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Rite of passage

Create a modern rite of passage for an adolescent girl and an adolescent boy that addresses the social demands facing adolescents today. Be thinking about how you might incorporate some of the following issues into your rite of passage:

a. The strength and changeability of peer relations

b. How media messages and peers affect sexual orientation development

c. The biological changes taking place during adolescence and how the changes affect the child's physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development

Your paper should include separation, initiation, and reintegration, and should also offer an appropriate means for adolescents to:

a. Make the transition to adulthood

b. Be given solutions to some current problems of adolescents such as gangs, premature sexual activity, substance abuse, and school truancy

Solution Preview

Part I - Rite of Passage

For both genders, the rite of passage will be one of separation from peers, family and home for a summer abroad. Female is 14, Male is 13; siblings from same household. Parents together, upper middle class income,
Through their school, both have been invited to participate in a Summer Abroad Program in France, living with separate French families in a medium sized town, and taking summer classes with other American students at the local university. The idea of the program is to expose American students to other cultures, improve their foreign language skills, and to learn social and communication skills in a unique environment, far from the comforts of home. For the purposes of this study, we will name them John and Mary.

In their own environment, both adolescents are social, each having a small group of friends that share similar interests: Mary is interested in drama and music, plays in the school band and orchestra, and is very outgoing; John, while being bookish, enjoys swimming and individual competitive sports, does play in the band, but is only mildly interested in music

a. The strength and changeability of peer relations:. In adolescence, peer relationships play a more central role within their emotional and cognitive structure than ever before. Negative peer relationships can lead to anti-social behaviors, but also to the contribution of learning about relationships, sharing of emotions, and learning to be an independent adult. Peer culture refers to the manner in which social groups promote normative behavior, both internally and externally for children and adolescents. Mary and John have known many of their peers throughout elementary school, and while there are variations and changes in one-to-one relationships, and certainly a greater emphasis on learning to date, there is also a familiarity

By summering in Europe, John and Mary are completely out of two of their primary comfort zones: peer relations and language. The trip forces a change in pattern for both: they will be forced to form bonds with other American students from many different demographic settings, as well as transcend the language barrier and bond with the children of the families that host them. Regardless of the similarities in modern cultures, the views of Europeans are quite different regarding family, mealtime, and traditions. For example, it is likely that the evening meal will become more sacrosanct than in America, a time for sharing, learning, and support. In bonding with their French peers, there will be a fascination with the social norms of each culture: pop stars, movies, etc., but also through osmosis a change in world-view.

b. How media messages and peers affect sexual orientation development: There are numerous opinions on the way messages in the media affect sexual behavior and orientation. Tolerance towards bisexuality and homosexuality have increased, and studies show that, particularly in Europe, attitudes about sexual orientation have grown more permissive over the last few decades. ...