Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Tangle of Discourses: Girls Negotiating Adolescence

In this study done by Rebecca Raby, there are discussions about today's generation of teenage girls.  Raby looks at how much adolescent girls have changed over time in comparison to their grandmothers' generation.  The things that society sees as "normal" for teenage girls to be doing are very different today than they were back then.  She looks at five discourses of adolescence - which are storm, becoming, at-risk, social problem, and pleasurable consumption.

"Except perhaps for childhood, adolescence is one of the times of life that is most overdetermined, in that it is strongly perceived to be an age that comes with certain key traits.  These traits are applied to all teenagers." (pg. 430)  This statement is true because society is full of judgments about teens and people have a certain way of viewing and labeling them.  They are seen as moody, hormonal, rebellious, and lazy.

"Adolescence is discursively framed as a stage that seems to require a degree of self-reflection, it is also marginalized and often laced with current, popular concern about adolescents as dangerous, ungoverned and in need of control." (pg. 430)  People see the adolescent years as a time of feeling lost and not knowing who you are.  Self-reflection is important in teenage years, since the next stage of your life is all about making decisions about who you want to be.

I think that Raby did a nice job with her research on teenage girls and how they are viewed by society.  Expectations from adults for teenagers have changed due to different sources of media and due to how they are raised in today's world.  It was interesting to me to learn about how things have changed over time and to realize how much the media has to do with it.

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