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Teen SpiritHow Adolescence Transformed the Adult World$
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Paul Howe

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749827

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749827.001.0001

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Adolescent Society, Then and Now

Adolescent Society, Then and Now

(p.1) Introduction Adolescent Society, Then and Now
Teen Spirit

Paul Howe

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter discusses how nowadays, individuals aged twenty to eighty seem little concerned about adhering to traditional adult norms, favoring instead the free and easy ways of youth. In some cases, this may reflect a deliberate effort to adopt a youthful frame of mind in an attempt to stave off the inescapable reality of growing older. But often an adolescent way of thinking and acting seems to come very naturally to people. Instead of consciously seeking to recapture their youth, they are simply doing and expressing what feels instinctively right, reflecting the fact that in some important sense they have never really fully grown up. Examples of adults acting like adolescents support the conclusion that a youthful spirit now holds considerable sway and has reshaped important elements of modern adulthood. One way to gain insight into these changes is to look closely at teenagers themselves and their shared social setting.

Keywords:   adult norms, youth, adolescent thinking, adults, adolescents, adulthood, teenagers, adolescence

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