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With reference to the sociological literature on youth, discuss Davis' (1990) claim that the continuing "scrutiny of adolescence rests on a generalised image that constructs them as a social problem".

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Introduction

Health, Development & Social Change S0332A Student no: 0012286 With reference to the sociological literature on youth, discuss Davis' (1990) claim that the continuing "scrutiny of adolescence rests on a generalised image that constructs them as a social problem". Due: Mon, 9th Dec In this essay, I propose to examine why adolescents' tend to be viewed by elements of society as a social problem, in particular Davis (1990). It will investigate the adolescence stage, and examine why society thinks the way they do, in addition to exploring what adolescents do to reinforce this image. It will examine peer groups, parents, schooling, and the wider society, and will collaborate statements from sociologists and psychologists alike, in order to establish how and why adolescence is a life stage which conflicts with the expectations that society hold about them. Throughout our lives we develop through various different stages of development, from birth, right through to death, adolescence, however, is just one of these stages. Adolescence is a period of our development that virtually no one passed through without some degree of trauma, big or small. It is a time where one develops both mentally and physically from a child, to an adult. The teenage years are fraught with pain, anguish, uncertainty, confusion and self-image. It is a time when emotions run high and patience is low, and the urge for freedom is confronted with parental restrictions. ...read more.

Middle

Originally from America, the term has taken on almost universal recognition; however the word is somewhat tarnished, in the sense that it collectively stands for everyone in that age bracket. Adolescents', as mentioned above, have so many expectations bestow upon them, from school, parents, peers religious leaders, however, many in society feel threatened by the fact that during adolescence, the peer group, is the main influence in many teenagers lives. Peer groups give the developing teenager a sense of belonging, when their own families they belong to become less interactive. It is evident that, teenagers, regardless of whether they are popular, unpopular, or quiet or outspoken etc. All pay a great deal of attention to the behaviour and opinions of the other young people they come into contact with. This is because the peer group is a group in which the teenager feels that respects their views and hold similar views and opinions to themselves. In addition to this, the peer group is a place where interaction occurs and so the teenager can be at ease in amongst friends, which he or she feels they can trust. The peer group at adolescence see the outside society as being excluded from their group, in that, the adolescent peer group, at times is involved in deviant behaviour which it knows that the outside society disprove of, as well as the law. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fortunately, most parents can remember what it was like to be that age, and do sympathise to an extent with them, realising that their children will grow out of their teenage years with a different outlook on their family, as well as society as a whole. Overall, this essay examined how adolescence, is a crucial time for an adolescent growing up in a society which expects so much, yet imposes so many restrictions. It investigated Davis' (1990) claim that "scrutiny of adolescence rests on a generalised image that constructs them as a social problem". It examined why there is such negativity often aimed towards adolescents' and found that perhaps through lack of understanding, and possibly ignorance, the wider society often forgets what it was like to be that age. In addition to this, adolescents' in this day and age are bombarded and teased with images and temptations through the media, and it is only inevitable that these young people are temped and do deviate from what society expects from them. Overall, adolescents need to appreciate that they can be perceived by society as a threat, and a social problem, through anti-social behaviour that they frequently might engage in. However, the wider society must bear in mind that they were young once, and that the stage of adolescence if fraught with uncertainty and anxiety, and that most emerge from adolescence fairly unscathed, and go on to lead normal lives. 0012286 Health, Development & Social Change 1 ...read more.

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