Adolescence In America Essay

1552 words - 7 pages

The adolescence that we see today in the United States of America’s more urban areas seem to have a different perspectives on the ideas of the importance of school, career endeavors, and their futures overall when compared to those generations that have come before them. We are unsure of the exact reasons that this first began happening, but there are many ideas as to what could bring this about. These items include attitudes toward academics, peer and environmental pressures that surround them, and how they truly see their lives going in the future. Jay McLeod does a great job taking a closer look at all of these things in his book entitled, “Ain’t No Makin’ It” and in this paper we will ...view middle of the document...

Lower class families are very likely to hold short term jobs instead of full-fledged careers and this lifestyle then reflects onto their children as an idea of what their futures will hold. The Brothers, on the other hand, seem to have a different idea about how their lives will be turning out in the future. They actually have aspirations about what they want their lives to turn out like, they see a real future and are not down on themselves about the place that they come from, even though it may not always be the best. Instead of speaking out about only being able to see themselves in short-term jobs, they see themselves in lifelong careers in which they can receive promotions and benefits; things that they deserve for all of their hard work. Yes it is true that this group of people comes from a higher class than the Hallway Hangers, but that is not all that drives them. They believe in hard work and that they themselves are the ones that will get them what they want in life. School is important if you want a career; you will need a diploma for higher pay and promotional opportunities. These two groups tend to bump heads on more than just academics, though.
Peer pressure is something that people have lived with since the beginning of the world. It is a completely natural thing to want to fit in and act similar to the people that you surround yourself with. That being said, the two groups mentioned above do surround themselves with completely different people. A lot of the time, the Hallway Hangers’ (or other groups outside of the school he researched that would fit into their category) parents are not very active in their lives because they are off working multiple jobs in order to keep the family together and running. These people also often feel that they will do whatever comes easiest to them. That may mean anything from working at the local McDonald’s or joining the Military as a guaranteed paycheck. It seems that consequences of these ideas are not often considered. The Brothers seem to be more individualistic about their future careers. Even when their parents try to tell them what they think that they should be doing, they often disagree because they do not think that this will keep them happy in the future or cannot see them doing it long-term. If I had to say so myself, and it may sound a bit presumptuous, but I would say that these two groups of people have completely separate cultures that they believe in and live in.
It is a bit strange to think that the Hallway Hangers do not think that they can achieve more in life than they already have. After working in places such as grocery stores or janitorial services, they seem to take the easy route out. Many of them joined the military as I stated before but a lot of them just jumped round from place to place doing more or less the same job that they had just quit because they didn’t like it enough. If these boys had just put their minds to it and worked a bit harder, I truly...

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