Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

March 2005


Published online as a supplement to the March 2005 issue (36:1) of Anthropology & Education Quarterly. Online at Copyright © 2005 American Anthropological Association. Used by permission.


Annette Hemmings’ research on U.S. high schoolers’ identities and their negotiation of economics, kinship, religion, and politics is important. Yet, it is better exemplified in her excellent Anthropology and Education Quarterly piece, “Lona’s Links: Postoppositional Identity Work of Urban Youths” (Hemmings, 2000:152–172), than in this uneven and sometimes difficult-to-follow book, which is a fuller treatment of the same research presented in the article. While logical and consistent with the original research design (see Endnote 15, p. 190), her choice to organize the book according to themes instead of school or student made it difficult to keep track of who was who and what were the particularities of the settings they were negotiating. This, in turn, interferes with the book’s intended emic orientation (she pledges early on to “foreground the emic experiences of the research participants” [p. 16]) because it scatters the moments when her high school senior informants share their experiences, observations, and perspectives.