Textbook Notes (369,133)
Canada (162,403)
Anthropology (248)
ANT322H1 (16)

Geeks CH1.docx

7 Pages

Course Code
Marcel Danesi

This preview shows pages 1 and half of page 2. Sign up to view the full 7 pages of the document.
CHAPTER 1: Adolescents, Teenagers, and Youth Culture - Not so long ago, anyone reaching the age of puberty was expected to literally come of age  Take on the specific types of responsibilities and duties expected of adults - Nowadays, this period is perceived as constituting an unstable transitional phase towards the attainment of adulthood  Problems of emotional adjustment  Now see pubescent individuals as belonging to a distinct category of culture  Particular music, fashions, lifestyle, peculiar behaviours, language, material artifacts - Wee see the emotional adjustment period as a period fraught with danger, often producing traumatic psychological states and occasionally inducing pathological behaviours  Many incidents of massacre and murder are shown in television  Emotionality that characterizes adolescence can sometime goes awry and brings tragedy - Robert Epstein: beginning in the late 1800s, new laws and cultural practices began to isolate teens from adults  impose many restrictions and artificially extend childhood well past puberty” - Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens, after accidents and homicides - Young people were rarely given a change to express their particular kinds of worldviews - How young people cope with the advent of maturity (incidents like Columine = aberrations)  They rarely engaged in pathological behaviours (usually in a group-based way) - Adolescent period has always been one of searching for self-knowledge and enlightenment - Search for meaning to life that such stories encode is what drives adolescents to this day - Adolescence = period of both prodigality and a Buddhist0type search for meaning  Essence of the search is the same from generation to generation; difference lies in the nature of the meaning  Experiences of young people remain the same; what changes are the expressive details that encode these experiences ADOLESCENTS - Nature segments human life into three distinct chronological periods: childhood, maturity, and old age - Crucial dividing line between childhood and maturity = puberty, period during which the child becomes psychologically capable of sexual reproduction - Other segmentation of the life cycle has a cultural etiology  Adolescence and teenage hood = historically based segmentations that reflect the ways in which we have come to conceptualize the maturation period - Terms puberty and adolescence were coined in the medieval period  Former denoted: individual became physically capable of producing children  Latter denoted: age at which pubescent boy left his family to earn a living in a trade - Term teenager is recent coinage; appeared in the late 1930s in America  Signaled the fact that adolescents were starting to set themselves apart from adults - More recently coined terms: teeny-bopper and tween: colloquial words that describe pre- pubescent children who manifest lifestyle behaviours that are imitative of teenagers  Tweens also constitute distinct cultural segment within the larger culture - Traditionalists, boomers, Gen X-ers, millennial: used to peg individuals as belonging to culturally meaningful age-based categories 1. Traditionalist: “silent generation”, oldest members of modern world (born 1925-1946)  Roaring Twenties, Great Depression, WW2, Korean War, advent of radio, records 2. Baby boomers: “sandwich generation”, tend to take care of both their children and aging parents  Rock and Roll, television, sexual and race revolutions, Vietnam War 3. Generation X: “Me” generation, children of baby boomers (1964-early 1980s)  Fall of Soviet Union, MTV, punk disco, birth of the Internet [Type text] [Type text] [Type text] 4. Millennials: “Gen Y”, born in the 1980s through to mid-to-late 1990s  Born after this period: digital generation  Internet, cellphones, Facebook, instant messaging devices - Today, it’s futile and meaningless to make clear-cut distinction between young and old  Changing social perception of aging: can be postponed/delayed due to advances in medicine  Prolongation of life expectancies  period of youth as extending well beyond adolescent years  “Stay young as long as you can” has become aphorism of the modern age - How the term generation and generation gap originated  Quotation attributed by Ernest Hemingway to Gertrude Stein  “Lost generation”: time when adolescents were staring to unite into distinct social category and viewed by adults as a lost generation  Jack Keruac and Allen Ginsberg’s term “new generation”, “Beat generation” - Using language as a key to understanding cultural trends is useful analytical technique - Word “cool”: emerged in the 15 century as a term of approval, suggesting calm and refrain  Spread in the 195s among teems to indicate attractive person  Recycled in the 1960s and 1970s by hippies to indicate new philosophical stoicism - Words gross, geek, icon, and nerd  “Gross”: disgusting, “geek”: denotes fantasy gamers, trekkies, neo-pagans, person with odd personality  Pop icon: was used for the first time in popular culture to describe Madonna  Nerd: insult by teens hurled at