectrum from jocks to burnouts. Andrew, Brian, and Claire all clearly identify with being jocks while John and Allison lean towards the burnout end of the spectrum. If anyone is characterized as being ‘in-between’ on the spectrum from jocks to burnouts, Brian would be a nerd and Allison would be a freak, but both identify correctly with jocks and burnouts. Brian is nerdy when he mentions to John that he is a member of the math club, the Latin club, and the physics club, John replies with “you activities people,” ( The Breakfast Club) . He dresses simply in a green sweater and khaki pants. John makes fun of Andrew, Brian and Claire for being in school clubs and rebels against the school system. While Allison doesn’t speak a word and instead weirdly shakes her dandruff as snow onto her drawing, she is a burnout because she sits alone and won’t even look at anyone including the principle. She has tousled, messy hair and wears all black. Being a member of the burnout category, abuses
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In Jocks and Burnouts - Samantha Snyder Analysis of...

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