Q396. Discuss the role of the 'ear'oles in the oppositional ideology of the "lads." Why and in what ways are they important in the lads' concept of self?
From whom or what do the lads seem to need to distinguish themselves?
- Putting distance between them and drabness/conformity (126.8)
- DJR: I would add parents, school, establishment to emphasize that there are very concrete GROUPS and CATEGORIES between which they wan to establish distance and distinction. In identity matters, not being "them" is as important as being us.
What are some of the ways the lads express their opposition?
- Personal style consists of alternative dress. Use of cigarettes at school, drinking in pubs, skipping class.
Think about their use of a symbolic regime to accomplish this.
- Appropriation of working class consumer goods (clothing, cigarettes, and alcohol).
- Creation of informal groups; creation of distinctive culture within grouping.
- All kinds of looks and gestures and body language. Part of what is important about the symbolic aspects of these forms of resistance is their opacity to the adults; there is a bonus/thrill having a system of symbols that authority does not understand.
What does Willis mean to communicate with the phrase "flaunting their impertinence"? (127.7)
- The lads’ do not just smoke, they take delight in being seen smoking by faculty. Breaking the rule gratuitously, and not just surreptitiously, is what is valued.
How is the "adult male working class world" a source of resistance material for the lads? (127.8)
- Like smoking, drinking is associated with adult male working class world and becomes a “source of material for resistance and exclusion”. What is signaled is that “the individual is separate and their presence is an alternative, superior, and more mature mode of social being.” This is so effectively signaled that The lads’ get a thrill out of being spotted out drinking in pub and they know it more deviant than being spotted smoking
What are some ways that the lads express that they are in another world and it is inaccessible to staff and 'ear'oles'?
- Joey says they can be punished by teachers who re a part of a bigger establishment than students. (122)
- Eddie says teachers think they are high and mighty. Joey says students are under them. (122-123)
- Joey says they can be physically punished or forced to do more work (123)
- Spanksy says the lads’ will look back on life with a specialized experience inaccessible to the ear’oles e.g.fighting, having a laff (125)
- Joey mentions they have developed their own vernacular (128.6)