The Process by Which Elders Give Advice to Minors About Dating Essay

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The Process by Which Elders Give Advice to Minors About Dating

The concept of courtship and dating has been transformed in the face of youth culture and the generation gap that exists between the young people of today and their parents. With this change, there is also a shift with regard to the advice that elders give the youth on the topic of dating. Not only does the advice vary from generation to generation, but it also varies from culture to culture. In this paper I will discuss the process by which elders give advice to minors in the realm of Panamanian culture.
There are 4 relationships that must be considered when examining the speech act of advice giving for the specific topic of dating. These relationships include, but are not limited to the following:
a) Mothers to daughters
b) Mothers to sons
c) Fathers to daughters
d) Fathers to sons

Dating is considered a rite of passage, a way of carrying out the preservation of family, and it ensures that generations will follow through. Though dating should be fun, elders view it as a serious matter because it is a vehicle through which the formal institution of marriage is established and it provides continuity for race through child bearing.
With the advent of puberty, girls send out signals to their mothers indicating that they might be ready to date. Depending on the age of the child, the mother will set the limits and

speak about patterns, customs, habits and the right time to begin dating. The conversation usually takes place in an informal type setting based on the need. The tone of the conversation varies according to the circumstances surrounding the exchange.
The initiation of the advice giving process usuall...

... middle of paper ...

...etter the parent knows whom their child is dating, the less need there is to lecture. Lecture usually occurs in an environment where there is a perceived
threat. For instance, when there is a suspicion that the child might become to absorbed in the relationship, sex might be involved, possibility of pregnancy, or premature marriage and or cohabitation.
The information in this paper is in no way an exacting depiction of all Panamanians and should not be used as a general schematic outline to explain the practices of Panamanian culture. It is an account of opinions compiled via interviews. It should be pointed out that the people interviewed for this paper were Afro-Latin, because information on this topic will further vary depending on the race (Afro-Latino, mestizo, etc.), socio-economic status, and whether they are from the country or from the city in Panama.

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