Monday, April 27, 2009

Teens Talk Back

"Teens Talk Back"

One of the videos I watched was called "Caught in the Middle" and the girl (Charnika) was having a hard time with the fact that her mother now wanted her to live with her. Her mom had left her grandmother to take care of Charnika and raise her for fourteen years and now her mother has now decided that she wants all of her children to live with her. Her mother doesn't understand where Charnika's coming from because when she was younger her mother did the same thing to her. Charnika is dealing with a lot of repressed hurt and anger because not only did her mother leave her, but she never showed up to her graduation or any important events and she always ended up being disappointed.

"Walking Alone"

This video was about this girl Nikki who was diagnosed with depression in 2000. This video was just her showing her typical day and how all she wanted to do was sleep all the time (forever) because nothing can get to her or bother her while she was in bed. Her cousin described her as always crying, being sad, or sleeping. During the video her mother tries to wake her up at 6:30pm and she still refused to get out of bed. She describes it as having no motivation and she feels misunderstood because no one in her family understands how she feels.

"Graffitti Kids"

This video was made by a teen named Andrew Sosa and was actually my favorite out of all the videos I watched. It starts off with him sitting at the bus stop and he picks up a magazine that sitting on the bench next to him (Lifescapes). The magazine gives him ideas and he goes home and starts sketching a design he came up with for graffiti. He joins his ideas and with some of the graffiti he looked at on walls around the neighborhood and spray painted his design on flattened cardboard boxes. In the end of the video he puts the magazine back and another teen sits down and starts looking at the magazine. His message was that you can still express yourself in fun ways without defacing property, teens have creative minds, let them express it.

"A Sign of the Times"

This video was about how negatively Barbies and the media influence young girls and teach them to want it, flaunt it, and buy it. Barbies cause unrealistic images and expectations of what girls should look like. When Daisy (the girl who made the video) asked a little girl if she had a boyfriend the little girl replied, "I did my hair, I went to school, he wanted to come over and spend the night. I humped him and then I kissed him." When she was asked where she learned these things she said that her mother showed her. The point of this video was to show how we need to start paying much more attention to what our kids and generations are watching and doing.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Final Project Outline

Cliques and Subgroups (Influenced by music)

1. Open with a short youtube click of the movie mean girls (Dividing up groups in the cafeteria)
2. Subgroups
a. Hippies
b. Punk Rockers
c. Hip hop
d. Pop
3. Connections to the class literature: Prep, Tricia Rose, Hine, and Facebook and MySpace readings.
4. Use pictures of teens from the different subgroups to show the difference in the lifestyle they live, difference in dress, and differences in attitudes.
5. How music influences these teens lifes and why they conform to the subgroup they do.
6. Use a handout with a trivia on who's who and why teens are conforming into cliques.

The four groups we will be focusing on are:
Hippies: Hemp, pot, drugs, laid back, and peace
Punk Rockers: Tattoos, dark/black colors, angry, and Emo
Hip Hop: Money, women/sex, and alcohol
Pop: angel/virginity, preppy/pink, purity

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"MySpace and Facebook Predators and Scandals"

MySpace and Facebook Predators and Scandals" by Henry Jenkins and Gabriel Sherman

"MySpace provides a fertile ground for identity development and cultural integration. As youth transition from childhood, they seek out public enviornments to make sense of culture, social status, and how they fit into the world. Interacting with strangers helps them understand who they are and communities of interest allow them to explore ideas and values. Allow most youth are able to socialize privately with one another in the homes of friends, most are not allowed to spend time hanging out in public, unaccompanied by parents or adults. They view MySpace as a place where they can be who they are, joke around with friends and make certain to stay in the loop about everything that is going on around them" page 3 of Henry Jenkins interview). While teens do have facebook, I think more college students have facebook than MySpace. Youths need to realize that the internet can be a very scary and dangerous place and most of them don't. Anything posted or put on a public page can be accessed and seen by anyone.

I think it's crazy how teens in New York at the Private Horace Mann School made all these groups and pages about teachers and posted them publicly on the internet and didn't expect anyone to see them or report them. A good question raised is should youths be limited to the amount of internet use in schools? While some sites like MySpace may be dangerous, teachers are finding that having assignments that require students to use the internet are actually making them do better in school (like blogging, youtube, and podcasts).

