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High school students' orientation to the future Brain, Alan Richard Leonard 1971

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HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS' ORIENTATION TO THE FUTURE by ALAN RICHARD LEONARD BRAIN B.A., University of Essex, 1969 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August, 1971 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I ag r ee tha t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r ag ree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d tha t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t hou t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f -/W7Hft>ft>Lo6i| <J" ^CXaLo <Sy The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumb ia V a n c o u v e r 8, Canada Date i ABSTRACT The problem Is how young people of high school age orient themselves to the future i n the light of the theoretical presupposition that such an orientation i s a crucial one to the development of identity during adolescence. Fourteen students i n a Vancouver high school are Interviewed i n considerable depth to ascertain primarily how they are so oriented and, more generally, other aspects of their overall out-look. A comparison i s made between these findings and those of sev-eral earlier studies of approximately ten years ago. While the reasons why the two sets of data may not be exactly comparable are stated, certain conclusions from the data&out social change during this period are put forward. The claim is made that & new ideology has developed i n this time that did not exist at a l l among young people previously, and an attempt Is made to explicate this Ideology as much as possible — drawing on the data of the tape-recorded interviews. A model of cultural change whereby new ideologies are adopted i n society i s sug-gested, and the prediction i s put forward that the new ideology w i l l spread more among high school students i n the near future with s i g n i f i -cant consequences for the wider society. Finally the effect of a l l this on the process of adolescent development i n society i s discussed. It i s suggested that this process i s crucially linked to social condi-tions and that at the present time, and because of the above, i n contrast to a decade ago i t i s now much more possible to undergo the f u l l process of adolescence. i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction Background The Interviews Work and the Immediate Future Marriage and Personal Relations Attitudes Towards the Future Desires, Fantasy, Imagination Personal L i f e and Parents Models and Values The Mass Media Cultural Images "Young People", Change i n Society, and Ideologies Social Change Adolescence Footnotes Bibliography Page 1 9 16 18 29 41 47 56 67 85 92 Conclusion 99 108 135 150 166 169 INTRODUCTION This thesis started as a vague interest i n what adolescents, for want of a better word, thought about their future, how this affected what they were going to do, and why i t was that they thought as they did about i t . I was not able at f i r s t to give myself art iculate reasons as to why this interested me — I just knew.that i t d i d ; but subsequent extensive reading and some very interesting empirical work,to be described below, led me to believe that the subject was very important indeed, and i t has now blossomed into other things too. It remains primarily concerned with: 1) young people's  orientation to the future, but i s also c r u c i a l l y connected with: 2) contemporary social change, and 3) discursive or c r i t i c a l thought about  "adolescence" — or at least a few aspects of i t . The f i r s t of these three topics i s primarily descriptive, and a l l the things I say about i t are derived, i n quite straightforward ways, from the data of the empirical work I d i d . The second and third topics are somewhat more tricky. In principle the aspects of social change discussed here could be dealt with i n the same direct empirical way. By asking the same questions and so on under the same conditions at different time periods to comparable groups of adolescents, for instance, one might obtain reasonably good empirical foundations from which to make j u s t i f i a b l e generalizations about certain s o c i a l changes. Unfortunately I was not able to do this and therefore i t i s important to notice here that the 2 sets of data, distanced by time, from which I derive statements about social change may not be comparable in certain aspects. I shall discuss this problem i n more detail later, but this fact must be borne in mind from the beginning. The f i n a l of my three topics — concerning "adoles-cence" — w i l l suffer i n the discussion from the same defects i n data as the second, and w i l l i n addition be much more speculative — though nonetheless interesting or important for that, I hope. The general context i n which to see this work, then, is that i t delineates certain features of a group of adolescents i n a particular social milieu, and relates the nature of adolescent development to cul-tural and ideological changes. I was lucky enough to become involved i n a high school i n Vancouver for about 3±x months and got to know, i n a completely unof-f i c i a l capacity, quite a l o t of the students. During March, 1971, I asked fourteen of them (separately) i f they would be prepared to help me out and do interviews related to what I was doing for my M.A. thesis. They a l l agreed, and were a l l interviewed. I was careful beforehand neither to l e t them know too much about my own views (which was at times a somewhat d i f f i c u l t and rather distastefully alienating thing for me — I've tried to make up for i t since), nor exactly what the interview was about. The questions were either taken from the questionnaires of other earlier studies on adolescents, which I shall be describing, and u t i l i z i n g , or were formulated or derived myself from things I wanted to know i n relation to what I was doing. About half and half. A l l the 3 questions — even some that might seem at f i r s t sight gratuitous — had very definite reasons behind them. There were two types of ques-tion: those that asked for specific facts or the articulation of certain conceptions held; and those that were indirect, projective, or open-ended. The purpose of these was to gain some insight into the person's subjective or tacit ways of defining reality — and i n many ways these were the most interesting. They were of various types, and gleaned from various sources. For instance, from Keniston I got the idea of seeking out their non-verbalised or implicit goals and values "by 1 inferring from what they dislike and seek to avoid." From Douvan and Adelson I adopted the approach of attempting to get at "the less for-mulated and intellectual aspects of the youngster's image of the future, the visual and emotional qualities of that image," by asking questions dealing with "hopes and dreams rather than expectations, and...visual and concrete references rather than intellectual and abstract ones. They approach the child's future concept i n a context of fantasy rather 2 than asking him to discuss It r e a l i s t i c a l l y . " Some of these indirect questions were attempts to provoke any-thing interesting that might be thrown up (and this proved very f r u i t f u l ) , and some of them were trying to root out specific assumptions — for example, whether the necessity of having a "career" was an unquestioned assumption. Many assumptions l i k e this, though they may be there, are very d i f f i c u l t to get out. And of course, when I have not guessed them in the f i r s t place, they may remain completely invisible to me. I'm sure this probably happened with some quite crucial ones. This was where the provocative, casting-in-the-dark questions were aimed, of course. 