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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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The Crucible of Adolescence

The Crucible of Adolescence

(p.33) 2 The Crucible of Adolescence
Teen Spirit

Paul Howe

Cornell University Press

This chapter investigates how social influence is a formidable force operating across many arenas of human experience, including adolescence. To describe adolescence as a crucible is to think about it not only as a particular phase of life between the ages of thirteen and nineteen, but also a social milieu where intense interaction has powerful effects on people's ways of thinking, acting, and being. Even as teenagers are engaged in a deeply personal process of self-discovery over the adolescent period, they are profoundly influenced and shaped by those around them. Given the power of peer influence to shape who we are, extending the period of intensive youth interaction in the first half of the twentieth century to include the adolescent years was a portentous development. More than a simple extension, it represented a major shift in the developmental process because of important differences between childhood and the teenage years.

Keywords:   social influence, adolescence, social milieu, youth interaction, teenagers, self-discovery, peer influence, teenage years, developmental process

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