Social Inquiry 2

Social Inquiry 2 - LaMontagne 1 Whitley LaMontagne...

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LaMontagne 1 Whitley LaMontagne Professor Haley Sociological Inquiry Assignment 2 15 March 2011 Lessons from Welton Academy: Prep School Subculture It is becoming more common for cultures to develop subcultures, capable of living within cultural norms, yet still having additional values, and beliefs that set them apart from the rest of culture. John J. Macionis summarizes subculture as patterns that set apart some segments of a society’s population. In the movie Dead Poets Society, Professor John Keating is given the task of teaching English at Welton Academy, a boy’s private school, within the constraints of a prep school subculture. An established view which their subculture had was to take the initial value of education and stretch the belief so personal interests are disregarded. This example was seen with one student’s struggle, Neil Perry, who faced the decision of acting, his passion, or education, his father’s passion. However, maintaining his view of education being “the idea of …learning to think for yourself” Keating seeks to expand the boy’s view on all aspects and ideologies and prove there is more than the subculture, which they know. The subculture in which the boys were apart of is manifested through concepts such as socialization, culture, beliefs, values and norms. Welton Academy serves as an additional parent to all of the enrolled students, as the school socializes the boys prior to entering college. For instance, the Academy enforces the value of having an honor code, with the use of the word honor referred to multiple times by different boys. Knox Overstreet refers to the word when he is confronting Chris and says “Dead Poets Honor.” When Chris insists on what that is, Knox’s response “my word” highlights the
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LaMontagne 2 educational system teaching the boys to let their yes be yes and their no be no. Another example of the honor system being in use by the boys is Steven Meeks enlightening his fellow “Dead Society Brothers” that it is within their honor code to the school to tell the truth about Mr. Keating regardless of the discipline against whomever. However the socialization of these boys at Welton Academy leads into other concepts such as the experience culture. Culture among these boy at Welton is involves the similar ways of thinking, and acting,
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Social Inquiry 2 - LaMontagne 1 Whitley LaMontagne...

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