I also think it rather immature of you to quote me against myself when what I was referring to with the "chuckle" phrase was about "real school" and had nothing to do with what you disagreed with me about ("good ole days").
Last edited by John 3 17; 02-09-2011 at 04:06 AM.
Here's an example, I'll never forget a professor at my seminary talking about how growing up in the South, he and his family while Christians were total racists. He says he looks at their attitude now, and he thinks how could we have ever thought this way, thought this was okay? He said that generations have issues that they can just be blind about, that the newer generations learn from and can be like really? just really?
Yes there are bad things going on in our culture today but there are good things too. No generation is perfect.
My mom would like to officially let anyone who went to high school in the 60s and 70s who claim that they were better behaved than kids my age know that she thinks you are absolutely ridiculous. And also that when you get off that bad trip, she'll meet you in the smoking lounge out back.
Here's an article about teenagers in the 1930s, published in 1940: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...internalid=ACA
They don't sound a whole lot more mature than kids today to me .
Of course, a lot of kids had to grow up fast in the 1930s; life was hard during the Depression, unlike the very youth-oriented culture of the prosperous 1920s. But still, we are talking about the age of the Andy Hardy movies, many comics and pulp books that featured teenager heroes, and the birth of the Nancy Drew series, which inspired several other teen heroine series fiction.
It's also pretty amazing, given how well-behaved those kids were, that juvenile delinquency and youth crime were such issues; the Bureau of Justice started keeping stats on juvenile crime in 1930 because adolescent crime was seen as its own separate social problem. There is a reason that the 1930s are considered the heyday of juvenile delinquency movies. And specific hobbies were publicly and actively promoted for teenagers for the first time because it was believed that stamp collecting and the like would keep kids off the streets and out of trouble.
Then there's this: During the Depression years of the 1930s, adolescents underwent new strains but also encountered new opportunities. The potential for intergenerational conflict increased as scarcity of jobs and low pay thwarted young people's personal ambitions and delayed their ability to attain economic and social independence. Adult control was challenged, even in Germany where members of the Hitler Jugend (HITLERYOUTH) resisted Nazi party leaders.
And this, too: Though adolescents in the 1930s had less disposable income than those in the 1920s, they still influenced popular culture with their tastes in music, dance, and movies.
So I dunno. Fact isn't always that clearcut and easy to define.
My parents became teenagers in the 1930s and my mom used to roll her eyes every time my 70s self used to tell her that things were different than when she was young and she didn't know how things were. She never seemed too impressed with that argument.
"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.
Not only is every generation not perfect, but it's always mixed - there are "immature" and "irresponsible" members in each generation. I think with the rapid changes that the world has seen in especially the last 50-60 years, it was inevitable for a shift to occur where "adult" wisdom began to be shunned by the younger generations. Would it have been a perfect world if the children of those old-time racists adopted the same attitudes? At some point, there was a realization that being older and wiser didn't necessarily mean that those older folk were better equipped to handle the social and technological changes that were rapidly occurring. Each generation has to find their values and voices.
And by the way, "maturity", what is that, anyway? I lived a very sheltered childhood, was quite naive for a long time about many things, etc. but I conducted myself in respectful, mature ways at a young age. And there were kids in high school who were more aware and world-weary than I was, and also had a tendency to rebel while finding themselves. So what? I think in the end most of us turned out into decent and competent human beings. There are many paths to becoming a fine person. I vowed to myself to never disregard any youngster the way some adults disregarded me for just being a child.
I imagine those who think kids are stupid for lack of experience and/or just being young are those who were probably stupid as kids... (sorry - and I'm not pointing at anyone here, but in general).
While I think that its wrong to degrade young people, I do wish that American society would learn from other cultures and start respecting elders to as well. But if people say that our young people don't respect those who are older than them, let me point out that young people act from example and one can look at how their parents treat their elders.
I don't think the answer is only youth! only elders! I think all generations should listen, learn from each other. I do think there is wisdom from experience.
I do think its hilarious though when adults are quick to judge the generation, they raised. I'm sure that 10/20 yrs from now I'll be telling my children though that when I was their age, I walked three miles in the snow.
Last edited by bek; 02-09-2011 at 05:33 AM.
Uphill both ways.
Speaking of kids being better in the "old days." I think what would solve the supposed extreme immaturity of kids "nowadays" is to get rid of compulsory schooling and welcome back child labor. That'll mature those kids up in a heartbeat (maybe some adults too now that they have to compete against the new cheap labor that only children can provide).
"Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce
Anyone thinking the younger generation in their day was better behaved just had no idea what their friends were doing, and if they thought the generation before theirs was better behaved, has no older friends.
We visited last year with my husband's uncle who is in his mid 80's. He enjoyed reminiscing about his mid teens, during which he made more money playing illegal poker in the back room of a local restaurant (whose ball team he was on) than his dad made. In said room, while playing poker, he was also drinking beer and smoking. He was also picked up by the cops, who apparently had a "boys will be boys" attitude.
I recommend the following interesting little book about the doings of real (rather than Sunday school model) children in the 1860's, published 1902, and it's in Google books:
The Real Diary of a Real Boy by Henry Augustus Shute
In data from 37,000 college students, narcissistic personality traits rose just as fast as obesity from the 1980s to the present, with the shift especially pronounced for women....Jean's first book, “Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before,” explored the cultural shifts in self-focus that affected people born after 1970 and — because the trends continued to accelerate — especially those born in the 1980s and '90s....The rise in college students' narcissism over the generations was clear....
Last edited by neptune; 02-09-2011 at 11:07 AM.
What changed, though, is that there are more students per class in Germany than 30 years ago. That makes a huge difference of course.
Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.
Funny you mentioned the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew because I was thinking of them. Of course there were books written for and about children and teens before the '40s (Anne of Green Gables for instance) but it's very different now the kind of marketing we see. That's why "sheltered" kids, i.e. those who are not as influenced by the marketing and the media (like home-schoolers, athletes, music/art prodigies, etc), are usually more mature than their peers who are.
The way society markets and celebrates the teen years today encourages people to remain there forever and since teens are usually self-centered (not entirely their fault as their frontal lobes haven't finished developing yet, so they need a lot of encouraging from adults to be more mature) it's not such a good thing.
Your "faq.org" link was broken, but I was wondering if the kinds of crimes kids committed in those decades were as serious as the kinds of crimes we see them commit today? Also, was the crime rate in general higher than today? And was crime in general more serious than today?
PS None of what we're arguing here negates my original post to Doubletoe: "sheltered" kids are not less mature than their "unsheltered peers"; they are generally more mature because they hang out with more adults and are more goal-oriented as in the case of skaters (and because of their full days practising are not as influenced by harmful media/society whether that began 70 years ago or not). If "sheltered" kids are ever "awkward" around their "unsheltered peers" it would be in the same way that an adult is around teeny-boppers, lol.
Last edited by John 3 17; 02-09-2011 at 02:09 PM.
Bridget, All kinds of things that are thought of as crimes today, were thought of as "Boys Will Be Boys" in the early early of the 20th century.
When you extend crime statistics more than a few years, you are dealing with the fact that laws were different then, recording abilities pre computer were different, and methods of detecting that crimes were committed and arresting people for them were less advanced.
Here's some interesting data, though (1960 to 2009):
According to Freakonomics, the percentage of people committing crimes is driven by what percentage of people are in the prime age groups for committing crimes.
So numbers of murders in 1965 is about the same as today, but the population is roughly 1.7x that of 1965.
Last edited by DORISPULASKI; 02-09-2011 at 03:44 PM.