Act Your Age! A Cultural Construction of Adolescence by Nancy Lesko

By Nancy Lesko

Are our present methods of conversing approximately "the challenge of youth" particularly that varied than these of earlier generations? For the previous decade, Act Your Age! has supplied a provocative and now vintage research of the authorized methods of viewing young people. via utilizing a groundbreaking "history of the current" technique that resists conventional chronology, writer Nancy Lesko analyzes either ancient and current social and political elements that produce the presumed "natural adolescent." This ensuing seminal paintings within the box of teen examine forces readers to reconsider the dominant interpretations at the social building of early life from the nineteenth century in the course of the current day.
This re-creation is up to date all through and contains a complete new bankruptcy on 1950s-era assumptions approximately formative years and the corresponding connections to kids 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 young people within the media, in faculties, and in the house.

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Between 1881 and 1905 there were nearly 37,000 strikes, often violent, involving 7 million workers, out of a total workforce of 29 million in 1900. The strength of socialist and anarchist movements reinforced these fears. Middle-class white men seemed to be losing the power to wield civic authority, to control strife and unrest, and to shape the future of the nation. 15 Across these changes that pulled distinctive groups in different directions, T. Jackson Lears emphasizes a drive for the rationalization of work lives and the human psyche.

The theory that each individual child reenacts the evolutionary climb from primitive to savage group and finally to civilized society offered an irresistible way to rank people from every social class, race, and gender. Recapitulationists said that every child walked the same path from the most barbarous origins at the end of the Columbian Exposition’s Midway toward the White City; however, many travelers were waylaid or “arrested” on their paths and never became fully civilized. ” Indians or Brazilians or Indonesians became like children who needed to be dependent on adults/Westerners.

S. life. The “nervous masculinity” (Macleod, 1983) that historians have used to characterize the period was an effect of the questioning of social arrangements in which white men held advantaged places. 34 These matrons were followed by their daughters, the New Women, who made further changes in gender arrangements. In 1870, 21 percent of all enrolled college students were women; by 1890, 36 percent were women, and by 1920, over 47 percent were female, with women receiving one third of all graduate degrees.

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