By Keiko Ikeda

The highschool reunion happens in the course of the usa and cuts throughout adjustments in age, locality, and ethnicity. This renowned occasion is often regarded as a light-hearted social celebration or an workout in nostalgia that has little different importance within the lives of its members. Drawing on candid own narratives derived from reunions starting from the 5th to the 50th, this pathbreaking learn demonstrates, besides the fact that, that for plenty of americans the highschool reunion is a wealthy and sometimes poignant adventure. Of specific curiosity is the truth that this ethnographic examine used to be carried out by means of a eastern anthropologist educated within the usa, who deals a comparative standpoint on excessive colleges within the nations. excessive faculties serve very diverse social reasons in Japan and the us, and the methods humans within the international locations view their highschool years range as a result. the writer examines the yankee highschool reunion as a dramatic scene within the development of self and that means in maturity. throughout the highschool reunion, americans are thrown right into a room packed with mirrors within which they're faced by way of diversified visions of themselves. There they see pictures in their highschool selves filtered throughout the lighting fixtures and shadows forged via classmates’ thoughts and projected opposed to the backdrop created via the lives of these classmates at present. via an research of the a number of reflections of self that emerge in the course of reunions, the writer exhibits how reunions have the funds for humans an celebration on which to reevaluate their very own stories and arrive at a brand new realizing of self. the yank highschool reunion therefore offers members with a chain of self-perceptions from which they could build new narratives in their personal lives.

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Extra info for A Room Full of Mirrors: High School Reunions in Middle America

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He was extremely popular, as his father recalls to his wife: "Remember how they followed him around in high school? When he smiled at one of them their faces lit up'' (p. 16). But at the age of thirty-four, Biff is a career hobo who has not adopted an adult identity and is haunted by his high school glory and by the "would-be self" prescribed for him in his high school days. Bernard, on the other hand, who was studious in high school, was regarded as a hanger-on to his football- Page 19 player friend, but now he has become an earnest, self-assured young lawyer.

Her voice was gentle and friendly but had an inquisitive and skeptical tone. "What field are you in? " "Well, I'm a cultural anthropologist. " "Did you say you're from Japan? That's interesting. You came all the way from Japan to study high school reunions! " One of the things that intrigued me during the course of my research was the way that people reacted when they first encountered a Japanese anthropologist whose aim was to study high school reunions in the United States. Their reactions ranged from amusement to fascination.

A prom queen who turns out to be a plain Jane, or a most-likely-to-succeed who fails to meet the expectations of his classmates). A good example of role reversal after high school is personified in the characters of Biff and his high school buddy Bernard in Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman. In high school, Biff, the son of a salesman, was a star football player and letterman who received a university scholarship for his athletic prowess. He was extremely popular, as his father recalls to his wife: "Remember how they followed him around in high school?

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