Both this interview and the article about Horace Mann students can be linked to the Digital Natives article and The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager. It's a great think that teachers are finally seeing that kids are learning differently today then they used to. Teachers are finally starting to see kids using technology for homework and learning as a good thing. This is related mostly to what Marc Prensky talks about in his Digital Natives piece. The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager fits into this interview and article because everyone always assumes the worst of teenagers. Just because there are predators on MySpace and maybe offensive pages and sites being posted, doesn't mean every teen is involved.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Teenagers in the News

Teenagers in the News

"Teaching Teens about Harassment" by Stephanie Clifford

This article is about how three teenage girls in Greensburg, PA got were charged with disseminating child porn. All three of them had sent nude pictures of themselves via text to their boyfriends who were all charged with possession of child pornography. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, about twenty percent of teens have either posted or sent nude pictures of themselves through cell phones. The Family Violence Prevention Fund has labeled the sending of nude photos as a form of digital dating violence. Because of some highly publicized cases, parents are just becoming aware of how much teens can access through all the technology available to them in this day and age.

Teens shouldn't be taking nude photos of themselves and sending them to anyone. By doing this they are putting themselves at risk. These pictures can be shown or sent to anyone and teens at this age can't be trusted to keep these photos to themselves.

I don't necessarily agree that the teens involved in this article should have been charged with porn, but I believe they are using them as guinea pigs to make an example and to try and stop this behavior from happening.

"Teenagers' Internet Socializing Not a bad Thing" by Tamar Lewin

The study in this article was done by the MacArthur Foundation and basically says that parents shouldn't be worrying so much about what their teenagers are doing online for so long because they are learning technological skills and literacy that's going to help them succeed in the world. The main reason teens go online is to socialize with their friends, not to get into trouble. Teens say the Internet and technology is an addiction and you can't live without it. Today's youth have more motivation to learn from their peers than they are to learn from adults.

This article mostly makes me think of the Marc Prensky article "Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants," because technology is so much a part of teens lives and previous generations don't really understand the need and obsession with it because they didn't grow up with all these fun technologies.

Something I didn't really like was how the article stated that predators and stranger danger have been overblown. There are many incidents of teens talking online to strangers and eventually meeting up with them and they end up disappearing or being found murdered.

"What's the Buzz? Rowdy Teenagers Don't Want to Hear It" by Sarah Lyall

This article was completely absurd. Howard Stapleton from Barry, Whales came up with a plan to keep rowdy teens from hanging outside stores and causing trouble. He invented a device (called the Mosquito) that emits a high-frequency pulsing sound that can be heard by most people under the age of 20 and almost no one over the age of 30. This sound is designed to irritate young people and after a few moments it irritates them so much that they end up leaving. Howard Stapleton was quoted saying "It's very difficult to shoplift, when you have your fingers in your ears."

I don't really agree with this tactic at all. I think this device is a little inhumane. It's basically treating the teens like animals. This device is pretty much a dog whistle for humans. Reading this made me think of Thomas Hine's "The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager" because teens are being viewed as pests and being driven away by a machine called the mosquito. The teens aren't being understood by the shop owners in this article and they don't really know how to handle it so instead they drive them away.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"FastForward" by Lauren Greenfield

"Fastforward" by Lauren Greenfield

I thought that Lauren Greenfield's web page was amazing! She captured teens in today's society perfectly in all of her photos from FastForward. It's very interesting to me how you can see the difference in the social class and way of life and almost see someones personality from just a photo that only captures a moment of that persons life.

"The young and privileged in Shanghai don’t care about politics or communism but are obsessed with MTV, Fashion TV, Gucci, and L.V. (Louis Vuitton). Milanese youth don cutting edge hip-hop fashion originated by the inner city and perfected by haute couture designers. Fourteen-year old Italian girls wear thongs deliberately hiked up over their low-riding pants and rip revealing holes in their jeans. They go out to discos on school nights and dance to American hip-hop and electronica until dawn." This was one of the parts of Lauren Greenfield's statement that really stood out to me. I didn't realize how much other countries youth's are obsessed with the same things that teens in the U.S. are. My favorite photo is of the little girl phoebe lying on the couch in her tutu at the opening of Barneys in front of all the shoes. It's just a very ironic photo.

