Rise And Fall Of The American Teenager

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Thomas Hine discusses the the “Teenage Mystique” in The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager. The role of an American teen is often contradictory and confusing (Hine 1999). They are viewed one way and are expected to act another. Their place in society is strictly defined by the many laws passed by the adults who, at the same time, are afraid of them and wish to be them. No longer children, but not yet seen in a mature light, teenagers are stuck in a sort of purgatory that deem them incompetent, naïve, reckless, and savage. The combination of capitalizing on, infantilizing, criminalizing, and sexualizing teenagers contributes to the mystique (Hine 1999). The teenage mystique is created by those who fear it. By categorizing and separating the wide and varied age group of thirteen to nineteen from the rest of the population, America is merely perpetuating the problems that come with alienating teens, encouraging society to see them, “not as individuals but as potential problems” (Hine, 1999, p. 11).…show more content…
Media portrays teens very narrowly. Anyone that has taken a high school statistics class can single out a group of people and manipulate statistics to depict what they wish; in this case, the news can report percentages that may seem alarming to the American public regarding crime rates involving teens. People who take those numbers at face value will absolutely be shocked. Hine (1999) acknowledges that, “there’s a temptation to see all teenagers… as part of this savage horde” (p. 13). What are in actuality singular cases can turn into “moral crises” in the hands of the media and politicians (Hine

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