The (un?)Creation of the American Teenager

Brad M. Griffin | Dec 7, 2011

This week the New York Times featured an “Op-Doc” on “The Role of Youth,” part of a bigger upcoming film project called Teenage (which looks fascinating and has a great docu-blog). Here’s the brief op-doc on the history of youth in US history, particularly in times of crisis:

The filmmakers suggest that perhaps the current reality can call us to think of other ways to integrate adolescents into society. They are not, of course, the only ones to raise this question in recent months/years (as Teen 2.0, our own Sticky Faith, and others are wondering aloud in different ways).

The bigger question is, are we at a unique moment in history where change can again take place? Is it possible that the post-WWII moniker “Teenager” is ready to be replaced with new language and new sociocultural understanding? What do you think?

Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, writer, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of over a dozen books, including 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager, Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and Can I Ask That? Brad and his family live in Southern California, where he serves as Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at Mountainside Communion.


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