“Prom Promises - Rules and Ruling: Proms as Sites of Social Control” by Amy L Best is a celebrated article which deals with several issues of a prom promises program. In an objective, all-inclusive, and significant analysis of the prom promise lives of the adults and their…
The article very well establishes that “the relative local success of the Prom Promise often depends on the support of individual communities and schools, and of course, the students.” (p 78, “Prom Promises - Rules and Ruling: Proms as Sites of Social Control” by Amy L Best) It maintains that the success depends on the students’ consent to their own regulations. The article is very effective, with personally observed examples and conversations with the students, in expressing the actual reasons of the failure of many prom promises. For example, it states and illustrates that “students sign this contract with every intention of violating it. Consider a conversation I had with Scott, a White student from Woodrow, about the Promise, which his school had once tried to implement, successfully...” (Bests).
The article goes on to analyze the various levels of the imposed rules in a prom promise and expatiate the view that the forced strategies of the school authorities to check the uncontrolled behavior of students are ineffective to draw any good results. The author is successful in expressing how the students respond to the rules that aim at the modification of their behavior supplementing it with the real life examples of the students of Rudolph and the like. Trickery of the different schools that aim at the effective implementation of prom promise is analyzed objectively and criticized firmly. The strategies of Stylone with table cards, of Woodrow and Hudson with signing of the names in a guest book and the formalized strategy of Rudolph “checking kids in” are found, for example, ineffective. The article is also very successful in pointing out the exact reasons for the failure of the program. “That the teacher received the kids contributed to the sense that the prom belonged to the teachers and not to the kids. It seemed emblematic that of the direct control the school itself exercised ...
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