Monday, February 24, 2014

A Cycle of Outrage: Gilbert, Palladino and Raby

I am of the belief that John Gilbert's piece "A Cycle of Outrage: America's Reaction to the Juvenile Deliquent in the 1950's" conceptually relates to "They're Getting Older Younger" by Palladino and "A Tangle of Discourses" by Raby. I like bullet points, so I'm going to assess the texts based on themes and concepts.

1. "Juvenile Delinquency" as a way that adults deal with uncertainty. 
Raby addresses this in her article and talks about the ways in which parents and adults in general tend to refer to adolescents as unpredictable and unstable because they are, in fact, feeling unstable. She says that feelings of jealousy and loss of power when it comes to their children often causes adults to project negative feelings on teens. At the beginning of his article, Gilbert talks about Life Magazine and the way in which teenagers were talked about and portrayed in it. As he puts it, the typical discourse on teenagers consisted of "curiosity and fear, set against a background of reassuring noises" (11). Teens seemed to be something that parents--and adults--were afraid of and needed to find a way to deal with.  

2. Teens being taken advantage of and confused by the media.
Palladino argues that "contrasting images" of content (encouraging the kind of teens who mom and pop want) and advertisements (encouraging teens to "fit in") gave teens mixed messages about what it means to be a teen. Raby brings this to a different level and poiints to societal and adult expectations as pushing and pulling teens in different directions of being a kid, not worthy of responsibilities, and being a responsible adult. Gilbert directly addressed the concern of people in the 1950's that mass media was forming their children into delinquents. I think they weren't as concerned with the confusing pull of differing opinions as Palladino and Raby seem to be in their works. 

3. Parents thinking their kids are "doing it" so much younger and are falling prey to culture. 
Raby's article addresses how older generations feel about teens and, as expected, the grandmothers say that teens these days are just doing much more and acting differently. I wasn't surprised that people in the 1950's were thinking that their kids were all having sex super young, but I love that Gilbert put in a study done that showed that it really wasn't the drastic difference that everyone thought it was. And now I give you a link about how our grandma probably had premarital sex too!!! 

I had never seen ay of the movies Gilbert talked about, so here are some pictures of them to help those of you who need visuals like me....

I think I'd really like to talk about how different our movie going experience is today. Issues of free speech and expression have made film allowance so much different than the controlled environment Gilbert talked about. I find it weird reading about how controlled the movie making and watching experience was in the 1950's...that wouldn't fly today. So what do you think about it? Think about having kids of your own going to the movies and how you'd feel about the messages films send.  

1 comment:

  1. I too was interested in the movie section of the reading. I found it very interesting how film writers took pieces and re-wrote it numerous times so it could be filmed or played out. I agree it was very controlled unlike today.