In files, MUST BE 300 WORDS
This week, I’ve asked you to view a 2008 documentary by Nanette Burstein entitled American Teen. This documentary follows five students during their senior year of high school in Warsaw, Indiana, during the 2005-2006 academic year.
I’m asking you to think critically about this film. What are its merits? What are its limitations? Are there any voices that are missing or downplayed? In what ways are the students profiled representative of “American teens,” and in what ways are their experiences specific to aspects of their social location such as their socioeconomic class, their race, their sexual orientation, their geographical location, and their time period (early 2000s)?
For your group discussion, I ask that each pod member choose one of the students profiled and provide a detailed analysis that addresses one or more of the questions above AND integrates what we learned about peer relations in this week’s lecture (e.g., the effects of high school structure; theories of group formation; crowds and cliques; pros and cons of socialization in adolescence; bullying).
Similar to last week, you’ll choose your focal teen on a first come, first served basis. (For example, “Hi, everyone. I’m choosing Mitch for my analysis.”)
The teens you can choose from include the following. Forgive the stereotypical labels, which I provide to help you quickly identify who’s who (at least on the surface):
Hannah (artistic, free-spirited)
Jake (shy, overly focused on a girlfriend)
Colin (basketball star under pressure to earn a college scholarship)
Megan (an academic and social leader with her sights set on Notre Dame)
Mitch (basketball player, socially popular, even-tempered)
If you’re particularly interested, you can also choose one of these other teens who are featured less prominently but enough that you can still produce a thoughtful analysis:
Ali (Megan’s friend)
Lorrin (Jake’s girlfriend)
Your post should be approximately 300 words (going over a little is okay). Of course, also remember to respond, respectfully, to a peer for full credit.
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