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Canadian Adolescence Midterm 1 Notes.docx

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McMaster University
Social Sciences
Geraldine Voros

Canadian Adolescence Midterm 1 Notes There is no generation gap. Most people younger and older aren’t aware of it. Adults think they value things that are important and younger people don’t. - Honesty, family life, concern for others, spirituality are fading among both older and younger generations Teens: How Teens are perceived by Adults vs. Actual Trait: Perceived Actual Honesty 21% 73% Family Life: 13% 59% Spirituality: 5% 29% Concern for Others: 12% 62% - Clearly adults think youth value these traits a lot less than they actually do Adults: Teens Perceiving Adults vs Actual Trait: Perceived Actual Honesty 37% 92% Family Life 47% 85% Spirituality 15% 34% Concern for Others 30% 71% - Teens think adults value these traits a lot less than they actually do. Young people are spiritual, but not for organized religion. Seems to be a disconnect between generations in terms of perception, but in actuality, they overlap. Young people and old people have a lot more common ground than they thought. Top 5 Sources of Enjoyment: Friends – consistently number 1 for both males and females Music – consistently number 2 for both male and females Your mother –3 for females - 4 /5 for males : parents have to spend more time with their children and make them understand the important relationship they have. We have to re-evaluate the mask of masculinity where men can’t show emotion and cry. Sports – 3 for males Dating – 4 /5 for males, 4 for females: females care more about having a relationship than males do Your father – doth not plathmuch significance for males, serious thing Your BF/GF – 5 males, 4 females ** Sports and Males*** Why is it that boys can pick up guns and shoot someone? Mask of Masculinity. Comes the variable of sports, males play to win. Why do men kill their girlfriends? They do not like to lose. Have to do with boys not connecting with their fathers. Girls on the other hand have a relationship with their fathers and have gf/bf relationships going on. This tells us that we have different things to worry about with boys and girls. **2009** - Mothers are tied with technology for girls, whereas boys place tech first - Music plays a large role in both boys and girls (songs evoke memory) – need to look at what kind of music is out there today Drug Use Among Teens: Trend over the years Cigarettes smoking – INCREASED Alcohol – REMAINED CONSTANT over decades Smoking Marijuana – INCREASED Hard Drugs – DECREASED from ‘84 to ’92, then INCREASED to ’00 **drug use has not increased markedly. Most teens aren’t bothering with drugs – unfair stereotype** 2008: Almost 50% have a friend with severe depression Almost 50% have a friend who has been bullied – doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening before, but is now being recognized 30% attempt suicide – has dropped off Less being physically/sexually abused – has dropped from 1992 to 2008 Victim of gang violence – dropped Drinking, smoking and other drug use – more male adolescence than females smoke, however, more males are now lowering and females are now increasing. This is brought out by longevity. Now there are more women dying from lung cancer. Shift in life cycle expectations: Women dying a little younger, men living a bit longer. Conventional Relationships and Dating: DECREASING. It’s less important to have bf/gf or be dating today. There are increasing numbers of teens more willing to hang out. They are less likely to be alarmed if they aren’t dating. Conventional relationships and dating are losing popularity. How does it translate to young adult life? Common law outranks institutionalized ceremony. Today, people are more likely to live with person without being married. Sexual Activity Across Generations: Has NOT increased (contrary to what people think). Has been consistent since 1987. Unfair stereotypes. We are not as prejudice against gays and lesbians as the older generations. Conservatism is dying and liberalism is flourishing. Jean Cretienne implemented laws. Sexual Activity: 28-57: 1 st nd 58-68: 2 rd 69-88: 3 13-28: 4 th Image of who is sexually intimate is not correct and has led to unfair stereotypes. Are teachers genuinely interested in you? 50% of teens say teachers are genuinely interested in them. 60% of teens have confidence in the teacher being in charge. Believe that most courses are fairly interesting. 50% (in high school) enjoyed school quite a bit - 40% - they may not like academics, but they like school for social aspects. Do you have confidence in governments? 40% have confidence in governments. Religion: 40% have confidence in religious organizations. A Brief History of Youth: • The concern for those in our community who are “coming of age” - Researchers say that we should be concerned about young people. They are “coming of age” – left childhood, in adolescence and transferring into young adult. Should become responsible individual that the nation can rely on. Distrust of adolescence. - Plato – reasoning was not characteristic of children, but ability to reason first made appearance in adolescence. Younger children should spend time in sports and music, while adolescence should study science and math (showing ability to critically think). - Last part of the brain to develop is the frontal lobe (critical thinking part of brain). - Aristotle – most important aspect of adolescence is ability to choose. Critical thinking is gathering important information and making a decision. - Made observation that adolescence are egocentric. He said that this was something he thought needed to be fixed. - They think they know everything and they’re sure of it. • The view of the Greek poet Hesoid - Hesoid – if society depends on frivolous youth of today, there would be problems. Stereotype that adolescence are irresponsible and the future is at risk. • Adages of