By Nancy Lesko
Are our present methods of speaking approximately "the challenge of youth" particularly that diversified than these of earlier generations? For the prior decade, Act Your Age! has supplied a provocative and now vintage research of the permitted methods of viewing youngsters. via utilizing a groundbreaking "history of the current" method that resists conventional chronology, writer Nancy Lesko analyzes either old and current social and political components that produce the presumed "natural adolescent." This ensuing seminal paintings within the box of adlescent learn forces readers to reconsider the dominant interpretations at the social development of youth from the nineteenth century in the course of the current day.
This new version is up-to-date all through and incorporates a complete new bankruptcy on 1950s-era assumptions approximately youth and the corresponding connections to children at the present time. As in all chapters, Lesko offers cautious exam of the troubles of nationalism, sexuality, and social order when it comes to how they're projected onto the definitions of teens within the media, in faculties, and in the house.
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Extra info for Act Your Age! A Cultural Construction of Adolescence
These images were pivotal in both popular and scientific thinking, and the diagrams could be consumed “at a glance,” which added to their viability. These evolutionary ladders are also central to my analysis of the making of the scientific adolescent. The concept of progress was inseparable from that of decline, and the fate of societies was similarly linked to that of individuals. The explicit race and gender dimensions of the Great Chain of Being and its interwoven fear of decadence are not immediately accessible in the contemporary use of the terms.
I argue that adolescent development became a space for reformers to talk about their worries and fears and a space for public policy to enact new ideas for creating citizens and a nation that could lead and dominate the particular problems and opportunities of the modern world. This chapter will describe three central preoccupations in which and through which adolescence became an identifiable, important, but ever worrisome modern construct. The preoccupation with progress switched back and forth across racial, gender, and national progress.
5 Relationships between primitives and children established in recapitulation theory. Putting the Primitive-as-Child and Child-as-Primitive to Work Recapitulation theory established a threefold parallelism across animals, savages, and children: children were like savages, savages were like animals, and animals were like children. This theory “formed the thematic core of anthropology, psychology, and child study” and was enormously popular. The description of the “primitive-as-child” “stood second to none in the arsenal of racist arguments supplied by science to justify slavery and imperialism....
Act Your Age! A Cultural Construction of Adolescence by Nancy Lesko