Thursday, September 27, 2007

Popularity- Definition? and a spanner.

Hey everyone,
I have recently being thinking about what popularity means within the school context. Now, alot of literature that I have being reading suggests that popularity refers to how well liked someone is . However, I was thinking about what the 'popular' group was like when I was at school. The popular group at my school were those who were into partying, boys, fashion, taking risks and always looked good. They seemed to do reasonably ok at school and were quite confident. However, they weren't necessarily liked by their peers but they were idolised. It was strange because although no one really liked them, but most people wanted to be them!

So I'm finding a bit of a clash in definitions. Because I'm getting the sense that the popular kids by definition are the 'good', involved, smart and well liked kids. This could also have something to do with the American literature.

Sternberg (1993) does suggest that popularity is a bit paradoxical.

Here is the quote from Sternberg (1993) about paradoxical popularity
" There are limits to the number of friendships that anyone person can maintain. Because popular girls get a high number of affiliative offers, they have to reject more offers of friendships than other girls. Also, to maintain their higher status, girls who form the elite group must avoid associations with lower status girls.. These girls are likely to ignore the afflilative attempts of many other girls, leading to the impression that they are stuck-up. Shortly after these girls reach their peak of popularity, they become increasing disliked" (p. 183)

This doesn't really solve my dilemma so I thought I'd got your comments about whether the popular group at your school were 'good', involved, smart and well liked kids? or were they a bit deviant? or a bit of both?

Sternberg, L. (1993) Adolescence 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill, Inc. New York.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

SEX and popularity

well I found this little article about sexual experience and popularity. Lauren commented that a lot of the popular people at her school were the more sexually experienced ones. So I thought this research was interesting. Sorry the text isn't that great if you click on the article it should open to a readable size

Hollander, D. (2003). How to win friends? Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 25(5), 200-200

Which group were you?!

I've just been reading a few journal articles to see what sort of research is out there about popularity within schools. I found one article which summarises 5 groups which are generally found within schools

  • Popular- peers perceive them as social leaders
  • Average status- they are not considered leaders and not rejected by peers
  • Controversial- sometimes showing leadership skills but at times can be aggressive
  • Neglected- usually are withdrawn or neglected by peers
  • Rejected- actively unaccepted or shunned by the rest of the peer group

Gumpel, T. S. & Ish-Shalom, K. V. (2003). How do young adults remember their social status? A retrospective analysis of peer rejection in childhood and adolenscence, and protective factors predictive factors predictive of its remission, 6,(2). 129-157