Man's Quest for Social Guidance: The Study of Social Problems

By Howard W. Odum | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII
YOUTH AND SOCIETY

The Child and the Youth . The modern child welfare movement, as well as the whole program of social study, social work, and social education, are the inevitable forerunners of the modern youth movement. From the study of the general principles and programs of child welfare and the place of youth in the modern family we have already been introduced to the background of youth's increasing participation in society and its restlessness in the new era. These general factors interpreted in the light of our studies of social change are ample to make clear the situation in which modern youth clamors for expression and recognition. For the growing child, with his newer development and newer opportunities, adolescence and youth constitute an immediate next step.

Adolescence and Youth . The key both to the genesis and understanding of the modern youth movement may be found in the study of adolescence. The late President G. Stanley Hall introduced a new era in education, psychology, and social work when he began the study of youth and adolescence in the first years of this century. Since that time in the new school programs, and in programs of social work and juvenile delinquency, larger movements on behalf of youth, including such special agencies as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, have been inaugurated and carried on with considerable success. The "bad" boy has often been a misunderstood boy. The "flapper" has become a symbol of flaming youth. The clearer understanding of adolescence and youth has brought teachers and pupils closer together and has interpreted fathers and mothers to sons and daughters. It is a very fortunate circumstance that the pioneers in education, in psychology, and in social work have laid good foundations for the practical adjustments of youth to modern society that are so urgent in this after-war era.

The Growing Boy . It is a far cry from our former attitude toward the youth, in which his discipline and regimen were planned

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