Friday, March 21, 2014

Raby "A Tangle of Discourses: Girls Navigating Adolescence


I liked what Raby was attempting to do with her study, but found that it's such a small, specific example of people that she interviewed, that I didn't particularly think it was the best reflection of the relationships between teen girls of various generations and the discourse surrounding adolescence (which she does admit, but still, it wasn't easy to relate to for me). I also think that her terms for the five main discourses she's talking about are accurate ways to describe the ways teens are talked about and represented - in terms of "at risk" and "the storm", I don't know how many times I had to hear adults around me talk about hormones and rebellion. Plus, the way in which Catholic school informs you about sexuality is so abhorrently narrow (obviously), you can't help but wonder sometimes if adults are really the problem and not your hormones.

But if I had to really examine the period of time in which I felt I was "becoming", it certainly has been the years immediately following adolescence. Between 19 and 24, I have felt the strongest sense of exploration and uselessness. My dad passed away suddenly on my "sweet" 16, and I think instead of playing into these discourses as a teen, I actively just did the opposite of what anyone anticipated me to do. I just felt so frustrated that adults wrote me off as an angsty teen, so I instead grew up faster than maybe I should have in order to feel like I belonged. I remember the anxiety I had when I got to college and wondered if I'd missed out on something important, and it caused me to just go nuts in my 20s. Actually, I think despite what the media would have us think, teens often just grow up too fast because of this discursive pressure, which can cripple us emotionally in our 20s. My question this week is: Do you ever wonder just why it is that people in their 20s are living at home more than ever before? I think there's a connection between the two ideas, but have a hard time putting why I think that is into words. I just know that having those negative associations that Raby is talking about, including my relationship with my grandma and the generational differences there, I felt more strongly after my teen years as a direct rejection of those things.

  This my best friend, who I met in the absolute worst time in my life (when I was 20), and I circa this summer.
This is me at 16 (holy crap). I still wonder what I missed out on because of adults pressuring me to be a "good girl" and not a "rebellious teenager".

This is just a song by my favorite band, who not only has been a refuge for over 10 years, but often writes about teenage pressures and decisions, and how it manifests as you get to be considered an adult.

1 comment:

    2. your question about why more people in their 20's are living at home....I'm not sure why exactly, but maybe it could be because parents do categorize their teens as angsty and treat them as such, so a lot of teens try to avoid their parents as much as they can during those years. This could lead to less support and preparation for the years after adolescence because both the parents and teens are focused on everything else. Then once people hit their 20's and parents start to back off a little bit, the improper guidance the person got in their teens may catch up and leave them with little option but to live at home. At this point, the parents may have a different outlook on their child because they're in their 20's and may treat them differently so the child can handle being around their parents more? These are just unorganized thoughts, but it's all I could think of