4 In addition to the planned questions, I did as Keniston said he did i n Young Radicals (the implicit methodology of which was ex-tremely Influential on my own) — "from then on, I had no particular plan other than to try to understand this particular individual," The Inter-view situation was not therefore impersonal — and I f e l t that the advan-tages of this overwhelmingly outweighed the disadvantages. The ques-tions were not asked i n the same order, but rather followed from what intuitively f e l t l i k e the natural flow of the conversation, and the questions were not always asked i n the same way — the style of pitching i t again dependent on the " f e e l " of the situation. On this point i t may be objected that i t was oot therefore the "same" question to each person. In answer to this, I am quite certain that an identically phrased and expressed question, unless i t be very simple, does not neces-sarily "mean" the same thing to different people anyway, and the reader must take i t on faith that I was acutely and continuously aware of the d i f f i c u l t i e s here, and made every effort to ensure that neither the phrasing nor the way questiono were expressed, encouraged the interviewee to favour one sort of answer over another. Each interview lasted from 1 1/2 - 2 hours, depending partly on how talkative the other person was, and partly on how much we got on to other topics, besides those planned. These digressions were often fascinating, ana played a large part i n helping me "make sense" of the person. The advantage of having a very open informal structure and such long sessions (though I always found i t much more exhausting than they did — through having to participate consciously at two levels — a) as 5 a person i n a serious conversation, and b) as a sociologist "outside" the interaction and continually looking for insights, new key questions, and so on).— the advantage, was twofold. F i r s t l y , 1 f e l t that I could get f a i r l y accurate pictures of certain things that might lend themselves to distortion In much shorter and nacre structured interviews. By i erseverance on certain points we often came up with things that seemed inaccessible or absent i n i t i a l l y . Cliche answers„ or stock opinions, often broke down (I don't mean this i n a bad sense) under more detailed questioning. For example, an apparently clear conception of future occupation and l i f e - s t y l e soon became the very opposite once elaborated on i n enough detail, and someone, for example, who seemed to be very definite about their values, when pressed came up with: "I'm really definite about...(pause) - um... uh.(laugh) What am T. really definite about?... (pause) My musical tastes I", and nothing else came up under subsequent questionning on the subject. Further, on certain topics, i t i s pretty meaningless to ask someone — "Do you have a conception of X?" — because i f he doesn't,%.e won't necessarily know that he doesn't; and when he does know, he does have that conception. By asking questions from varying angles on a parti -cular topic I could often abstract or infer an answer to a questi.n that by i t s very nature cannot be asked (or rather, answered) directly. This w i l l be sean i n the section of the questionnaire, to be dealt with below, relating to the interviewee's consciousness of "young people" as a group he identifies with (or not). This i s not ao complicated as i t might sound. 6 Secondly, I made what I considered to be a serious attempt to understand something of how each of these Individuals saw the world, their future, and so on. That i s , i n i t i a l l y at least, I was concerned with "understanding" each one separately. Most interviews very defin-i t e l y do not do this, partly because they are too shallow anyway, and more importantly, because by cross-tabulation and other such procedures they "lose" the structure, and hence the overall gestalt, of each one. Now, i f one achieves any sort of overall understanding of whole inter-views, this gestalt necessarily contains tacit elements and relation-ships that have to be lost as soon as the data is recast, as i n cross-tabulation. The open Informal structure of the interviews helped me gain tacit knowledge that I could not have possibly anticipated and therefore planned for i n a totally pre-structured set of questions. I hope i n the section on Ideologies, later on i n this thesis, that by the use of whole interviews or relating large differing chunks of the same interview, i t w i l l become clear that certain things can be seen which would not be, either i f no "understanding" of each were achieved i n the f i r s t place, or i f each of those gestalts were "lost" by solely performing operations across the interviews. And f i n a l l y , here, an i n i t i a l note on those who were interviewed. There were seven boys, seven g i r l s , a l l i n Grades 11 and 12, and a l l between sixteen and eighteen years of age. They were chosen for very haphazard reasons. In general, they got to know me; I was just "around" i n classes, etc., and some of them talked to me, wondered why I was there, and so on. On the whole i t would not be unfair to say they chose them-selves. I just kept asking students I knew unti l I f e l t I'd completed 7 enough interviews, and the only consistent conscious c r i t e r i o n I used was that we l iked each other enough for me to feel that a successful interview situation was possible and would be enjoyable. They were not a group i n any sense except that they a l l went to the same school. They were scattered i n different classes, some didn't know some of the others at a l l , most were at least acquainted with most of the others, and the only two who were close friends I interviewed one immediately after the other. I f e l t on completing the interviews that I had a c o l l e c t i o n of very i n d i v i d u a l , very different people, about whom i t was Impossible to make a single significant generalization that held across a l l fourteen of them. Certain rough trends and observations were f a i r l y obvious immediately, but i t i s only after " l i v i n g with" my tape recordings of the interviews continually for a few months, and generally immersing myself i n them that some interesting and coherent structures have begun to crystal ize about them i n the sediment that settled i n my mind. A l -though I can i n no sense claim that they were a random sample from the school, they were not a particular "type" either. As w i l l be seen below they were very varied and different — but none of them was a l i k e l y drop-out from school, none were the "radicals" and/or "freaks" of the school, and perhaps most signif icantly of a l l , none were apathetic, total ly uninterested, total ly s i l e n t . Although, as I say, they were not a homo-geneous group, they did perhaps have certain particular characteristics or "biases" that were not irrelevant. They were i n t e l l i g e n t (some of them very), they were a r t i c u l a t e , not too shy, middle c lass, and i n 8 general, inquisitive. The very fact that they were these things i s , I shall be claiming, In view of what the interviews showed, very important. 