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Jan 03, 2008 Mary rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teachers, counselors, parents, Romans, countrymen, etc.
If there's one book that ought to be required reading for all secondary school teachers, it's this one. Lesko will have no truck with "confident characterizations" of teenagers as miserable, unpredictable, pop-culture-obsessed, hormone-crazed automatons. She subjects some our our society's most nefarious assumptions about people under 20 to a scathing critique, tracing them to such unexpected origins as the Boer War and German Romanticism and exposing the racist, sexist notions at their core. An ...more
Right at the start of this trenchant analysis of the ways in which 20th century US culture has constructed adolescence, Lesko situates her work within a postmodern discursive theoretical framework. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that she focuses her deconstruction of 20th-century adolescence using a critical lens that foregrounds the impact that race, class, gender, and sexuality have had on the ways in which we conceive of adolescence as a developmental stage of perpetual “becoming.”
Lesko does a wonderful job outlining an alternate perspective to developmental psychology's regarding the way history, culture, and society have and continue to influence the "developmental" stage of adolescence. It was super informative, thought-provoking, and enjoyable to read.
Despite it's tacky title and even tackier cover, Lesko does an incredibly thorough job tracing the social and cultural construction of adolescence. Lesko focuses on what she calls the "discourse of adolescence," through which adolescents are constantly geared toward the future, thus emphasizing what adolescents will become instead of valuing them in the present. A must-read for anyone working with youth.