A Tribe Apart: A Journey Into the Heart of American Adolescence

For three fascinating, disturbing years, writer Patricia Hersch journeyed inside a world that is as familiar as our own children and yet as alien as some exotic culture the world of adolescence As a silent, attentive partner, she followed eight teenagers in the typically American town of Reston, Virginia, listening to their stories, observing their rituals, watching themFor three fascinating, disturbing years, writer Patricia Hersch journeyed inside a world that is as familiar as our own children and yet as alien as some exotic culture the world of adolescence As a silent, attentive partner, she followed eight teenagers in the typically American town of Reston, Virginia, listening to their stories, observing their rituals, watching them fulfill their dreams and enact their tragedies What she found was that America s teens have fashioned a fully defined culture that adults neither see nor imagine a culture of unprecedented freedom and baffling complexity, a culture with rules but no structure, values but no clear morality, codes but no consistency.Is it society itself that has created this separate teen community Resigned to the attitude that adolescents simply live in a tribe apart, adults have pulled away, relinquishing responsibility and supervision, allowing the unhealthy behaviors of teens to flourish Ultimately, this rift between adults and teenagers robs both generations of meaningful connections For everyone s world is made richer and challenging by having adolescents in it.
A Tribe Apart A Journey Into the Heart of American Adolescence For three fascinating disturbing years writer Patricia Hersch journeyed inside a world that is as familiar as our own children and yet as alien as some exotic culture the world of adolescence As a s

  • Title: A Tribe Apart: A Journey Into the Heart of American Adolescence
  • Author: Patricia Hersch
  • ISBN: 9780345435941
  • Page: 469
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “A Tribe Apart: A Journey Into the Heart of American Adolescence”

    1. I bought this book because I am a medical student considering adolescent medicine as a specialty. I found the stories of the kids in to book intriguing, and the analysis concerning how adults can better understand and relate to teens enlightening. The author's conclusion that adolescents are a tribe apart not of their own choosing, but because parents, teachers and other adults don't form a strong social network for teens cuts to the heart of many of the problems adolescents face today. Being an [...]

    2. This book is somewhat outdated since the research took place in the early 90s. Some of the elements of the secret teenage life that may have at the time been shocking are really no surprise in 2008.That being said, it is well written. It's clear the author went to great lengths to do her homework and really did get to the heart of things with the teens she followed. The stories themselves are fascinating and sometimes disturbing. If you are a parent who remotely cares, they will hopefully make y [...]

    3. A book written about kids from my high school! How could I not read it?!This book is a study on adolescents from Reston and how their stories relate to adolescents across the United States. I loved this book for many reasons. First, because its my home town. I know the places she talks about and even had many of the teachers mentioned, so that's totally exciting. Second, because she is a journalist and I aspire to be one. And the third reason goes along with the second. With each detail that she [...]

    4. A very intimate look into the lives of a handful of teenagers. It is amazing what intimate access she was granted by these high-schoolers into almost every facet of their lives. She paints a very vivid picture of these students and draws several conclusions from it. She tried to find similarities that would be the most universal throughout adolescent culture (at least in the U.S.), but it would be interesting to see if they would all hold up in different demographics: Other geographical areas, s [...]

    5. Read this for a book club years ago and found it fascinating. The author spent a long time with her subjects, following many of them through their whole high school careers. She gained their trust and really put effort into remaining an observer rather than becoming part of the story herself. I read it when I was about 15 years out of high school and it was interesting the similarities and differences with my high school experience. You really felt the impact of two-career families and divorce m [...]

    6. This book started out as nothing more than assigned reading, but it ended up being so much more. The author does an amazing job of infiltrating the world of adolescents. Each person that she follows has their own great story that highlights all of the torments of junior high and high school. Teen pregnancy, suicide, racism, poor parenting, promiscuity, drug use, star athletes, the Homecoming parade: no topic is off limits or too trivial in these kids' lives. No matter who you were in high school [...]

    7. I don't really know what to say about this book, other than that it was not what I expected. I thought that the author did a relatively poor job of finding "normal" kids, since most of the children she interviewed were living pretty drugged up lives. I think that this book illustrated that many parents in the world today are bad parents an that their children are trying to do the best they can in their lives in spite of their parents, and doing so by doing things they shouldn't.

    8. Patricia Hersch spent 3 years paying attention to teenagers and then wrote about them. I think the idea that we as a society don't pay enough attention to or spend enough time with our teenagers is valid. Our society is very stratified by age and I don't think that's healthy for anyone. The book paints a picture of how things were for a group of kids in suburban Va in the mid-90's. I wonder what she would learn doing the same thing today.

    9. It took quite a while to finish, but was well worth the effort. Hersch presents the lives of eight supposedly “typical” adolescents -- each one so different from all the others -- and ends with a plea for adults to rejoin the world of children and adolescents, to connect with this “Tribe Apart” -- one at a time, and bring them back into society.

    10. At times heart-wrenching and upsetting, it is an important book for parents and others who are involved in the lives of young people. I am thankful that my own children navigated their adolescent years with the loving hearts of teachers and coaches at their Christian schools and an extended family who was always engaged in their lives.

    11. I really appreciated this book. It is a good read for those who feel disconnected to the youth culture and want insight on the issues they face. It does not necessarily relate to every student since it was written about students in the DC area, but it will make you open your eyes to the needs and issues in the lives of students around you.

    12. Quite a troubling study of the lives of teenagers in our generation. Troubling in that they simply aren't getting what they're looking for: people who care about them. It really encouraged me to be actively involved in my kids' (and others) lives as they grow.

    13. Boooring. What annoys me about this book, or at least the 2 chapters I read, is that people read this to know what this foreign "tribe" of adolescence is. WHY DON'T YOU JUST LISTEN TO TEENAGERS! So the book just comes off like some "otherizing" ethnography. Too annoyed to complete.

    14. Study of the social structure or "tribes" found in the youth of today. Well done study which follows a group of students from different groups like goth, skater, jocks, etc. through middle school and the societal pressures they were coping with. Excellent book for parents and teachers to read.

    15. Want to become incredibly frightened about the world we have created for our young people? Read this book. A damming critique of our American baby boomer-centric culture and the children who have been neglected, if not forgotten, by it.

    16. The case studies are very interesting, but the author's thesis is a little weak and she seems to lose sight of it sometimes. Definitely worth a read for anyone studying American adolescence.

    17. Another youth development book. Definitely a must read if you work with adolescence. Hersch does a great job of capturing a more emic perspective than most "youth" books.

    18. I read this before my kids were all fully engaged in adolescence and I found it fascinating. It's a view in to their world.

    19. i am reading this for my teaching diverse populations class for extra credit. so far it is alright. nothing to scream about

    20. I read this as an Australian while studying in Canada. No matter where in the western world you live, it is/was an amazing insight into the world of adolescence.

    21. After Columbine this book seemed to be mentioned in every news article as people tried to understand what happened. Eye-opening for me when I read it and I worked with teens every day.

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