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An exploration of student enrollment and school administrator perceptions of JROTC at one high school


This qualitative case study explores adult and student perceptions of the purposes of the Army JROTC program at one public California high school. The researcher sought to understand why students at this high school enrolled in JROTC, and what the school administrators perceived to be the purposes, benefits, and drawbacks of this program. In addition to the use of participant observation, a student handbook, and student questionnaires, five adults and 23 students were interviewed. The results are analyzed through the framework of Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of social reproduction. Findings demonstrate a contradiction in the stated purpose of JROTC, the students’ perceptions of the purpose of JROTC, and the adult administrators’ perceptions of the purpose of JROTC.

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