APPENDIX A
Structure, Culture, and Subjectivity:
The Elements of Practice
One
can only gain a clear understanding of the relation of individual and
society if one includes in it the perpetual growing up of individuals within a
society, if one includes the process of individualization in the theory of society.
The historicity of each individual, the phenomenon of growing-up to adult-
hood, is a key to an understanding of what ‘‘society’’ is.—Norbert Elias, The
Society of Individuals
Throughout this narrative text, I have attempted to weave the theoret-
ical perspectives informing my study. Here I provide a more explicit state-
ment about theory. I begin with a review of the literature that inspired my
initial research design and move on to clarify my own approach. I finish
with an extended discussion of key terms in critical cultural analysis. My
goal here is to outline su≈ciently reformulated concepts of structure,
culture, and subjectivity that can provide useful tools for thinking about
the strategic practice students enacted in their cultural game at esf.
THEORETICAL AND ETHNOGRAPHIC PRECURSORS
When, in 1987, I first conceived of doing research in and around a
socially diverse Mexican secondary school, I had a set of comparative
questions in mind. Critical scholars of education in the United States and
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