9 BACKGROUND I said at the beginning that because the empirical work I did was at one time period I cannot from this prove anything about social change. What I shall do, however, i s present the findings of certain earlier studies on adolescents, a l l carried out at roughly the same time, which jointly should be viewed as a background against which to see the analysis of my own empirical work. This method i s very similar to that employed by historians who similarly only have imperfect data, and cannot set up sufficient controls to claim that they have "proved" their conclusions. The sources of earlier data to be referred to here are The  Adolescent Experience by Douvan and Adelson, The Quiet Rebellion by Douglas, Alienation and the Decline of Utopia by Keniston, Growing Up  Absurd by Goodman, The Adolescent Society by Coleman, and The Vanish- ing Adolescent by Friedenberg. (See bibliography for f u l l references.) These a l l contain empirical observations on the situation of adolescents i n North America about ten years ago — give or take a year or two. Throughout this thesis I w i l l be using the phrase "a decade ago" and this should always be seen as a form of shorthand. When used i t w i l l be i n the context of making some remark about social changes amongst adolescents between now (1971) and an earlier period stretching from the middle 1950s to perhaps only a few years ago. When I use the ex-pression, then , I w i l l be assuming that which i s described in the literature above. 10 One obvious possible drawback of this literature is that i t is primarily American. Proving Up Absurd quotes some attitudes of Canadian youngsters, and from the way i t is written Goodman obviously assumes that the situation that obtained for adolescents i n Canada was the same as i n the United States at this time. I don't think this i s unreasonable. The Quiet Rebellion i s wholly Canadian, and dealt i n fact with a sample of first-year U.B.C. students i n 1961. This i s obviously getting much nearer to good comparative data, but even for this there may be reasons to suppose that i t cannot be s t r i c t l y com-pared to my data. Why this i s so w i l l be discussed later. I was able to talk to two students who graduated from the particular high school I was concerned with; one had l e f t five years ago, and one four years ago. From the basis of these conversations I would judge that my conclusions about, adolescents at this particular school and i n this particular area, and hence of social change between then and now — are not unreasonable. In addition to the above mentioned works, the following were, from anu.igst a larger number, the most important i n helping me formu-late the conceptual or theoretical framework of what I have done: Identity; Youth and Crisis by Erikson, Experiencing Youth by Goethals and Klos, Adolescence and Beyond by Bennett Berger, and Young Radicals by Keniston. (See bibliography again.) This last mentioned book was the most crucial, almost seminal, influence — i n i t s methodology, i n giving me ideas, and in helping me understand the changes that have taken place and which I am concerned with i n this thesis. 11 So, f i n a l l y , before I deal with my own empirical work, l e t me briefly sketch out a summary of some of this earlier work, against which the contrasts i n the contemporary situation can be more sharply seen. Douvan and Adelson state that "adolescent adaptation depends directly on the a b i l i t y to integrate the future to their present l i f e 3 and current self-concept." "The future enters adolescent identity l i k e a crucial piece omitted from a picture puzzle....If the piece is really crucial — as the future i s i n adolescent identity, the whole puzzle depends for i t s interpretation and meaning on what the piece 4 w i l l look l i k e . " They found that "for the boy, identity revolves around the questions, 'Who am I? What do I do?' The nature of his occupation plays a crucial role i n defining a man's identity. The g i r l , on the other hand, depends on marriage for her c r i t i c a l defining element; she w i l l take her self-definition, by and large, from the man she marries and 5 the children she raises." Boys had i n general had high mobility aspirations and planned concretely and r e a l i s t i c a l l y around their occupational aspirations. Only one i n thirteen, out of the 14-16 year old age group they dealt with, did not know what he was going to do, and of the great majority who did know, most had a work model — an uncle, a brother, etc., who had this occupation. Of a l i s t of reasons for choosing a job presented to them (I u t i l i z e d this same l i s t ) , "interesting work" and "security" were the two main ones for choosing particular careers. Almost half of them wanted to go to college, and they usually wanted college training geared to 12 job aspirations — dental school, agriculture school, engineering school, etc. There was a high congruence between their fantasies and their reality striving, such that, for example, when asked what they would l i k e to change about themselves i f they had a free hand, most of the changes concerned being better able to perform the future work role. "To summarize, boys orient to the future primarily i n terms of an occupational identity. They plan concretely for this future, and their plans are marked by an active striving for achievement and by a relatively r e a l i s t i c assessment of the job world and their own capabil-6 i t i e s . " G i rls: Douvan and Adelson comment on the overwhelming pres-sure from the culture to get married — "our culture recognizes only one path to feminine fulfillment" — to be married and have children. "At this period the g i r l ' s interest centres on being chosen by boys — as a date, a steady g i r l , or a future wife." "Girls clearly invest less i n an image of their future work than boys do...they choose jobs [e.g., secretary, nurse, teacher] that permit expression of traditional feminine themes, and jobs that provide a pleasant social setting i n which they can make friends and meet young men to marry." "Although g i r l s do not have as intense motivation for individual achievement as boys do, they nevertheless want and expect their share of social rewards. They desire social mobility, indeed, their mobility aspirations are more 7 pervasive and intense than boys." Ninety-six percent of them (11-18 years of age group) express a desire to marry, and "the desire for social status and for a middle-class l i f e - s t y l e i s a key to understanding the 13 g i r l s ' picture of married life....They want to attain middle-class jobs for themselves, they want their husbands to have high status jobs...and apparently...will not be troubled by the problem of yielding to roman-t i c , princely fantasies in favor of choosing a real man." But "to questions requiring fantasy production, g i r l s give more responses than boys. They seem more familiar with the fantasy world and apparently find the path from reality to fantasy a well-worn, easy route." "An interesting sex difference appears here in the fact that g i r l s almost universally can think of some way i n which they would l i k e to change, whereas a sizeable group of boys (38%) say there is no way i n which they wish to be different." "A boy must have a clear picture of how he w i l l get to his goals; he must reach them, by and large, through his own s k i l l s and talents....The g i r l on the other hand, v i l l reach her goal primarily through marriage....Achievement is the major worry of boys, personal attractiveness, physical appearance, and popularity are the 8 centre of g i r l s ' concerns." This hardly does justice to the richness of their study, and because It i s partial, i s somewhat distorted, but i t provides a striking picture of what many adolescents were l i k e i n the United States i n the late 1950s, and thus enabled me to see very clearly some of the char-acteristics of the high school students I interviewed — characteris-tics that might have remained hidden because taken-for~granted, had I not this particularly good background against which to see them. In their f i n a l chapter, by the way, Douvan and Adelson make no secret of the fact that they don't at a l l "like what they found. 