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  • Created on: 03-01-13 17:28

Biological Theories

G. Stanley Hall (1904)

He suggested that puberty led to greater aggression and an awareness of sexuality, which meant that adolescence, was a period of ‘storm and stress’. Lack of physical outlet for these feelings and little movement of the industrial societies only intensified these problems. 

His ideas influenced the scouts.  His ideas lacked the importance of social factors.

Margaret Mead – Growing up in Samoa (1943)

Traditional Cultures – adult status comes at a defined point usually marked with an initiation ceremony.

Western Cultures – endure long period where they are neither child nor adult. – Storm and Stress period for western teenagers.

Samoan Teenage girls were expected to take responsibility of looking after younger children, cooking and washing clothes, they entered in to sexual relationship earlier than in the west.

Samoan girls had fewer problems going through adolescence into adulthood than western teenagers.

Functionalist Sociologists such as S.N Eisenstadt developed Meads arguments.

Industrialisation has altered the way young people undergo the transition from C/H to A/H

In pre-industrial societies most people’s status was ascribed or determined by birth (peasants or nobles).

Modern society is likely to be achieved, school became more important as sorting and grading students for future occupations.

Eisenstadt argues that, young people become less certain about their status functionalists call this ‘Anomie’

Adolescence is a time of ‘limbo’, therefore Y/P turn to their peers who experience the same anxieties and problems as themselves, Eisenstadt argues that this provides support for Y/P during the difficult transition from C/H to industrial society.


For Parsons – Y and A is a social category which emerged with the changing family roles by the development of capitalism.

In Pre- Capitalist societies the transition from C/H to A/H was marked with Rites of passage and there was not an extended period of Y or A.

Eisenstadt saw Y/P developing their own Y/C with its own styles of dress, music, speech and behaviour.

Before ww2 YP listened, dressed and had the same hairstyles and behaved in the same manner as their parents.

1950s saw distincitive teenage fashionsand styles of music such as ROCK N’ ROLL which were shocking to many of the older generation.

Mark Abrams (1959) carried out a survey of YP spending estimated that by the late 1950s  YP had a spending power of about £850 million per year, 5% of national consumer spending.

YP Could earn high wages after leaving school and did not have the responsibilities of adults.

Big businesses realized they could market new


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