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Re/Constructing «the Adolescent»

Sign, Symbol, and Body


Jennifer A. Vadeboncoeur and Lisa Patel Stevens

Young people today are frequently demonized by media images as well as by classroom reports. Dominant discourses, as ways of seeing and talking about youths, are constructed and managed by adults and offer young people a limited set of roles to play and options for engaging with society. Contributors to Re/Constructing the «Adolescent» problematize the «social construction of the adolescent» through a critique of the discourses that position youths and an examination of how youths enact, contest, and sometimes transform those same discourses. These studies, combining empirical research and semiotic analyses, offer a fresh perspective on young people in western societies today, at the level of everyday discourse, embodied through gesture and symbolic action, with material effects.
Contents: William Ayers: Introduction – Jennifer A. Vadeboncoeur: Naturalised, Restricted, Packaged, and Sold: Reifying the Fictions of «Adolescent» and «Adolescence» – Johanna Wyn: What Is Happening to «Adolescence»? Growing Up in Changing Times – Lisa Patel Stevens: Youth, Adults, and Literacies: Texting Subjectivities Within and Outside Schooling – Jrene Rahm/Karen Tracy: Doing «Good» Discussion: Young People Engaged in Politically Messy, yet Compelling Conversation – Margaret Finders: «Gotta Be Worse»: Literacy, Schooling, and Adolescent Youth Offenders – Jennifer A. Vadeboncoeur: The Difference That Time and Space Make: An Analysis of Institutional and Narrative Landscapes – Judith V. Diamondstone: «Wishing and Doing»: Foreshadowing Life Choices in Writing – Lisa Hunter: Who Gets to Play? Kids, Bodies, and Schooled Subjectivities – Elizabeth Birr Moje/Caspar van Helden: Doing Popular Culture: Troubling Discourses about Youth – Mollie V. Blackburn: Talking Together for Change: Examining Positioning Between Teachers and Queer Youth – Lisa Patel Stevens: ReNaming Adolescence: Subjectivities in Complex Settings.