14 In caae this should be thought not applicable to Canadian youngsters at the same time, Douglas' study of f i r s t year U.B.C. stu-dents, in no way contradicts the above, and describes interesting addi-tional perspectives that are outlined below. I must uiake i t clear how-ever, that I am aware that f i r s t year U.B.C. students a decade ago were not necessarily the same as students of the same period at the high school I was concerned with; or that students at this high school now are necessarily the same as a representative sample of f i r s t year U.B.C. students now. Douglas found that: Boys value most about their future jobs, independence and security, and a career i s regarded as much more impor-tant than marriage. They may be c r i t i c a l about the structure of society they have to face, and the prospects i t offers then., but " i f you can't lick'em, join 'em," and "you can't buck the system" i s their attitude to what confronts them. "They therefore plump for security and money, and abandon their ideals, and lower their goals, i n the face of what 9 they perceive as re a l i t y . " "Ritualism" i s their attitude to the public world; public and private world are compartmentalized and self-respect, 10 interest, and committment, are focused i n the latter. They tend to classify g i r l s into two broad categories — those with whom they "have fun", and those with whom they "get serious" and marry — though early marriage is seen as a threat to plans of achievement i n a career. Girls think that marriage i s the most important thing, but feel that they should do something else too. Boys focus on economic security and gi r l s on emotional security, and marriage i s seen by gi r l s 15 11 as a sort of career and which provides this emotional security. P o l i -t i c a l l y , where they see what i s wrong both sexes tend to be content merely to point out what ought to be done, since they feel powerless to effect the necessary changes. Their own stance thus differs l i t t l e from the conservatism for which they blame their ciders, and they con-fine themselves to those systems of politico-philosophical ideas which heve earned popular approval. They'prefer to take a 'practical view' snd 'face the facts of lif e ' . . . a s i t is defined by the adult culture." Boys seem to want regular Income, predictable advancement, and tenure of position; and g i r l s primarily want marriage, and only those careers 12 (for example, nursing, and teaching) that can be combined with i t . One could go on, adding to the picture — with the data from Coleman's book, the anecdotes from Goo'lma.-.i, and so on — but this w i l l suffice for the time being. What follows should be seen, as I have said, against the background of vuiat has been presented above. The extent to which, observing differences between the two, we can go on to make inferences about social change, I shall discuss later. 16 THE INTERVIEWS I w i l l deal with the interviews under subject topics. These should not however be seen as very definite divisions — they are only approximate, and several questions s p i l l over into other sections.. I have one section entitled Attitudes Towards the Future, for example, whereas i n fact several other sections, notably the f i r s t , might also be described under this heading. The questions were not asked in a definite order, only following from what " f e l t " l i k e the natural flow of the conversation, but they tended to follow i n the order they are presented here, and the f i r s t section here did always i n fact come f i r s t . The reason why I have s p l i t the questions up into sections to deal with i s that i t is easier both for myself and for the reader to grasp i t a l l conceptually i n this way. A few questions were not asked in the later interviews; none of them were particularly important ones, and they w i l l be indicated as we come to them. In discussing the res-ponses, direct quotes w i l l always be i n quotation marks and remarks or clarifications by myself within these w i l l always be included i n brackets i n capital letters. There are a few minor alternations of specific facts that might identify particular people. I gave the following instructions casually before each inter-view, usually while I was setting up and turning on the tape recorder, and then chatted my way gradually into the interview. There was rarely any clear point at which "chatting" finished and "the interview" started, however, and this was intentional. 17 Some of the questions are quite personal — If there's any you feel you'd rather not answer — that's fine — just say so. I have a slight problem here i n that you know me already to some extent, but try, i f possible, not to l e t what you think my opinions might be influence the way you want to say something. Let me give you an extreme example: [RELATED LIGHTLY] i f you thought a l l black people ought to be shipped on the f i r s t boat back to Africa — I know you don't think this, and you know I don't think i t , but i f you did — i t would best, from my point of view, for you to say i t . You know what I mean? There's nothing particularly d i f f i c u l t about the questions, and on the whole there are no "right" answers to them — i t ' s just your opinions, what you think, that I'm interested i n . I want to use a tape recorder, but no-one else w i l l hear the tape — not here at school, not at the university — only me — and you i f you rant to. It just makes i t easier for me than writing i t a l l down. I w i l l take notes from them and eventually erase them. Feel free to say whatever you want on any particular topic we're on. I'm not allowed to ask you about — and anyway they're not what I'm mainly interested i n here — certain topics l i k e r e l i -gion, sex, or race — but i f you feel at any particular point that some piece of information might be helpful and you want to volunteer i t ~ please do! [THE PRINCIPAL OF THE SCHOOL HAD EX-PRESSLY ASKED ME NOT TO ASK ABOUT THESE TOPICS DIRECTLY] 18 — I ' l l explain at the end, what I'm trying to do with a l l this, and I ' l l l e t you get your own back and ask me any questions you want tlienl" Work, and the Immediate Future " — You're i n Grade ( ) now, what are you going to do when you're finished here at school, do you know? — University? Subject, i f known? Why, what reason? [IF SOT] Why? — Job? Why, what reason? — When did you decide? What made you decide? — Are there any other things you feel you may have to decide or make your mind up about i n the next few years? — People sometimes say, or feel, that two important choices have to be faced by young people: work, and marriage. What do you feel about this? [ADJUST, IF NECESSARY, FOR A GIRL. CAREFUL NOT TO GIVE EXPEC-TATION THAT ONE SHOULD HAVE JOB PLANS, ETC. ~ OR, THAT ONE SHOULD NOT] — Assuming you have io, what kind of work would you l i k e to do as an adult? — Are you pretty sure about this, or do you think you're just as li k e l y to do something else? — O.K., you mention [OCCUPATION] — Why do you think you might go into it? 19 — What would you l i k e about being a ( )? — Do you know anyone who i s a ( )? — How would you go about becoming a ( ); what training do you think you might need? — What things about a good job would be important to you? — This i s a l i s t of reasons people sometimes give for choosing jobs; are there any that strike you aa the main reason or rea-sons you might? What about the ones that you feel wouldn't be relevant to you. [I HANDED THEM A CARD WITH THE FOLLOWING LISTED ONE BELOW THE