other unfashionable teens NATURE VS. CULTURE - Traditionally, societies have marked and ritualistically celebrated the three main biological stages of life- birth, puberty, death- that symbolic rites = passage rites (used by anthropologist)  Designed to acknowledge the symbolic and spiritual importance of these stages  Term comes from Arnold van Gennep, used it to describe ceremonies  Complicated rites are those that signal the passage from childhood to maturity (coming-of-age rites)  In contemporary cultures, no such rites virtually exist; when puberty hits, young people are left to cope with the passage on their own, leaving them in an ambiguous state of mind - There are industry of theorists and clinical practices built to understand, deal with ravages of adolescence - Plasticity theory  Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1930s), argued that the brain was endowed at birth with unique kind of plasticity, that rendered it highly sensitive and adaptive to stimuli, especially during childhood  Structure of the brain was constantly being subjected to modifying influences from env’tal stimuli - Adolescence has always had many critics  Epstein sees it as a product of cultural preference, thus nothing to do with nature  Margaret Mead: pointed out foolishness of seeing adolescence as a product of nature, not of nurture - Adolescence has generated its own nature-versus-nurture debate  Stanley G. Hall: adolescence was a natural stage in human development (1904)  Stated: emotional turmoil that pubescent children experience was result of natural maturation process  Claimed that adolescence was a stage of growth  Transition from childhood to adolescence was traumatic, b/c it required adaptation and adjustment CHAPTER 1: Adolescents, Teenagers, and Youth Culture  Being caught in between childhood and maturity, ambiguity produced Angst, feeling of dread or anxiety arising from awareness of hopelessness  His view gained acceptance because society at the time needed theory to rationalize the ravages produced by socially constructed category of the non-children-non-adults” - Hall’s Adolescence: introduced into the western mindset the view of adolescence as a period of traumatic emotional adjustment brought about hormonal changes at puberty  Trauma theory: explain why may aesthetic products of youth culture bear high degree of emotion - Disjunction of three critical sphere of personality development- sexual, emotional, and social  As puberty approaches and body undergoes hormonal changes leading to sexual maturation, child starts to feel that he/she is inhabiting new, strange, and lusty body  Adolescent becomes troubled emotionally, resulting in disjunction b/w the sense of sexuality  Become self-conscious, believing that the world around them is constantly looking, evaluating them - Nuturists declare that its cause is not nature, but rather culture that turned adolescence into artificla period of adjustment - Survey at University of Toronto suggested adolescents do not see themselves as children anymore. They would allow older individuals to be part of their circle of friends - Trauma theory if being reinvigorated by some neuro-scientific researchers who claim that the brain at adolescence undergoes drastic changes which constitute the source of stress, depression, angst, etc - Brain’s white matter, interconnecting part of the brain, is better able to transmit signals when it becomes thicker: called mylenation  This process starts and continues well past puberty  Maturation lag between emotional and cognitive brain centres in the brain due to this slow process - David Bainbridge’s book Teenagers: A Natural History  Teenage mind is distinctive and cannot be explained easily- behaves in a uniquely complicated way  Teenage brain is the central phenomenon of human race - Not sure if brain structure is result of innate biological processes or changes brought by env’t stimulation - Youth culture is Strum and Drang (storm and stress) culture (also synonym for trauma theory)  Alienation: evident in a lot of youth-based music - J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye  Took romantic view of youth and converted into first true narrative treatment of adolescent persona REPRESSION AND IDENTITY THEORY - Adolescence is a period of emotional Angst due to childhood repression, and that adolescence is a difficult period of adjustment b/c it involves construction of identity - Repression theory: Sigmund Freud  Adolescents undergo traumatic experiences b/c of repressive experiences they suffered in childhood  “Adults are still children, just taller”: childhood follows us around the rest of our lives  Peer group serves as a shelter system, adolescent can immerse himself socially  Membership in peer group = primary social locus where they seek protection against ravaging effects of repressed sexuality  Peer group allows adolescent the opportunity to blend in to structure that replaces the family [Type text] [Type text] [Type text]  All human emotional traumas, especially those su
More Less
Unlock Document

Only pages 1 and half of page 2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Unlock Document
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Unlock Document

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.