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Anomy, Values and Culture Change Among Teen-Age Indians: An Exploratory Study

Stanton K. Tefft
Sociology of Education
Vol. 40, No. 2 (Spring, 1967), pp. 145-157
DOI: 10.2307/2112042
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2112042
Page Count: 13
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Anomy, Values and Culture Change Among Teen-Age Indians: An Exploratory Study
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Abstract

Some sociologists suggest that anomy characterizes groups whose access to goals is blocked by structural barriers which are a consequence of low socio-economic status. Research suggests that in some situations of culture contact conflict between value systems within a minority group may produce anomy in the absence of structural barriers to success. While Arapaho, Shoshone and White teen-agers living in or around Wind River Reservation are subject to the same barriers to attaining success, a high percentage of Arapaho youth reveal attitudes characteristic of members of anomic groups in contrast to Shoshone youth. Arapaho youth have no less access to institutional means to achieve goals than Shoshone. A modified Harvard Value Study Questionnaire given to 310 Wind River high school students indicates that while dominant value orientations of Arapaho, Shoshone, and White teen-agers are similar, Arapaho show a lower agreement on how to rank value choices than do the Whites and Shoshone. Arapaho teen-agers feel unable to make a firm commitment to any set of values which they can feel are consistently rewarded by their peers; their apathy, low aspiration, escapism, and self-to-other alienation may be in part a consequence of this condition.

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