OTHER: High pay, status, security, interest In the work Itself, outdoor work, independence, meeting people, easy work, travel.] — Do you think there are plenty of satisfying jobs around for people such as yourself, soon leaving school, to choose from? — [IF NOT] What's wrong with the jobs available? [PURSUE] — Do you thin: i t ' s important to have a definite job or career? — Why's that? [OR] — Why not? — Do you think i t ' s important to know what you're going to do? — Why's that? — Do you think i t ' s important to get on i n l i f e ? In what way? Why?" I w i l l be dealing later on with selected individuals on their responses to whole topic sections. As I have already stated, they were by no means a homogeneous group, and so they rarely responded i n uniform ways. Rather there were certain constellations or sets of attitudes and world views, and I w i l l try to delineate these i n a section on Ideologies, 20 using whole chunks of various Interviews and thus preserving some of their overall structure. For the moment however, I w i l l make genera-lizations across the interviews and give i l l u s t r a t i v e examples. Although they were a l l getting near the end of high school, most did not have an especially clear conception of what lay ahead after that. Even some of those who were in Grade 12 (7 out of the 14), and who would thus be leaving within three or four months, were not defi-nitely decided. It was not that they did not have plans, but that the plans were not definite, were f a i r l y open-ended even when they were definite, and i t was the exception for them to be directly related to a job or a career. So insofar as I had obviously constructed this sec-tion with the expectation of getting a lot of detailed information about the work they were going to do, I was not particularly successful. But the very fact that i t didn't e l i c i t the detail and clarity of conception about work future that I had assumed I would get, implies something very interesting. Rather more than half of these questions were derived from Douvan and Adelson's questionnaire,and having read their data had obviously affected my assumption about the sort of responses I would be getting. From the fact that they obtained more concrete and more detailed information about work futures from, on average, younger high school students, i t would not be unreasonable to make the generalization of my respondents that they had a rather "open" — or not a very clear (whichever way you want to look at i t ) — conception of their wor~ future. There was very l i t t l e difference between the boys and the g i r l s here either. 21 Let me give some examples. Two of the boys i n Grade 12 (quite separately, hardly even knowing each other) were going off to Europe on graduating. One had been working at a part-time job for two years to save up enough money to do this, and was hoping to spend "a year or two" i n Europe. He said he might go to U.B.C. in a few year's time and study agriculture, and then start a farming commune — "I just can't see working for the rest of my l i f e . " The other would be getting $100 a month from his parents for his f i r s t year i n Europe, after which he thought he "might take a job as a courier or something, and then see what happens." He would eventually l i k e to come back and study languages at university, "in a few years perhaps," and he would l i k e a job eventually to do with languages — though he wasn't sure what. One of the boys and two of the g i r l s wanted to be teachers. These were the only ones (apart from two who I w i l l c a l l Wayne and Judy and who I want to discuss i n detail later) who had a definite career i n mind. The boy was intending to go to Simon Fraser, and afterwards would probably become a teacher, although he was also con-sidering being a social worker, or a dental technician (which is what his sister was). He wanted principally to deal with people, and whichever job he chose, he knew how to get there for each one. "I figure that everything'11 work out when I get to i t . " One of the two g i r l s who wanted to teach (they both wanted to teach very young children) could not see any interesting prospects but teaching. She was going to start off in Arts I at U.B.C. and take i t from there. She thought she would probably spend several years 22 i n university. "Older people are coming to realize that the younger people are fast becoming more educated than them. Because there's nothing else to do [I.E., NO INTERESTING OR WORTHWHILE JOBS]...it's kind of ridiculous, but that's the way i t i s . " The other g i r l was going to start at Vancouver City College and then perhaps transfer to U.B.C. later. She had always wanted to teach, "ever since Grade 3 — because I remember thinking I liked my teacher so much then," and had not considered any other alternatives. A l l three prospective teachers stated that one of the reasons they had chosen teaching was that i t was the only career they could see to which a measure of freedom was attached, was interesting, involved people, etc. Two others mentioned various forms of social work as pos-s i b i l i t i e s — usually not involving university, and the rest were "sundries" — one wanting to be an actress and was thinking of applying to drama school; one g i r l going on to Arts I and considering vaguely an eventual career i n law or psychology (she was very intelligent), though she stipulated i t would have to leave her free to do other things — travelling i n foreign countries, for example; one wanting to go to Art School, with no ideas beyond that — "a career would be a restriction"; one boy wanting to "work outdoors," though not knowing at what; and one boy finishing Grade 12 i n three months and not knowing at a l l what he was going to do — beyond perhaps going to l i v e for a while on the farm his father had just acquired — his father having recently sort of "dropped out". With the two, Wayne and Judy, who both had much much closer to a "traditional" or "conventional" view 23 of careers and work, and whose extremely interesting cases I w i l l deal with later, this makes the fourteen. I take to be one of the main points of Faul Goodman's Grow- ing Up Absurd, the following: "There i s 'nearly f u l l employment', but there get to be fewer jobs that are necessary or unquestionably useful; that require energy and draw on one's best capacities; and that can be done keeping one's honour and dignity. In explaining the widespread troubles of adolescents and young men, this simple objective factor 13 is not much mentioned." Bennett Berger i n a review of Goodman says that while this i s true, he sees no evidence that adolescents see this, 14 or are troubled by i t . In asking whether they thought there were plenty of satisfy-ing jobs around, I found out that the majority of them f e l t , often very strongly indeed, that there were not. On contemplating their work futures one said resignedly: "No matter how you go about i t , work i s going to be a drag"; another said she was going into teaching because "what else 1B there?"; another said he had "a bad image of the business world", and that that was where most jobs were; another said: "No, there are hardly any interesting jobs around"; another said: "Yes there are some interesting jobs, for example being a doctor, but i n general, most jobs, l i k e being a secretary, aren't." On the whole, then — and I was careful to state the question as neutrally as possible — there was some pretty strong feeling about this matter. So much for Bennett Berger. However, i t wasn't quite as simple as this. There were a couple of people who simply did not know, just had not ever thought 24 about i t , and there were a few who gave answers that slightly