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The prom (short for promenade) is a formal dance event that celebrates student graduation from high school and commemorates the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Within contemporary U.S. and popular culture, the prom is an iconic event and a multibillion-dollar industry that plays a significant role in the lives of American teenage girls. Prom is conventionally understood as an important rite of passage for adolescent girls and maintains significant investments in notions of romance, beauty, and femininity. The prom is also a site of student resistance, cultural tension, controversy, and change; however, students (and their parents) have resisted racial segregation and/or separation in the prom setting.

The prom ritual emerges from the historical tradition of a debutante ball and, as such, is signified as a particularly ...

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