Monday, February 11, 2013

A Tangle of Discourses: Girls Negotiating Adolescence

 Tangle of Discourses: Girls Negotiating Adolescence
    -Rebecca Raby

When I read this article, almost every topic reminded me of growing up in high school and what it was like to be a teenager. (Reflection after quotes)

"Adolescence is discursively framed as a stage that seems to require a degree of self-reflection, it also marginalized (in terms of voice and self-reflection) and often laced with current, popular concern about adolescents as dangerous, ungoverned and in need of control" (pg430).
- I have to disagree with  the fact that there is popular concern about adolescents as dangerous, ungoverned and in need of control. I do not think people give teenagers enough credit. I know when I was a growing up as soon as I turned sixteen I found a job on my own. not all teenagers are the same. In most cases teenagers and all children are a reflection of their parents. So if people believe teenagers need control, then that is a reflection of how their parents raised them.

"In contrast to their parents, teenagers' [coast] through their teenage years smoothly and with little self-consciousness'" (432).
- Once again, I cannot agree with this. When I think back to my high school years. Senior year was awful, girls were ruthless with one another. People would talk behind my back and be two faced to me, it was definitely not smooth for me. Being a teen is not easy your between Adolescent and adulthood, and have to find where to fit in between. To say that teenagers are not self-conscious, would be a lie. My mom has always referred to it as an awkward stage, and I would agree. Everything about you changes, most of which one cannot help and it definitely would make them self-conscious.

"If teenage hood is a time of experiment, then they may do so by buying new experiences and products. Self-expression and identifications are intricately expressed through certain types of fashion" (347).
- This is one thing I will agree to. I remember back in middle school, I was so busy with school and dance, I really did not hang out with people much. I was a bit goth, not because I was dark spirited or anything, I just like the fashion how things looked. When I would go to the mall with friends, I would never shop in Abercrombie or Hollister. To this day, I still have my own style, I love Savers, and going to Target and finding something I know others probably would not wear. I feel that self expression is carried through out your entire life and not just when you are a teenager.

-Other thoughts; What I got from this article, is that people have a misunderstanding about teens, everyone is an individual and no one is the same. You also have to look at other dynamics. Such as their life style growing up, what type of parents do they have, and what type of community do they live in. You cannot generalize and say ALL teens are dangerous and need control, and you also cannot say ALL teens have a smooth life with no troubles.


  1. Ha!
    Loved how you said “teenagers are a reflection of their parents …..therefore their parents need control” so true and yes I agree with you that some teenagers are actually more grown up than the adults trying to control them.
    Also agree that your teenage years are not the easiest since your trying to discover who you really are as a person apart from your parents. And I think most adults don’t realize that, even though they were obviously teenagers themselves at one point. I think as we get older we sort off forget the troubles and anger we had as a teenagers towards adults always trying to boss us around and misjudge us, that when we become adults, we do it to teenagers again, so basically we become what we use to hate. It’s a never ending cycle. Some people would say that they do it because it was done to them, others would say that it’s because they wouldn’t be where they are today if it wasn’t for those nagging adults and lastly some wouldn’t say much they just would do it because they either forgot or became parent themselves and now they “understand”.
    So this I think brings back the main question of the class:
    Since like you said teen have been misunderstood: are they then an alien life form that we just cannot understand?

    1. I don't believe teens are aliens, I just think times have changed and people under estimate, because they have standards to live up to whether they are their families or societies standards.

    2. I really like the way you said this. Teenagers aren't aliens for being different... they're just different. Society needs to not judge teenagers as harshly as we do just because adults have grown up and created a higher standard of living life.

  2. I definatly agree with what you are saying not all teens can be classified as dangerous we all have our own quarks and things that make us unique but those things make us who we are. I don't think teens are a alien life form. I do think that they are taken and looked at in the wrong way. They are judged by societies teenage standard and not judge by what they bring to the table

    1. I also agree with you saying that they are judged and as i said above, people have standards for teens, that can be hard to live up to.

  3. Raeann- I like to see you "talking back" and challenging the author through your quote selections. Your first analysis raises some discussion of our course assumption "that teenagers are not some alien life form" and that we do not leave our teenage selves behind and are in fact individuals with complex experience.

  4. “I have to disagree with the fact that there is popular concern about adolescents as dangerous, ungoverned and in need of control”

    I think that Raby is pointing out a “popular” misconception and generalization about the “teenage” population as a whole. Not that Raby personally feels this way on the subject.

    “Being a teen is not easy your between Adolescent and adulthood, and have to find where to fit in between.”

    I definitely agree with you there. As much as Raby tries to tare down generalizations about teenagers, there are certainly many generalizations in this paper. I personally did not “coast” through my teenage years. Maybe that generalization comes from looking back on teen years with a sort of nostalgia and a now-as-an-adult jaded outlook on life.

    Thanks for the post!