Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Problem Behavior:Gilbert -Quotes

"Adolescents were snagged on two separate and opposing principles:  one tending toward greater, prolonged  dependency upon parents and children's institutions, and the other encouraging greater autonomy and responsibility." (p. 17)

This quote is explaining the two different roads adolescence are torn between.  One road is to still be the teenager living under the roof of their parents and going to school. This means doing all the things that a teenager should be doing such as living at home with their parents, following rules and living as a typical American family.  On the other hand, the other path would be taking the road that creates a status of a teenager as an independent young adult.  Such as working, earning their own money to purchase cars and other material items that represent an independent teenager.  Also, teenagers on this path would marry earlier, initiate sexual relationships earlier, look and act differently and behave hostile and act criminally.  This all illustrates the delinquent aspects of the teenager.  This quote is illustrating the two paths teenagers can take which are very opposite from each other.

"...1956 sociologist Pitirim Storokin in his book The American Sex Revolution, argued that American culture had become 'sexualized.'  This dramatic dangerous revolution, he continued, had dire and physical and mental effects." (p. 21)

This quote is illustrating the impact on the American family culture from the post war shift towards sexuality. An example was how Elvis Presley was moving too provocatively on television, resulting in just one of the aspects of rock and roll music that was blamed for corrupting the teenagers.  Also, parents began to prohibit children and teens from listening to rock and roll music, dancing and certain radio shows and films.  The blame that caused teenagers to behave in a delinquent way was blamed on these shifts in American culture.  As a result, the author states there was an increase in premarital sex and marriages happening at a historically early age.

"The new film Code suggested that abortion could be mentioned but, of course not justified." (p. 189)

This is an explanation for the ongoing struggles and numerous edits for the 1958 screen play Blue Denim. It was created into a film but faced a lot of controversy based on the requirements for the new film code in regards to abortion.  The film expressed the importance of communication between generations and focuses on the consequences of the miscommunication.  The 15 year old boy gets his girlfriend pregnant which shows how he failed to listen to the consequences of teenage sex.  The solution is for the girlfriend to have an abortion and this was refused to be recorded.  The plot is changed where the girl "mentions" the abortion but does not go through with it and the story ends with the young couple getting married and living through their mistakes.

Thinking about this reading, I found it interesting to see the unfolding of the revolution post war.  I see many similarities to teenagers today.  They do act like young adults, they do have premarital sex, experiment with drugs, dress and act different, talk different and carry an independence about them.  Sex in the media has evolved more than ever with teen pop icons becoming sex symbols.  Looking at how cultures change and trends change my question would be what sociologist predict will be the next trend for teenagers?  Are they going to become young adults much sooner?  Or with the pressure of college and careers keep teenagers less delinquent?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Raby: A Tangle of Discourses: Girls Negotiating Adolescence (Hyperlinks)

For the following five discourses of adolescence I have put together some links to help illustrate my personal interpretation of how I believe these discourses relate to the real wold:
 The Storm:
Although the article describes "The Storm" as being the part about adolescence that parents brace themselves for, the blame seems to shift to the teenager's hormones.  It appears according to the article that this is where the teen is going through a turbulent and emotional stage and with the hopes of the transition into adulthood will bring a more calm and rational change.  Also the article is noting that during this time of life, there are physiological changes that are linked to puberty which effects abstract thinking.  Again, this is where teenagers are exploring different feelings and trying to identify them as individuals.  In the video link below, I have posted a teenage girl on the extreme side of the storm.  She uses intimidation, threats and violence to gain power and a sense of self.  In the Dr. Phil clip, she brags about bullying an overweight girl in her school to the point she never returned back to school while showing no remorse for her behavior.  She has punched her mother and threatened her life as well.   This is where I feel teenagers may be put into the category of being violent or "stormy."  Although this is an extreme case and there are other factors obviously other than hormones that is causing this behavior, when people think of the "stormy" teenager they think of the teenager that is disrespectful, bully and failing out of school.  

