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Social Sciences
Louis A Schmidt

A Brief History of Youth • The concern for those in our community who are “coming of age” • The view of the Greek poet Hesiod • Adages of today, opinion of today • “coming of age” associated with tensions • Today it takes longer to achieve this “coming of age” • The nature versus nurture issue • Mead’s contribution and suggestions • An education for choice • Philosophers – Aristotle and Plato • children play and spend time doing leisure activities • Youth reason and make decisions – sense of independence through making choices • youth are egocentric • hesoid • warned that he saw no future if society depended on youth – negative view of youth • “youth wasted on the young” – not true • If you live in a collectivist culture, less tension between youth and adults – living for others, taught to respect adults – ex. Arranged marriages • Western society encourages independence • makes “coming of age” more difficult – more conflict • Hormones – nature • cohorts – society defines what is accpetable • other imposed vs superimposed expectations • erikson – adolescence is inevitable • shift from farming to industrialization – shift in family life • kids are now causing problems – parents working, kids goign to school, no longer helping the family • people blame rebellious teen behaviour on changing hormones and “stress and storm” • Stanley hall – this behaviour is natural, it tones down on its own, NATURE perspective • Criticized for this idea - margaret mead- adolescents of some cultures are very different because of culture • we must understand biological AND environmental factors • transitions through adolescence are smooth if adults facilitate and support it correctly • mead – stress free transition – adult people must provide consistent set of beliefs, clear role for youth (adults must spend time mentoring and facilitating young people – if roles are confusing, encourages delinquency), small homogenous societies have an easier time with adolescence • Hard for canadians – we are so multicultural, we haven’t defined canadian culture very strictly Youth of Today • Industrialized society à advanced industrial society • “coming of age” – again delayed • Phenomenon of collective outbursts • Sensationalism vs understanding • Young people became depending on their parents • “generation x” “the generation on hold” “the lost generation” – trying to figure out our lives, spending a lot of time figuring things out, moving around generations, we’ve been put on hold because we are told to get more and more education because we need it (but maybe we just don’t have enough jobs) • delay- with credentialism (more degrees!), accumulation of debt • collective outbursts- outbursts by young people (ex. negavtive – riots), hippies can be seen as collectively outbursting, young people looking for change • Media – deviancy amplification, reporting on youth and collective outbursts and emphasizing deviancy rather than root cause, deviancy ends of being amplification instead of fixed • Youth feel like they are not being helped – ex. we are so underemployed, suicide problem, depression, etc • media reports things instantly, academic reports take very long to release Why Study Adolescents? • Recognition of “life-span development” • Adolescence – a “way station stage” What is Adolescence? • Definitions within various disciplines • Physiological Definition • Cognitive Definition • Chronological Definition • Eclectic Definition • Sociological definition • Learner’s permit definition • Theory- Age of Majority • A Snapshot of Canadian Youth • Stats Canada • Erikson – adolescence is a period of growth, uncertainty, change, etc – one of the most complicated stages • way station – coming of age, change! • definitions • development of a teen is very important and a foundation of the future, but how can we really define youth? • psych – very big – piaget, erikson (stages of life- how you complete one stage affects the next), etc. • change as society evolves – disagreement on the beginning and end • Physiological – sex organs and secondary sex characteristics – development of these indicates the start of adolescence, the end is defined by the completion of development • But is this enough? Teens may have babies but does this make them adults – NO! Can’t solve complex issues, haven’t developed cognitively • cognitive – as children gets older, abstract thinking, critical thinking and metacognition becomes possible – problem solving • 1/3 of adults in north america can’t think abstractly – think maury and jerry springer – so this can’t define everyone • chronological – age? people are responsible for different things at the same age • eclectic – multiple perspectives must be combined – but what to include ? – too messy • Sociological – onset of puberty and sexual maturity typically indicates • - end mark – social creteria – Febald said - adolescence ends when young ppl have establish a coping style that is consistent with the demands of their social world and when society recognizes their entry into adulthood (ex. when old enough to get a job, drink, vote, etc) • - coping abilities come differently – at different times • learner’s permit of definition – achieving age of majority (term – ex. adolescence committing a crime – prosecution determined by age of majority – typical age of others who commit this crime) • reaching the age of majority – think legal terms – age at which person is held accountable, age that person is tried as an adult • transition length is different for everyone • adolescents experience increasing responsibilities at many different ages – ex. at 16 G1 – incremental progression • adolescence can end at different ages • As we became more industrialized, credentialism has become extremely important • Franklin zimring – theory - age of majority • given an experience, you can expect mistakes – important is resulting in MINOR negative outcomes – ability to recover easily without long lasting consequences, can not have the full burden of adult responsibility • Cultural differences – age of majority and learner’s permit definition doesn’t really apply to collectivist cultures • Stats canada – we are different than americans • we are more family-oriented • a bit of a lag – ex. car jacking • inverted pyramid – fewer young people now than previously, many older people now • people living at home longer – predominantly young males • Common law living situations are more common – makes sense financially • most educated cohort • most equality – women and men (not so much in the states) • genders entering non traditional careers – women engineering, men nursing • avg of about 3 careers • more part time jobs, less full time jobs • young people dependent on loans for school Understanding Adolescent Behaviour and Development Shattering Myths: Looking at Perspectives • Biosocial Perspectives • The Interpersonal Relations Perspective • The Social Cultural Perspective • The Psychosocial Perspective • The Social Cognitive Perspective • The Psychoanalytical Perspective • The Social Psychological Perspective Sensationalism – trying to validate that something is happening, the