puszled me at f i r s t — like; "Well, i t depends on the person," or "Anybody can make a go of anything, i f they try." In particular, several peo-ple seemed to have d i f f i c u l t y relating to the question: "What's wrong with the jobs available?" (i.e., i f they'd said that there weren't enough interesting jobs). It was not until I was about halfway through my interviews that I realized what had been happening. I had been asking these particular questions from the taken-for-granted perspective that i t is the type of society and economy that makes the types and nature of the jobs available. That jobs are made available, and are not simply just there, is a perspective that more than half these youngsters did not have. This was something that i n retrospect I f e l t I should have realized. Once I'd worked out this "explanation", I watched at this point carefully i n subsequent interviews, and I was persuaded that i t was correct. A l l those who did not say there were not any interesting jobs, and sonit of those who did say this (and this was the majority), seemed not to have the, I suppose, quite sophisticated perspective that the society makes certain types and numbers of jobs available. A few quite clearly did see this, but for most, jobs i n society were simply there. So when Goodman says "there are not enough worthy jobs i n our economy 15 for average boys and adolescents to grow up towards," I think he is quite right, and i n one way (the main way, I think) my interviewees were on the whole very well aware of this. But i t was only a few of them who were able to conceive that this state of affairs could pos-sibly be otherwise. 25 With the l i s t of possible reasons for choosing a job, that was handed to them (the l i s t being the same as used by Douvan and Adel-son), most of them, l i k e Douvan and Adelson's respondents, cited "Interest i n the work i t s e l f " as being the most important reason. However, whereas "Security" was the next most frequently cited reason in Douvan and Adelson's data — and also figured very prominently as a major concern among Douglas' respondents — my interviewees hardly mentioned i t at a l l . By far the next most frequently mentioned was "Meeting people", followed, somewhat to my surprise, by "Travel". The idea of travel seemed to be particularly important to these young people, and I w i l l deal with i t i n more detail later. When asked specifically what reasons they thought would not be those that would be .relevant to them in choosing a job, "Security" was very often mentioned, several of them seemingly unable to relate to i t at a l l , and perplexed that i t was even there. This i s a not unrepresentative quote: [LOOKING AT THE CARD] "Hmm....l'm not worried about the 'High Pay', 'Status', 'Security'. [PAUSE] — "Interest i n the work' is what I'd rate highest. And 'Meeting people' — although I think you rarely meet people that are Interesting i n the business world — they don't open up." This was the boy who wants to be a teacher. The f.;c': that economic security seems to be taken for granted by most of them is of great importance I think, and something that w i l l enter crucially into my argument later. The attitude towards going to university, among those plan-ning to, was either f a i r l y casual or s t r i c t l y instrumental. The two who were going off to Europe for an indeterminate time period said that 26 they would "probably end up" at U.B.C. "In a few year's time." There was nothing i n e v i t a b l e about u n i v e r s i t y f o r them — although they were both very talented boys. Among a l l the others but one who were going, u n i v e r s i t y was seen s o l e l y as a means of getting the job — usually teaching — they wanted. I could e l i c i t no p o s i t i v e statement from them about the value of u n i v e r s i t y education as an end i n i t s e l f . I suspect t h i s i s because a very large u n i v e r s i t y l i k e U.B.C, which i s what they would be most acquainted with, does, I'm a f r a i d , f o s t e r t h i s "image" — p a r t l y because i t does have a l o t of "vocational" schools — medical, a g r i c u l t u r a l , engineering, etc. — and p a r t l y by v i r t u e of i t s vast s i z e . However, th i s i s purely speculative. The a t t i t u d e i s ex-pressed by one of them, l i k e t h i s : "University i s mostly to secure your future — that's the only reason that people go there. P r i m a r i l y I'm going to u n i v e r s i t y to get a job i n teaching." The one person who did value education as an end i n i t s e l f — the very i n t e l l i g e n t g i r l who was considering a career i n law or psychology — I s h a l l c a l l her Linda — was perhaps able to see th i s because of a rather remarkable Aunt she had, who was at the very top of her p a r t i c u l a r f i e l d i n the whole of Canada, and who was obviously quite an influence on Linda. She read a great deal, worked very hard at school, and talked (already!) about wanting to do a Ph.D. She s a i d she wanted education " f o r the love of learning i t s e l f , " and obviously the whole idea very much grabbed her. While Linda had, at l e a s t to some extent, a "model" of what she wanted to become, i n her Aunt, most did not. This contrasts 27 strongly with the Douvan and Adelson data, where among the boys at least, most of them knew someone — an Uncle, or neighbour, or someone — who was i n the particular career or job they were planning on. Fun-nily enough, the only boy who looked l i k e he might be doing the same thing as his father, was the one whose father had "dropped out" and lived on a farm! On the whole, they were acutely aware, l i k e Douglas' respon-dents only more so, of the unappealing aspects of the adult world that confronted them. But rather than adopt the attitude of "ritualism" that his did (i.e., compartmentalizing public and private world, with self-respect, interest, and commitment focused i n the private world) — rather than this, they seemed to be trying to avoid this public world of conventional jobs, careers and so on. The attitude was not " i f you can't beat 'em, join 'em" (except Wayne — on whom, of course, more later), the attitude was closer to — i f you can't beat them, don't have anything to do with them. The three that were going to become teachers were distinctly aware that teaching was i n a sense a special case i n that i t was a recognized and attainable "career", but without many of the disadvantages they saw most careers that were avail-able to them as having. The jobs that the others were thinking about, or at least mentioned, were not really what one would think of as "con-ventional" careers — a forest ranger, an actress, an international courier, a communal farmer, and certain sorts of social work. Two did not really know at a l l , but f e l t that " I ' l l manage", or "something w i l l come up." Linda was the only one really to talk about the positive 28 advantages of a "traditional" career — but she had a very sophistica-ted awareness of the situation. The reason why "ritualism" to the public world was not on the cards as f i r as they were concerned, seemed to be a very strong feeling that they were not prepared to make compromises. This seemed to be connected to Keniston's idea of "psychological Indusiveness" i n "post-modern youth" — that i s , the belief that one must never deny, repress, or compartmentalize any part of one's s e l f , personality, or 16 l i f e . Examples of statements seemingly a l l i e d to this came up time and time again: "I'm going to do what I want to do, and not what somebody else t e l l s me"; "I want to enjoy myself and I want to be my-self"; "I Just want to do something that's creative"; "I want