The case against teenagers

THis book describes why teenage is a social construct. Essentially the concept of teenager did not exist before the 40ths and is only a means for marketers to divide up the population into segments. This book argues against infantilizing young people.



February 8, 2014 · 8:39 am

9 responses to “The case against teenagers

  1. Eh, I’ve read some of this before in my psychology courses. I understand the main points and agree with some of it, but in other areas Dr. Epstein is *way* off the mark.

    “Teenage” may be a recently invented term, but the idea of an adolescent having vastly different mental/physical abilities than an adult is true for the majority of the population. A 13 year old really cannot be realistically compared to a 25 year old in most situations.

    • Or it may be the case that infantilizing them is what greatly contributed to that in the 1st place.

      Ever wondered why there is such a thing as teenage angst? Its because we don’t give them enough responsibilities to go with their age.

      • It’s possible, but given that the adolescent brain isn’t 100% finished forming til the later years might speak otherwise. Evolution doesn’t happen so quickly that such a thing could change in only a few hundred years.

        But I agree with you about the whole responsibility aspect. I was always given a lot more chores and tasks than my siblings growing up (making dinner, babysitting, helping with their homework, getting them up for school in the morning, etc) and I’m far more mature than they are at the corresponding ages.

      • I wondered why puberty for more primitive cultures and cultures in history before our modern era is the start of adulthood?

        They go through initiation rituals subsequently before they are given the status of men and women.

        Perhaps shorter lifespans has a role to play. And higher death rates.

      • Now that’s a great point right there. I believe it’s a tremendous shame that we really have no “initiations” in typical modern society. My recent post “Skyclad” is a poetic example of a self-initiation ceremony I did for myself.

      • Nice. Its time to spread this idea around. Initiations ceremonies will help ensure a more healthier society in smoothing the passge from childhood to adulthood.

        Notice that many people during the adolescent age accomplished much. The life stories of thomas adison and alexander the great indicates such human potential at such ages.

      • Thanks.
        Yes, spreading the concept of a “rite of passage” would be greatly beneficial to society at large imo. It would provide a stable point of reference for true adulthood, as well as something for younger citizens to look forward to.

  2. Infowarrior, I’ve always wanted to get you to do an interview.

    And in the hopes that you will open up a bit, I have nominated you for a Liebster Award, which includes a few wacky questions to get your creativity flowing.

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