Summary: Today's youths live in a world that sees their rebellious behavior and esoteric lifestyles as a "natural" part of growing up. But this is hardly natural. In effect, adolescence was forged as a social experiment 150 years ago, when school attendance became mandatory beyond puberty. As a result, adolescence came to be marked not only as a separate and troubled period in the lifecycle, but also as an all-encompassing social problem, requiring the intervention ...show moreof social institutions.
My Son Is an Alien is an entertaining, informative look at cultural influences on teenagers and adolescents. Based on interviews with hundreds of teens, pre-teens, and parents, each chapter sketches out a facet of the adolescent's cultural portrait, from body image and slang to peer pressure and drugs. Non-technical and filled with facts, commentaries, anecdotes, and resources, it also includes numerous features on topics like teen expressions and the least family-friendly TV shows. Marcel Danesi proposes several strategies for changing the prevailing mindset on adolescence. Among these are dispelling the myth that "experts" and "professionals" are the ones to whom we must turn for advice in raising children and that adolescents must be seen as mature individuals who should be reconnected to the adult society to which they rightfully belong. ...show less
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