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.  

No comments:

Post a Comment