today, opinion of today - Same concern is consistent throughout years. “Youth is wasted on the young.” We are the most tech savvy, literate generation ever had. • “coming of age” associated with tension - Tension: More likely to happen in society where people are encouraged to live vicariously (where the individual lives for the group). They’re more concerned about “what others will think.” Do what you do so you don’t bring shame on the family. - Starting to live for individual rights and fight for what you believe in (living a democratic life) – for them there is less tension since they’ve aired their concerns. For individual living for the group – more tension. Erikson – adolescence is a natural stage in life. It’s something they have to go through. Need to be mentored, but cannot deny them the process. I.e., baby learning to walk and talk – it stumbles and falls, you help them up. If teen comes home drunk, parents do not help them up. But you need to let them make their mistakes. Allow them to learn from their mistakes. However, this doesn’t always happen due to being afraid. Expectations are being changed and require patience. Benchmarks – graduating from grade 8, 12, getting a degree (honestly from a University) - Today, it seems to be taking longer for credibility (i.e. finishing a B.A in 3 years and getting a good job vs. now more schooling) - Prolonged stage of adolescence • Today it takes longer to reach this “coming of age” Historically: - Previous generations, adolescence didn’t exist - They were mini adults. Went from childhood to young adulthood to adults. Very little time in between - Young men in the army were only 14/15 years old - There is a discrepancy between the period of being a “mini-adult” to the now elongated adolescence stages. - Moved from agrarian society to industrial society, then 1800’s to 1900’s there was a rural to urban translation - Both parents would work, they ended up trusting their children to go school (sometimes would skip school and smoke) - What were they supposed to do with this period of their lives? - First recognized this cohort of individuals showing negative behaviour, seen as something unacceptable - Who is this problem category? Adolescence – Canadian term (teenager was coined in 1950 by Americans) - People thought there was something wrong with them. Adolescence becomes period of horrible hormones, judgery period in which parents will have to suffer. At end of this period of stress and storm, the individuals will be able to manage impulses and reach balance. - G. Stanley Hall – addressed new stage of nature stage – natural stage, teen will move through this period, one would have to just wait it out. It was inevitable and nature - Cross-culturally, not all cultures have this period of adolescence: - Traditional cultures – where individual lives for the group, there is a very tempered adolescence (don’t do things that will bring shame to family) - More western cultures – there’s more individualism and freedom, bad behaviour takes place more often • The nature vs. nurture issue - Some researchers thought there was strong genetic influence, maybe nature has something to do with it, but nurturing and socialization has something to do with it too. How much nature? How much nurture?: - Brain development – frontal lobe is part that develops the latest – the critical thinking part of our mind. Adolescence think they’re invaluable. - We socially construct reality – need to nurture youth in a way that they become successful adults - Most important that adults provide adolescence with support, welcoming environment, and make a place in the young adult world and prepare themselves for it. - Margaret Mead’s contribution and suggestions - The adult community should provide a set of consistent beliefs: - Need integrity - hard work - encouragement in time managements, taking risks and trusting yourself (in universities) - Reality shows – different - There should be a clear role for young people today. Should be mentoring and facilitating young people. Now trying to build in apprenticeship into the degree – need hands on experience. - Society with inconsistent beliefs, make youth feel marginalized. - Easier for youth to live in a small community, same ethnic culture, strong religious beliefs (homogenous culture). - In a homogenous societies, if it’s a pleasant situation, okay to live there. But if you move to a society that’s heterogeneous (many religions, cultures, races, educational opportunity) – become too overwhelmed with the choices that’s available to you. - Older generation won’t know how to mentor you – it becomes difficult • An education for choice - Adolescent needs an education for making choices – have to learn how to gather information and make informed decisions and seek out specialists that will help them (diminishes the role of parents). - Important for them to learn critical thinking – so once gathered information, they will make good decisions. Youth of Today • Industrialized society  advanced industrialized societ • “coming of age” again delayed - Need to understand that we are a post-industrialized society. Given this change, there can be tension between them and adults. - Moved into this era where young people have to face different things at a different time which means we have to exercise different strategies and solutions - Young generation is not being facilitated the way it should. Our generation is referred to “the generation on hold”. - Double dipping – older retired people coming back – where are the jobs for young people? “Generation x” – unknown quantity, insecurity about the future. “The lost generation” – when is that we will be able to settle down and make a living? The baby boomers can be considered greedy – working too much and costing the younger generation - We are now demanding more of adolescence in Canadian society. Youth have all the degrees, all the debt, no job, further in debt for a car, debt for a mortgage and wedding. - We’re coming to a stall, when will we be