there are a couple books on adolescence and adolescent culture i’ve pre-ordered from amazon, and am really looking forward to reading.
this first one releases April 19.
Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture, by jon savage.
here’s the review from publisher’s weekly:
Although popular assumption might place the birth of teenage culture alongside the rise of rock ‘n’ roll in the 1950s, Savage (England’s Dreaming) traces a more elaborate backstory that extends into the late 19th century. His catalogue of influences and indicators bounces from Goethe and Rimbaud to teenage girls’ diaries, but the account only begins to pick up steam at the end of the First World War, as a generation of British youth reject the values of the elders who sent them into battle. Later, in the U.S., Prohibition not only taught booze-loving college students disrespect for the law, it put them in contact with a criminal underground that strengthened their subversive tendencies. The analysis of teen culture during the Second World War is particularly strong, moving from the Hitler Youth and rebellious ” swing kids” in Germany to the Zoot Suit riots of Los Angeles and the “Zazou” movement of occupied Paris. Savage weaves his disparate sources into a convincing narrative of how adolescents were molded by political and cultural pressures into the consumer-friendly category of ” teenager” by the end of WWII, but while individual anecdotes carry some verve, the writing never fully sheds its dry academic tone.
and, this second one releases in a couple days (actually, amazon notified me the other day that my pre-ordered copy has shipped).
totally wired: what teens and tweens are really doing online, by anastasia goodstein.
despite the extremely dorky-looking cover (wow, if this book sells, they’ll sure be re-covering that in a year or two!), i have high hopes for this book. the author is a self-styled expert in teenage culture, specifically as it pertains to the web (or, as the review below says, “devoted to teen media and marketing). i read her blog daily, and she’s quite insightful.
here’s the publisher’s weekly review:
Goodstein isn’t a parent and hails from Generation X (just after the boomers), but she has a keen interest in teenagers, a background in teen media and writes a blog (Ypulse.com) which is devoted to teen media and marketing. The author explains that she’s spent her career trying to be a “voice of reason” for teens and for adults trying to reach them; in this book she continues her quest to help parents understand their kids by offering a window into their digital world. Goodstein covers the bases, including cyber bullying, blogs and “social-networking sites” such as MySpace. She asks boomer parents to remember talking on the phone for hours or writing in a diary, which she compares to chatting online and blogging. Today’s teens are developmentally identical to teens who listened to Elvis and wore poodle skirts, Goodstein argues, but they have a new venue—the Internet—for exploring their hopes, desires and voices. Goodstein urges parents to take the plunge into cyberspace not only in order to keep their children safe but also to build closer relationships. “Ask them about their digital lives,” she advises, “and they’ll start talking about the rest of their lives.” Focusing on the pros rather than the risks, Goldstein presents a solid and accessible guide to help understand the wired generation.