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The Burdens of AspirationSchools, Youth, and Success in the Divided Social Worlds of Silicon Valley$
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Elsa Davidson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814720875

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814720875.001.0001

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Marketing the Self

Marketing the Self

Aspiration Management among Middle-Class Youth in Silicon Valley

(p.67) 3 Marketing the Self
The Burdens of Aspiration

Elsa Davidson

NYU Press

This chapter examines the aspirations and strategies of self-cultivation among the children of Silicon Valley's established, professional middle class in relation to school and community environments shaped by daily exposure to techno-entrepreneurial social practices, values, and success, along with familial experiences of social and economic insecurity. In particular, it considers the aspiration management of students of Sanders High School in Palo Alto, as well as the students' view of their school as a zone of self-expression and exceptionalism. It also discusses the students' marketing of themselves as authentic, original, sophisticated youth, along with the conflicts and fears of exclusion that they experienced.

Keywords:   aspirations, self-cultivation, Silicon Valley, middle class, aspiration management, students, Sanders High School, self-expression, exceptionalism

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