Americas Reaction to the Juvenile Delinquent in the 1950
By: James Gilbert
First id like to start with, I think this was an AWFUL READ. I hate the fact that society at this time puts a stereotype on all adolescents as being delinquents due to their appearance and/or social class and race. It is unfair to put a label on adolescents that you don't know but assume they are trouble due to the neighborhood they live in, their clothing, or the color of their skin. All of this stereotyping, I believe, is the main reason why kids rebel. They cannot go to school they like, walk down the street in a group, color their hair purple because they like it, wear baggy jeans because thats what they are comfortable in, without getting a label from society. And also I hate the fact that its focused around pre and post war. Adolescents then and now will always act and be the same. THEY ARE FIGURING OUT WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT, with room to make mistakes and still have the time to fix them.
To relate myself to this article and pick out every piece that annoyed me I am going to blabber on a little bit, and hopefully not bore you with my own experiences but this one quote really bothered me,
"Many parents and experts worried about the youth culture rampaging through large urban comprehensive schools because they associated it more with lower-class values"(pg.18)
Growing up I went to public schools and I absolutely loved it. My 9th grade year my mother wanted me to transfer to LaSalle due to the trouble some kids were getting into in my high school (even though I wasn't). Just to please her, knowing I was DEFINITELY NOT going to go there, I agreed to go shadow a friend for two days. I absolutely hated it. Walking in the halls felt like I was surrounded by cookie cutter robots. Everyone had to look the same, talk the same, and being in uniform teens had no way to express themselves, it was boring, almost black and white. Long story short I stayed at Johnston High and I am just fine. And come to find out after leaving high school the majority of my friends (or friends of friends) who went to LaSalle ended up on the wrong path after high school because growing up they had to follow rules and guidelines and never had the time to explore life when teens are supposed to create and express themselves.
To get back to the all adolescents are delinquents due to there appearance really bothers me also. I witnessed it first hand for myself... I had many different groups of friends in high school - girls I played sports with, girls that I became friendly with (and just so happen to still be my best friends), and a group of students that were considered "emo", wore all black, dark lipstick, wallet-chains, and had funky color hair and haircuts. Whenever I was seen with that group of friends people, even my parents, automatically assumed they were trouble, they didn't do well in school, they were aggressive and hateful, etc.. It just so happens that they never got in trouble, they were the nicest, accepting group of peers I have ever associated myself with. And Oh Yea!! I left out, they loved rock n' roll - they were not "undisciplined"like society may say they were.
To close my rambling, why did society even create these movies that showed violence, sexual behavior, and delinquent behavior if they don't want adolescents to act this way. I believe all that does is open up the door for more of the behaviors that they don't want teens to recreate. Kids will be kids, you will never be able to change a society as a whole therefore society should not be judged as a whole.
Adolescents act the way they do, due to the fact that they are constantly being told who they have to "become", as Raby said in her article. They are constantly nagged and told not what to do and once a teen is told they aren't supposed to do something over and over and are completely placed in a bubble by their parents they are eventually going to rebel. Adolescents need to make mistakes and learn from them, and the ones who don't learn are living the life that was set out for them to live.
Below is a youtube video that I found a couple weeks ago, some of you may have already saw it. Its not teens unfortunately but the fact that its elementary students makes it even worse. If parents, schools, and society want to keep children and teens away from violence and acting in a delinquent manner then why was this so accepted by teachers and parents in the audience??????
It wont let me post it on here I tried 10 times so please click the link and watch :)