Rebecca C. Raby
First I would like to start by saying I believe Raby was going in the right direction with her method of research, pinpointing teens at every judgmental aspect of these dominant discourses throughout the years. It was very interesting to see what teenagers had to say compared to their grandmothers and vise-versa. It opened my eyes to how much pressure and confusion that teens experience in this "panoptic time" - referring to adolescent entrapment.
Getting back to the discourses... Raby focused on five main discourses - "the storm", "becoming", "at-risk", "social problem", and "pleasurable consumption". The discourse that triggered my attention was "at-risk". Raby lists the specific risks as, "drugs and alcohol, depression, eating disorders, sexual diseases, and an economy that does not need/want untrained workers". When i was reading this section of the article it may be off topic but I thought to myself...Yes, teens experience these factors that may lead them to using and abusing drugs, alcohol, and disorders more at this point in life, but I believe that this category as "at-risk factors" shouldn't be labeled as a discourse for "teen" years because people will see many things and go through many experiences and tough times that may lead to any of these "risks" at different points in their life.
Most certainly teens will feel pressured into drugs and sex as it is their time for fitting in. I believe the only reason behind it being labeled as "at-risk" is because today it is happening much sooner than it is when i was a teen and they also do not fully understand consequences to their actions of these risks at this point. As I look back at my own life throughout this stage I will most certainly admit that i definitely juggled with many risks, but most of the time it was to regulate other peoples/friends behaviors. I wanted to fit it, I wanted to be cool and its unfortunate that it is so much more present today that it was when I was a teen but it is setting them up for life because for some it may not get any easier they may always feel pressured into drugs, and sex but they now can learn from it and find ways to deal with this problem.
Another reason why this discourse will follow teens throughout their lives is because they will always experience depression at one time or another, which for people who cannot handle depression or pressure will fall on drugs or alcohol, and many other "at-risk" behaviors to numb the pain. Eating disorders will always effect a person who doesn't feel comfortable with their self-image no matter age 13 or 30. Teens feel more pressured to look skinny and compete with their peers to always look better than one another, but I go out and see 30-40 year old women who still are acting the way they label "teens" act.
Sex will follow teens throughout their life,.. The only difference at an older more mature age is you may be smarter and less "at-risk" to catch STD's or become pregnant. I believe for boys, sex is much more looked at as a "thing to do"...and we all know that it doesn't stop at the TEEN years. Girls at this point in life get emotionally hurt by sex because they do it out of strong feelings for a boy, or to feel liked and wanted. Boys do it because they want a higher number than everyone else.
Lastly i want to touch base on the economy. I believe this is one thing that truly affects teens at this stage of life, but at least they are more prepared than we were when we were teens. They are set up at their prime years - now in high school, just coming into college. They have the heads up that they need to take things seriously, be successful and get a good college education to get a career and make something of themselves. "We", or should I say myself didn't feel the need to take high school to seriously because I saw how easy it was for my older cousins/parents to get a job right from high school. HENSE the why I am sitting as a college student at age 25 here with all of you..my though process was an epic fail. The economy took a deep nose dive but I wouldn't look at it as a negative thing, I believe this is helping teens to mature faster, and set goals and plans for themselves so they don't have to backtrack through life at a later age. Yes it causes them stress an pressure to mature and figure out what it is they want to do in life but I almost look at it as an advantage, a push of motivation to be better.
As these risk factors affect teens at a much younger age today, these "at-risk factors" could be reoccurring factors at a later age. Instead of everyone looking at things in tunnel vision and in a negative way they need to see that these teens are experiencing and going through everything that they once did throughout life when it became exposed to them. These risk factors will never fully go away. They will be a problem throughout life. The mature and responsible adults just learn how to ignore them and deal with them in a less detrimental manner.
Drugs and eating disorders happen through all stages of life....teen years and adult years.
Do you feel as though these risk factors are the reason for teens to be "maturing" sooner? do you believe that problems caused during this stage will continue to follow them through life?