something stimulating — where you can feel you're accomplishing something." These are a l l from different people and there were many more examples of this. The feeling seemed to be that most Jobs would threaten this. "A career would be a restriction" — or at least, those jobs that are commonly understood by most people to be a "career". Such possible work futures were thus avoided wherever possible, either i n favour of slightly novel work ideas, or for a greater feeling of openness and non-deciding about one's work future. The general desire of Douglas' male respondents for "regular income, predictable advancement, and tenure of position," seemed to be the very last thing that my respon-dents wanted. In general they did not take the necessity of having a "career" as an unquestioned assumption, and, very importantly, their sense of 3elf-respect or worth was not dependent upon getting a "good 29 job" or having a "career". I want to try and claim later that this i s quite a novel and important contemporary social change. Marriage and Personal Relations " — Do you think you'll get married someday? — [IF NOT] I see 6 why not, why's that, do you think? — At what sort of age, or at what sort of stage i n your l i f e , do you feel you'd l i k e to? — For what reasons do you feel you'd l i k e to get married? — Could you t e l l me a l i t t l e about the kind of person you'd like to marry? Characteristics? — [GIRLS] What kind of work would you l i k e your husband to do? [BOYS] What kind of role do you feel she ought to perform, e.g., have a Job, or concentrate on children, or support youl, Or what? — How do you feel about marriage? Lo you feel the role of mar-riage has changed at a l l i n contemporary society? In what way? — Is this a good thing, do you think, or not? — Do you think a l l this talk about the population explosion has had any effect here? — How, i f possible, would you describe "the Ideal man"?— "the ideal woman"? * — Do you think young people — other people here In the same grade at school, for exampleP have dates — or don't l i k e the idea of dates — or do boys and g i r l s just go around in a crowd 30 together — or go steady — or what? Can you describe for me what you think the situation i s here? * — Do you think most of them want to get married? * — For what reasons? At what sort of age? * — Why do you think that marriage is seen to be more important by g i r l s , on the whole7" (* These questions were cut out after I'd completed about half of the interviews. Everybody seemed to be agreed on what the picture at the school was, the three f i n a l questions did not stimulate any tiling other than "stock" answers or reasons, and I came to feel they were rather foolish or naive questions.) The overwhelmingly noticeable fact about this section, and one which very much surprised me, i s the markedly ambivalent attitude towards marriage on the part of the g i r l s . Not one of them didn't . have at least some doubts, and several of them had very pessimistic views on the v i a b i l i t y of marriage and whether they wanted to be i n -volved i n i t . This sort of attitude seems to be totally lacking i n the earlier works I've been citi n g . Douglas, for example, concluded that boys wanted economic security i n tue form of regular income, pre-dictable advancement, and tenure of position; and that g i r l s wanted primarily emotional security i n the form of marriage, and only those careers that can be combined with this. I have already said i n the previous section that the boys I interviewed were very different from this, and i n this section I must conclude that the g i r l s were every bi t as different from Douglas' too. 31 The boys on Che \vhole tended to be f a i r l y relaxed and open about the idea of getting married. None desired i t strongly, but most supposed that ttay would — but that i t didn't matter i f they didn't. They a l l f e l t that marriage had changed i n society, and that i t was not as important now. For those that expressed the most positive views about i t , i t was s t i l l obviously a very distant prospect — "five years or so" — which was well beyond the horizon for which they made plans. "I don't know — i t just depends how It works out, I guess," and "Yes, I ' l l probably get married. But i t doesn't matter when. Perhaps when kids come a l o n g a r e two views that express the "tone" of their attitude here. Two of them mentioned "Common Law" as being i n many ways better. One said. "If you don't l i k e i t , you can walk out," and the other: "Perhaps that's what I ' l l do. In a way i t ' s a stronger bond — because there's no obligation to stay; so i f you do, i t means you really want to." Both of them, interestingly enough, mentioned that they had sisters l i v i n g Counon Law. The reasons they gave for wanting to get married, i f they did, were quit® coamioiaplace (perhaps i t was a stupid question) — securityj companionship, "someone to share problems with'', sex, "psychological balance," and so on. They had what I would c a l l a "permissive" attitude (I don't mean In the sexual sense) to the role of the woman in marriage — most saying she could do what she wanted, and several stipulating that she'd have to have interests outside the marriage too. None had an "ideal woman", but the qualities they did want were always personal — for examples "a woman who's confident — 32 has a strong-willed personality"; "a woman who's perceptive, who I can talk to and be relaxed with. Someone who's real to me, expresses what she feels, i s honest" (this was, by the way, the talented boy, who is going off to Europe, and later on wants to start a communal farm. We'll c a l l him John); and "someone who's interested i n people, and who can discuss things." One boy said marriage Is seen to be more Important by g i r l s partly because of children, and partly because then they don't have to plan on any occupation and " i t ' s an easy way out." The criticism by another of marriage as i t was in much of our society was extremely interesting: he said the trouble i s , a l l the man does is make money, and a l l the real work is done for him by other people — his wife makes bis home, his mechanic mends his car, and so on. I was very impressed by that. The attitude of the g i r l s was much more c r i t i c a l . Three did not really want to get married, and four did — but with reserva-tions, or at least awareness of what they saw as dangers. Here are the ones who did not much want to: "I don't really know what marriage i s " ; "I can't really think about marriage — i t ' s such a f i n a l thing. I think Common Law i s better because i t ' s only love holding you toge-ther, instead of a marriage contract. Though I suppose I would get married for the children's sake"; and — marriage i s "a piece of paper", attitudes to marriage are changing "because of a growing up, a realizing...but of course then you go on to Common Law — and that isn't a solution because you're s t i l l bound to one another," and communal marriages "are out — that's just really bad for your head." 33 The four who did want to, wanted to "when I'm 25 or so", "not un t i l I'm i n my t h i r t i e s " (Linda), "at 20" (Judy), and another who did not stipulate when, but said "most l i k e l y " she would in time. This last g i r l was very interesting because she knew she very much wanted to believe i n marriage, yet was assailed by doubts from a l l sides. "I'm well aware of a l l the dangers of marriage, and I've got several frier>ds who think Common Law is better — but I want to believe i t w i l l work." When, sometime after the interview, i t came up i n the conversation that I was separated myself, she buried her head in her hands and almost