It is ultimately through experience that character is formulated and made evident. From an ethnographic examination of an adventure program (Ropes Adventure, Inc.) that attempts to mold the identity of adolescents who have been detained for minor felonies and misdemeanors, we examine how personal challenge can be channeled into moral messages. By evoking and then taming fear (adventure), organizations demonstrate the power of personal accomplishment, trust, and cooperation - each socially legitimated moral virtues. We argue that character building efforts may be hampered when organizational aims and actual implementation of structured adventure collide.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences(all)