Youth Culture and the Generation Gap

Youth Culture and the Generation Gap

Youth Culture and the Generation Gap

Youth Culture and the Generation Gap

Synopsis

Risk-taking, school, sex, church, entertainment, language, and class are among the factors that Gerhard (sociology, State U. College, Buffalo, New York) and psychotherapist Ursula consider as they explore how American youth culture has changed and stayed the same since the 16th-century Puritan colonies. They discuss the life of children and adolesc

Excerpt

This book seeks to relate the development of the youth culture from the 16 century to the 21 century. Beginning with the life of children and adolescents in the Puritan colonies of New England, the discussion moves to more recent times and compares the influence of parents and peers on the young in America.

There is and has indeed been a generation gap in this country and everywhere. However, that gap is not as great as proposed by the media; most young Americans do accept the values of their parents.

Seeking to develop their own identity, adolescents live at a risk-taking age that serves to divorce them from the controls of the adult world. The effort to attain some sense of self-direction is heavily influenced by the school and by the ethnic group to which a youngster belongs.

Not all young Americans go to school, despite the law demanding this. Migration, homelessness, poverty and minority status affect school attendance. We fully explore the fate of those who are excluded from that vital aspect of youth experience.

Because adolescence is the age at which humans first experience the demands of the sex drive, the “sexual wilderness” of the United States makes sexual encounters most confusing and difficult for many youngsters. Single motherhood, disease and emotional consequences of sexual encounters are discussed.

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