What is Adolescence?

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Adolescence: a time of angst, emotional instability, and hormones running rampant. Or is that merely an assumption that has been labeled as fact? The dominant discourse among American society is to view adolescents as under-developed young adults who are ruled by biological factors, rather than rational thought. Many educators utilize this discourse on adolescence as the basis for building their curriculum and Young Adult novel selections. But in Sophia Sarigianides’s article, “Tensions In Teaching Adolescence/Ts: Analyzing Resistances In A Young Adult Literature Course”, she makes the case that to effectively teach Young Adult Literature, one must first begin by asking what adolescence is and by analyzing the scope in which one views this stage of life.

Many teachers often find themselves viewing the adolescence stage of life as a time of change and emotional turbulence. But have the educators ever stopped to consider how much bias they’re bringing to the table in making these assumptions? Many of the ideas that Americans hold about adolescences are preconceived notions that were d...
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