where/who we want to be? Increasing competition for more limited spaces for education after university. Why not maximize on the students who want to learn? • Phenomenon of collective outbursts - Because of these pressures, young people are not happy: collective outburst (Quebec’s tuition raise) - There’s frustrations in high school – metal detectors, shootings – youth are frustrated and begin to get this image as troublemakers. Media reports it as deviant behaviour. - Deviancy Amplification: we have these media based campaigns that are directed at youth problems. Sometimes they have the effect opposite to what was intended. - Collective outbursts happening today are much more specialized for a targeted issue.We are now witnessing a frustration as we find these collective outbursts, individuals feel disenfranchised. - Youth are economically manipulated as well – fashion - Marginalized – do people take you seriously? In the last election they did, the winning party would have to have young people voting. Platforms were made focused to youth. - Adults are cautious about youth (guards in schools). Girls are also forming gangs, high levels of unemployment, the levels of suicide continue, mindless consumerism is still there to consider - Researchers produce little interest in “coming of age” phenomena - Researchers are there to study the frustration of the coming of age, but it takes them years to analyzed, peer reviewed, published - We are the most educated generation so far • Sensationalism vs. understanding Why study adolescence? • Recognition of “life-span development” - Important years because they set foundation for young adult and adult life. It is a continuum. - Think of most powerful, positive influence in your life what would it be? – easier for us to know - Usually a person, encouragement, gave you empowerment - What is the most negative power of influence in your life and what has that done to you? Usually someone who has done something to diminish you, - The hockey players that were molested – they endured it so they could be in the NHL – it greatly changed them (one chose his career based on it and the other started drinking) - Theo Flurry, discloses, advocates for a just sentence for people who sexually abuse kids - Large negative power of influence in life – until you heal the wound, you’re not a whole person - It is very important to look at adolescence, because many things can happen at this stage of life that shape the future. - Dependency of childhood, performance stage of adulthood. Adolescence is the transition stage. - Don’t want people messing you up at that stage - You should be mentored, facilitated • Adolescence – a “way station stage” What is adolescence? • Definitions within various disciplines - Little agreement among scholars about the beginning and ending of adolescence • Physiological definition - When reproductive organs and secondary sex characteristics begin to change when they become fully functioning - Ending – when reproductive organs are fully functional - Basically sexual development - Does it start with hormonal changes? Or visible secondary characteristics that mark the beginning? - Do you have to prove fertility to be considered at the end of adolescence? - Sometimes fertile youth can be impregnated…does this mean they have finished their adolescence? - Criticized a lot • Cognitive definition - Acquisition of ability to reason concretely. Children are not able to think abstractly, they have to have a concrete point, doing math. - As you get older, brain develops, critical thinking skill begin, children gradually develop thinking process, become less dependent on their concrete thinking process and can start thinking more abstractly. - Gifted children test: thinking about thinking – metacognition – deep thinking - Individual develop towards this ability to think on a metacognition level (towards end). rd This proves difficult to measure. When they test the population, 1/3 of population in north America is unable to think abstractly on a meta cognitive level. - There’s a large part of society that do not fit into this category. - Criticism – can we really say that 1/3 of population are preadolescent? • Chronological definition - Second decade in life (10-20 years) - Criticism – this is too simple, not enough to work with, false assumption for beginning and end of this: - Some third world countries 10 year olds have to take care of a family whereas western world 30 year olds live in parents basement - Who’s the adult? • Eclectic definition - Use a bit of each, put them together - Come up with a specific score - Many difficulties with this • Sociological definition - Onset of puberty as start of adolescence - Sebald – argues that adolescence ends when young people have established a coping style consistent with demands for their social world and when society recognizes their entry into adulthood - Told that there has to be some sort of managing of your world - There’s a drinking age – point at which you’re entrusted to have some coping style – not expected to get drunk - Considered someone that is respected and given that right to drink - Criticism – - Society’s recognition and individual’s point of reaching maturity could be different. - Can be mature and very young, but society doesn’t see that. - Teenagers permitted to participate in war – are 18 year olds mature enough to kill someone in battle? - There are a lot of steps and things to look at before this term can be defined - Any definition can be justified, but there are always shortfalls with them • Learner’s permit definition - This one seems to work. Adolescence as a period of transition. Period that differs in length for each individual - Franklin Zimring – legal world of adolescence – it is best viewed as a growing up process that necessitates the individual making decisions. A process where adolescents are expected to make decisions and make mistakes. We permit it. The mistakes ideally
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