Becoming (The Promise):
The article describes the teenager as becoming in the terms of becoming an individual by self discovery and identify formation.  Raby describes teenagers doing this through trial and error and how making mistakes as teenagers can be easily dismissed and blamed for being a teenager.  IT appears the author is trying to make the argument that it is better for the teenager to make the mistake during this time of their life \rather than as an adult with more substantial consequences.  As teens further try to find themselves, they are more likely to do more self destructive things to define themselves as an individual.  
Something that comes to my mind regarding teenage individuality expression is the increase of popularity of body art.  The ABC article I have posted describes the increase of popularity of body art among teenagers despite the laws in most states where individuals must be 18 years or older to receive tattoos.    The article refers to a study done by where 15% if parents would allow their teenagers to receive a tattoo and 30% are undecided but open to the idea.  In addition to this study, the article also states a survey from 2010 indicates that 40% of people ages 18-29 have tattoos and 1/2 of them have at least 2-5 tattoos.  To me this is an example of teenagers experimenting with trial and error that may have drastic permanent implications.  Regrets of tattoos and/or body piercings later on in life may pose a problem that may be costly to the individual to fix.  
At Risk:
An aspect of the "at risk" adolescent I would like to focus on is when the author refers to the the student experiencing stress and pressure which the author claims to be greater today than ever before.  Looking at responsibility in teens for academics, there is pressure to graduate high school, get good grades in high school in order to go to college and score and pass the state standardized tests.  In the movie, Race to Nowhere, the documentary follows and interviews students as they meet the pressures of being a student in modern society.  Some districts in the film have reported increase of suicides among students possibly due to the academic stressors and pressures.  
Social Problem:
Raby's representation of teenagers becoming a social problem today is summed up in one phrase, "they're getting worse."  This refers to the problems with teenagers today and how they are not the responsible young adults in training as the article by Grace Palladino, Teenagers states.  I have included a link to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey that compares Rhode Island Teenagers behaviors regarding depression & violence, substance abuse and sexual activity. Compared with 2007 and 2011 data, opposed to popular assumptions the following social risk activities have decreased physical fighting, dating violence, smoking, alcohol abuse, binge drinking, multiple sex partners and sexual activity in general have declined.  However, there was an increase in unprotected sexual activity, cocaine use and marijuana use.  I thought this was interesting to see the data on social behavior and see that there has been a decline and perhaps they aren't "getting worse."
Pleasurable Consumption 
Raby portrays youth as the target for marketing and the largest high consumer group.  The problem with this is, teens aren't spending their own money but using their parent's money to keep up with purchases of the latest trends for technology and clothes.  Teenagers are very impressionable.  I have included the commercial for the store Aeropostale.  It is titled, "Fall in Love."  It shows a teenage girl going to school and as her outfits change, she gets more and more noticed by peers and a potential love interest.  This sends the pressuring message to teens that you will be accepted and admired by the clothes you wear.  Thus again sending the wrong message to teens as a form of pleasurable consumption.  
Thoughts for class:
Out of the 5 adolescent discourses, which seems to have the most impact on our society?  Personally, as a health teacher my focus is on the social problems and risks of teens.  As a health educator, my job is to teach students the skills they need to be informed healthy consumers and make better choices regarding their behaviors.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

L. Christensen, Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us

This author (Linda Christensen) argues that children's cartoon, movies and literature impose a "secret education" on our children about society by portraying stereotypes that influence how children view cultural issues and gender roles in our society. 
       The author does an amazing job with providing examples of various types of stereotypes noted in children's cartoons.  The author uses examples from students in her own class who are asked to analyze various children's cartoons.  Evidence of stereotypes she lists are of the following:  lead roles, servants, race, body types, what the characters are trying to get out of life, what children learn about roles of women in society, etc.  First example is from a Popeye cartoon.  The stereotype of race is illustrated in a scene whee people from the Arabic Nation are illustrated to all have the same face, turbans and body.  Also, they are thieves and act violently attacking people with swords. Another example the author uses is in Daffy Duck, there is an absence of female characters in the cartoons.  If they do appear, according to the author, the female ducks look like Playboy centerfolds.  Perhaps the most important aspect of the authors main point about children shaping their sociological beliefs through cartoons is the significance of gender roles in our society.  The author uses Cinderella as an example.  The author poses the question, "What are the characters trying to get out of life?  Christensen suggests there is a theme in a lot of children's movies and that is the girl must transform and be beautiful in order to win the man.  She mentions that in Cinderella, she becomes beautiful by getting new clothes and having a new hair style and then wins the man.  The author argues that this is sending the wrong message our youth that, "Happiness means getting a man, and transformation from wretched conditions can be achieved through consumption."  The author fears that girls will think that if change is made on the outside, they will find happiness.  It is clear the author made some valid points in this section and we must question the "secret education" our children are receiving as it shapes their personal values and beliefs about what makes a male a male, and what makes a female female.  

Personally, this argument left me torn.  I understand and agree with the author that our children's stories are composed of stereotypes not doubt, but I feel it is just a small portion of how children develop their gender roles.  I believe it is about what takes place in the home.  For example, the student sees how his/her mom acts ans behaves as a female in society and how their father acts and behaves as a male in society.  In addition, the child learns his/her gender role from day one.  Girls get pink rooms, dolls and kitchen sets. Boys get blue bedrooms, trucks and workshop sets, etc.  I don't think it is just the cartoons it is society as a whole.  If more Disney movies came out with more non-traditional characters that would be a start, but I believe it would be minute compared to what society has stacked against our youth.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Little Bit About Me...

Hi!  My name is Christina and this is my last semester at RIC. I chose this class because it sounds like an elective that would make a lot of sense for I am a high school health teacher. I am in the MEd program for Health Education.  I have been teaching health for 7 years and I love it.  Oh, the questions I have been asked in class ;)  I did nothing exciting during break.  When I am not in class, I am teaching, exercising and eating.  My New Year's resolution was to do more exciting things that are out of my comfort zone.  So far, nothing good. I live with my two chubby long haired cats:  Polkey 15, and Bubsy, 2.  I am a firm believer that cat mommies ARE real mommies too!