Sunday, February 17, 2013


This week the assignment is to read Hine's piece titled The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager. 

Hine states that "Being a teenager isn't an identity but a predicament most people live through." How would this fit in with the other authors we have talked about so far?

How does Hine define a teenager? Are you surprised at the history of the word? How would this align with or challenge Raby and some of the class conversations we have had about the importance of language?

Would you agree that teenagers are "a social invention" as Hine names them? How is it different from the concept of youth?

How does Hine define the "rise" and "fall" concepts? (pg 7)

Hine names our ideas about teenagers as "Deeply contradictory"... how does this relate to course assumptions?

What is the role of the case study of the young woman at the prom in the bigger context of the article? The concept of teenagers?(p. 14) How does it relate to the info. on teen crime etc?

Does Hine offer a solution? If so, what is it?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Raby: Demystified

Hi Folks,
Apologies for not having Raby up prior to our first class this week- I had thought I had posted it but something misfired and it was saved as a draft. Instead of posting that original draft though I thought it might be more useful if I recapped some of what we covered in class, and address some areas of confusion I witnessed on the blogs in order to prepare us for class tomorrow.

With regards to class material Raby has 3 things that you should take away with you. The first is that there is this thing called discourse, (and discursive constructions) that is the way in which we use words to portray particular ideologies (remember that word?) and their meanings.

We said in class that Discourse= Language+Power.

The second is that Discourse has meaning- in short WORDS MATTER. Think about how this relates to Addy's story, or the slides on medical text book language.

Finally, Raby argues that there is a specific discourse around teenagers, their experiences, and their relationships. Most notably is the five stages of adolescence concept. I could see that some of you were trying to apply this to your own experience and I think that was a smart idea, it is easier to understand things when we can relate to them. We will cover this third piece more in depth tomorrow, so come with your questions. I think this may have been the area that more of you were trying to make sense of that might have gotten lost in the transition between Discourse as a large idea, and what it means with regards to teenagers. Hopefully through tomorrow's class that connection, and the application to your own experiences will become clearer.

Also- an image to get you thinking some more on the importance of discourse.

A Few Notes on Blogs

Hi Folks-
Few Quick notes on blogs.

1. So glad to see you talking to each other with such a level of investment and respect. I enjoy watching it unfold.

2. Just a reminder- blogs should include links to other related sources and videos/pictures in each post. If you dont know how to do this let me know and we can work out a time to cover it together

3. Some of you have been asking about how to get the list of your classmates blogs on your own page. If you go to Kenia's Blog she has a step by step walk through of how to do it.

4. Please try and shut off your comment filter that requires people leaving comments to type in the catch phrase before the comment is posted. As I go through 30 of your blogs to leave feedback this step tends to get cumbersome. Again if you would like to and don't know how just let me know, but a hint for now-its in your settings.

Keep up the good work!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Christensen Quotes

Christensen "Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us" Quotes

"The "secret education," as Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman dubs it, delivered by children's books and movies, instructs young people to accept the world as it is portrayed in these social blueprints. And often that world depicts the domination of one sex, one race, one class, or one country over weaker counterpart. After studying cartoons and children's literature, my student Omar wrote: "When we read children's books, we aren't just reading cute little stories, we are discovering the tools with which a young society is manipulated." 

Christensen speaks of a "secret education." What is her argument? What is the "secret education?" How are you familiar with it?

"Students keep track of their responses in a dialogue journal. I pose the question: "Do you agree with Dorfman's position that children receive a 'secret education' in the media" Do you remember any incidents that support his allegations?" This is difficult for some students. The dialogue journal spurs them to argue, to talk back, and create a conversation with the writer. Dorfman is controversial. He gets under their skin...Many students don't want to believe that they have been manipulated."

What is the risk of admitting to influence by the media/secret education? Is it possible to still enjoy these childhood texts while critiquing them? How?

"The possibility of publishing their pieces changed the level of students' intensity for the project. Anne, who turned in hastily written drafts last year, said: "Five drafts and I'm not finished vet!" But more importantly, students saw themselves as actors in the world."

Can "secret education" provide individuals with a sense of agency/empowerment? Can the "secret education" be resisted, challenged or redefined? How?

 note that this post has a picture, and a link, is clearly labeled, and holds questions to talk about in class, all components of a successful blog-though format is varied.