The photos that most disturb me are of ashleigh (13) weighting herself on a scale in her bathroom with her family watching her. She's thirteen she first of all doesn't need to weighing herself at that age and what really annoys me is that her family is in the backround; which leads me to believe that they are curious of her weight and are encouraging her to worry about what she weighs, it's ridiculous. The other photo that really disturbed me was of adam (also 13) at a bar mitzvah at a whisky Go Go Bar with one of the dancers all up in his face. I'm just wondering Why a bar mitzvah is being held at a whisky? really?

All the teens in these photos are very dominant and seem as if they are the ones in control and ruling the world in a way. I think Thomas Hine might have a hard time with some of these photos because in his book teens are lost and trying to fit in. To me all the teens in these photos are giving off a very authoritative vibe and seem like they know who they are. I think Tricia Rose may have more to say about how hip hop and the images and stereotypes it creates are seen in some of these photos and how much socitey and the teens in it have changed over time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


"Prep" by Curits Sittenfield

I really enjoyed how the author started this novel off in chapter one with Lee (the main character) in class and having to present on a topic she wasn't supposed to do, right after someone else had just presented on the same exact topic. Lee completely panics and has a meltdown and ends up running out of class after just starting to present. You can totally relate to those feelings of panic and all the thoughts running through her mind. I think the author's point is to show how a teenager's mind works and all the problems they have with fitting in, sexual orientation, and making friends. One thing that kind of stuck out to me was that this private boarding school cost $20,000 to attend, they lived in dorms, and the expectations of the students was very high; it seems more like a college to me than a high school.
"I did not scream or hug anyone. In fact, as the noise gained momentum, I felt its opposite, a draining of excitement. But not a draining of tension -my body was still stiff and alert, and the impulse I had, strangely, was to weep. Not because I was sad but because I was not happy, and yet, like my classmates, I'd experienced an emotional surge, I too felt the need for expression. This phenomenon-being gripped by an overwhelming wave of feeling that was clearly not the feeling of the people around me had also happened at a pep rally: It made me uncomfortable, because I didn't want anyone to notice that I wasn't jumping up and down or cheering, and it also thrilled me, because it made the world seem full of possibilities that could make my heart pound. I think, looking back, that this was the single best thing about Ault, the sense of possibility. We lived together so closely, but because it was a place of decorum and restraint and because on top of that we were teenagers, we hid so much. And then, in dorms and classes and on teams and at formal dinner and in adviser groups, we got shuffled and thrust together and shuffled again, and there was always the chance that you might find out one of the pieces of hidden information" (pg 42). This was a part of this novel that really stuck out to me and describes a teenager's roller coaster of emotions.

Something that was a little strange to me was almost all the names of people were very different and I've never heard of most of them. I read these two chapters of the novel on the computer, which made it seem very dragged out and almost harder to read, I should have printed it out before I read it. This novel can relate basically to anything we've learned so far because it all relates to teenagers and their life growing up and how they deal with problems differently and adapt to situations they're not accustomed to.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Tricia Rose Interviews"

Hip Hop Wars by Tricia Rose

One of my favorite parts of this interview is when Tricia Rose refers to hip-hop as being "In the ICU," which is a great metaphor and way to make her thoughts stand out. Hip-hop today doesn't have the same meaning it used to. Every song is about drinking, drugs, weapons, murder, sex, and jail. Most of the songs are very repetitive. I agree with the author that hip-hop is "dumbed down" so it's less complicated to understand. The lyrics and the content of older songs are just so much better. I mean I listen to current hip-hop, but it's not the same. The songs are also played a lot more than they used to be on the radio. I feel like everytime I change the station, the same song is playing that I just heard.

Something I don't understand is why women MC's have to either appear as sexual or really tough. Why can't they just be themselves and have fun like the male mc's get to do? I think it's ridiculous.