Michael Ray De Los Angeles.
♛ email: MichaelRay@LoraxCommunity.org
Los Angeles, CA, 2015
Act Your Age: A Cultural Construction of Adolescence.
by Nancy Lesko
This takes a post-modern, deconstructionist approach to examine the history of American education and its effects on the adolescent age bracket and in the process connects modern education to social Darwinism. Within her text, Lesko establishes that there are “four confident characteristics” (raging hormones, peer oriented, always becoming, and signified by age) that define the adolescent age bracket. All of the “confident characteristics” are used to define an adolescent’s relationship to adulthood. For example, to be “signified by age” one may consider the milestones an 18th birthday, the transitions from middle school to high school, or a pregnancy as signifiers. Within her text, Lesko address teenage pregnancy, power and privilege and the purpose of time within the class room– in some cases she cites French philosopher Michel Foucault. The discourse that Lesko presents to the reader provides a lens through which young adult literature and the construct of adolescence itself can be examined.