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Title: Ballroom Classrooms: How Race and Socioeconomic Class Affect Student Experiences
Authors: Estevez, Sharim
Advisors: Frye, Margaret
Department: Sociology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: By comparing a free ballroom dancing program incorporated into the school days of low income elementary Latino students and a ballroom dancing program at a dance studio with mostly White middle class children, this study highlights how race and socioeconomic status affected student experiences. This ethnographic study relies on observations of ballroom lessons in both programs as well as interviews of dance instructors and homeroom school teachers. Literature on parenting styles, discipline, and the schooling process help frame which aspects of the students’ experiences are analyzed and provides background on how race and socioeconomic status influence these aspects. This study finds that the ballroom program at the public elementary school used White middle class standards of appropriate behavior in order to make the students “ladies and gentlemen.” Rifts between the dance instructor/homeroom teachers and students often occurred as adults lacked an understanding of their students’ cultural background and family life. At the private dance studio, dance instructors and parents shared the same racial and class backgrounds. With similar standards of discipline and success, they worked together to unleash the potential they believed each child had. By encouraging students to share their opinions and constantly telling them they would be future leaders, students were made to feel important.
Extent: 112 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Sociology, 1954-2016

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