The author starts this book with a very descriptive introduction which lays out the rest of the book. Wilkins studied 3 subgroups of people, goths, wannabe Puerto Ricans who are into hip-hop culture, as well as Evangelical Christians, who don’t party and refrain from intimacy. Wilkins argues that people will either perform gender, race, and class subconsciously, or they will learn and imitate these 3 variables and perform them to fit into the given group. Wilkins linked both goths and Evangelical Christians as having a few similarities, typically being white, middle-classed and being open to new experiences, tolerant of other’s decisions, and diverse. The main difference is the idea of sexuality and openness. Evangelical Christians are abstinent and refrain from intimacy like I mentioned above because they are ‘waiting until marriage’. Goths, are much more open and have “threesomes and group sex” (Wilkins, 5). The argument Wilkins makes is that the people she talks about in this book want to be “accepted” and be seen as “cool” (Wilkins, 2).
People in general want to have a sense of being apart of a group and have that feeling of togetherness. In college, the famous idea of ‘finding yourself’ is very relatable here. This is the first time you go off and are away from your parents and can make your own decisions. The idea is to join these subgroups to find a sense of coolness and unity. I personally know of a few experiences of people who attended a church group here at campus and these similar views of being abstinent and to not party were pushed on them.