media! - Presenting atypical cases and generalizing it to the rest of youth , exaggerating - moral panic – adults believe morals and values are threatening, they rally against youth – disconnect between adolescents and adults - Biosocial - Nature – hormones – g stanley hall - instinct, maturation - nurture – culture, susceptibility to environmental factors - passion and rebellion in adolescent years - age-graded - asynchronous development – one part of body matures before another, body may mature before mind is at same level - babies with babies – teens with babies – asynchronous – body mature before mind Interpersonal - Intimacy behaviours of adolescents where blood flows for ex when person excited INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS PERSPECTIVE: STAGES • ZERO CONTACT - two unrelated persons • AWARENESS - unilateral attitudes or impressions: no interaction • SURFACE CONTACT - bilateral attitudes, some interaction, only marginal and informative - Zero contact – adolescent meet neutrally, no contact - awareness – ex. no real interaction, basic impression, no real connection - surface – some sharing, some communication, not really getting to know anyone - MUTUALITY (A CONTINUUM) - MINOR INTERSECTION - MODERATE INTERSECTION - MAJOR INTERSECTION - Ex . Being in the same course - becoming more intimate - minor – first few interactions with someone - Moderate - casual commitment, ex. study buddies - Major – reciprocal liking, increasingly serious commitment - influenced by raging hormones! - Socio-Cultural - we have expectations - Macro level - Folkways – fads - mores – unwritten laws - laws – recognized rules and regulations – ex. plagiarism rules - kingsley davis – macro – each generation is raised in a different sociocultural context - modernizing – adults must modernize the way children to – they must keep up - ex. grandparents – they modernize differently – using cellphones and computers is possible for them but different - adults who fail to modernize fail to understand adults - energy levels are different between generations - - youth are idealistic – adults are more pragmatic - adults can understand youth if they try - we are criticized to have little rites of passage or markers of age – less celebrations, less awareness of needs of society - Davis – markers inform the individual of new rights and steps , markers act as a public announcement that society’s actions must change (society must treat individual differently), markers function to elicit emotion response of commitment, loyalty and fidelity of the social approval of new role - emphasizes uniqueness of individual ERIK ERIKSON STAGE IN LIFE CRISIS POINT • INFANCY TRUST VS. MISTRUST • EARLY AUTONOMY VS. CHILDHOOD SHAME & DOUBT • CHILDHOOD INITIATIVE VS. GUILT • EARLY INDUSTRY VS. ADOLESCENCE INFERIORITY • ADOLESCENCE IDENTITY VS ROLE CONFUSION • YOUTH INTIMACY VS. ISOLATION • ADULTHOOD GENERATIVITY VS. STAGNATION • OLD AGE INTEGRITY VS. DESPAIR • life cycle • experiences may encourage or hinder development through stages • failing one stage does not completely ruin a person, but one may be required to fix the issue later on in life • the longer we wait to fix the problem, the harder it will be to fix it • infancy • child feels love or no love, trust to be fed or taken care of • early childhood – terrible 2s- children trying to explore, asking questions, this questioning is gradual extension of autonomy – if parent respects the voice of child then the child feels respected and a sense of worth – if questions are shunned – shame or doubt • childhood – children want to explore and master skills- trusting parent helps to build initiative, hurrying children (ex. raising children to be “the best” and not to ever lose) will build guilt • early adolescence – learning work ethic, learning responsibility, being rewarded for good effort, if you feel like nothing is ever good enough you feel inferior • Adolescence – • deciding who one is, deciding what to do in life, allowing adolescent to make mistakes is healthy because experimenting is healthy – less role confusion, • environment is challenging – devotion and passion is important, fidelity is important • goals are set through identity formation • role confusion – period or moratorium – answering the question of who i am and what i want to be • Youth • development of relationships, meaningful ones, work, friendships, love, etc • functional relationships • when they become dysfunctional – isolation • inability to connect – people tend to look for intimacy in dysfunctional ways • Adulthood • contributing to society – generativity • stagnation – unfulfilled dreams • Old age • integrity- feeling like you’ve dealt with life well , like life was worth living • despair – incompleteness, having regret -Social cognitive - Role models are important - ex sports role models - very important for young people - - adolescents - cognitive – looking at thinkign and understanding role model - social– motivation and purposes of being like someone - Understanding how cognitive and social influence each other is very important - Psychoanalytic - freud - Id, ego, superego - Emergence of self - social psychological or symbolic interactionist - george herbert mead? - individual at centre, relationships outside of you - significant others, secondary others – different roles of people in your life – changes over life cycle - these people play important role - i – biological self- what am i , who am i , who one wants to be - me- choices and options, significant others play important role and help dictate line of action in a decision – reference group ADOLESCENCE AND IDENTITY • THE MEANING OF IDENTITY • IDENTITY CRISIS • SOME IMPORTANT FACILITATORS - CARING - HIERARCHY OF POWER - INSRUMENTAL FUNCTIONS - EXPRESSIVE FUNCTIONS Erikson - Meaning – what it means to adolescents themselves - adolescents want to feel like they are accepted and like they matter - identity crisis- erikson – not really crisis, more like integration or accommodation – a process - adolescent draws on past, present and future – organizing all of this and integrating them into understanding their place - past – established identity - future – where do you want to be, who do you want to become - sense of personal direction - many feelings on experiences in childhood - sexual identification - Cultural and religious beliefs – norms in group in which we live – do they match the rest of society? - we must have certain values - early trust, initiative, etc – better for identity formation - our generation is preoccupied with imaginary audience – self consciousness - erikson – look at definition of crisis – situation of emotional and mental stress, requiring significant alterations of outlook within a short period of time à this is NOT the case for adolescence because it is NOT a short period a time and rather, a long period of time - changes (or alterations) may even be regressive - suspended animation – sometimes we feel like things are on hold – present isn’t progressing because we may be unsure - best outcomes when one searches and explores - but decision making can be hard and risky – ex. uni is a risk because of al
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