cried. Linda f e l t she wanted "to make something of my l i f e f i r s t , " and was obviously influenced here, once again, by her aunt, who was middle-aged, and now thinking about entering a Common Law marriage. Judy had far and away the most "conventional" view of marriage, and said the sort of things I had expected at f i r s t from most of them. She wanted to get married at 20 (three year's time), though she did not have a particular person in mind at the moment. She wants to marry because she likes "company" and doesn't lik e being by herself, and "I feel I won't have f u l f i l l e d my place i n l i f e unless I get married." The personal characteristics of her husband would be important: he "must be masculine", "someone to lean on," decisive, and pleasant to look at. She wouldn't want any drop in economic status, but no rise would be necessary either. "He must be the f i n a l word...because I'm not for Women's Lib at a l l when i t comes to that sort of thing." This is very close to the sorts of things Douvan and Adelson's g i r l respondents said, 34 and In the context of the sort of social change I'm talking about i n this thesis, I want to c a l l this sort of way of looking at things: "traditional". I w i l l examine the whole ideology of this later. However, at this point, and quite without any prompting from me, she started qualifying the above, and said that "marriage does t i e you down, though." She s a i l up t i l l quite recently she did not think so but she now thinks "Common Law marriage isn't a l l that bad a deal." After a l l "marriage isn't really anything when you really think about i t — i t ' s just a l i t t l e ceremony and so on." Sha said she used to be shocked at friends who "had — I don't know how to say i t — 'relationships'. But I'm not so sure now. I'm thinking i t might not be such a bad deal after a l l . " The trouble i s , though, "girls don't feel that they're really women — until they're married." She was from a happy secure home and had taken her morals and values, as she said herself, directly from her parents. It i s very interesting to see here that she has presumably been recently exposed to some very different ideas because of the behaviour of some of her friends, and was having to re-examine, or perhaps examine for the f i r s t time, some of the values that she had taken for granted. Perhaps in a few years she w i l l have very different views indeed from her par-ents i n this regard, and here, i n miniature w i l l be represented one of the cultural changes that have taken place between a decade ago and now. At no time did I ever bring up or even hint at, the subject of Common Law marriage, and yet again and again interviewees brought i t up of their own accord and showed i t was something they were obviously 35 very much thinking about. As I've made quite clear already. I can't, s t r i c t l y speaking, prove that there's been social change here, from the evidence I have, but i t ' s not exactly a wholly unreasonable inference. Something that i s interesting i s that the boys here do not have anything l i k e as emotionally charged and ambivalent attitudes as the g i r l s . Whereas among Douvan and Adelson's respondents the g i r l s were clearly the more committed and positive about the idea of marriage (amongst Douglas' too), the g i r l s here are much more negative and c r i -t i c a l about i t than the boys. This is pure speculation, but i t may be that because i t was not such a central concern of boys ten years ago, their response to the c r i t i c a l discussion of marriage i n the mass media, in movies, and (to some extent) i n pop music, has not been such a strong reaction against as i t has been among these few g i r l s here. Or putting i t another way, perhaps ten years ago most adolescent g i r l s had a l l their eggs in one basket, now maybe they are coming to believe that this basket i s not as strong as had been assumed — and no wonder they are so strongly ambivalent about i t . It may be objected here that what they say here may be very different from what they eventually do. In other words they may say that they are not going to get married, but in a few years they may i n fact do so. I think this i s quite possibly correct — but beside the point. Throughout this study I am interested not i n what they actually w i l l do i n the future, but rather how they conceive of i t . If reality turns out different from their conceptions of i t , this does not matter. To state what may seem l i k e the sociologically obvious for a moment — 36 society does not so much determine how one thinks, as make conceptions available. The attitudes or conceived alternatives that one can see around, therefore, since they are societally derived, t e l l one some-thing about that society. I am interested throughout this i n what people are thinking, rather than their actual behaviour i n the future, and since, as seems to be the case, high school students are now think-ing things they weren't thinking a decade ago, this says something interesting about the way society has changed. (Society here being the social provider of available ways of thinking.) This is how my data on conceptions of the future is related to contemporary social change. On the question about the effect of a l l the talk about the population explosion, most quite strongly seemed to feel that this had affected views on marriage — or at least on the raising of children. A couple said they did not know, a couple said no i t had not had any effect, one said the effect was only among "educated people", but a l l the rest showed evidence of having thought about this quite a b i t and were very concerned about i t . Several of them said, without my asking them at a l l , that they had already decided to limit their future families to two children. The "population explosion" e l i c i t e d responses such ae: "Now that's one of my pet peeves — i t ' s the balance of the whole equation" (John); "Yes, I know I think about the population thing. I'm quite determined only to have two children, and then adopt some i f I want more"; "I think younger people are concerned about the population explosion. I know lots of my friends are going to limit their families to two"} "Yes, I'm very concerned about i t . I'm not going to have more 37 than two children" (Linda); and "I don't l i k e the way the world is shaping up — and that's the only thing that really bothers me" (Judy). I found the consistent way that they had seen the general problem and then followed through to the individual moral conclusion quite remark-able. This was especially so amongst the g i r l s . There were several other incidents, later, that showed evidence of quite surprisingly developed social consciences. The only other difference between the boys and the g i r l s on these matters was that the g i r l s were consistently less able to state any requirements at a l l for their future partners. The boys, as I have shown, did not seem to have images of "the ideal woman", but were not inarticulate i n several instances on some of the qualities they did want. I was hardly able to get anything out of the g i r l s on this count at a l l . Judy said, as quoted above, that she wanted some-one masculine, decisive, and so on, and one other g i r l wanted "a man who Is gentle — who doesn't have this 'masculinity' thing — you know, shut out, and cold, and not showing emotions", but from the others, I could get very l i t t l e indeed. Whether this was because they did not mind, or whether (and see the previous sentence) they were not sure what does constitute a desireable man now — I do not know. It could be that the change between, say, Rock Hudson as a "pin-up", and Hick Jagger, in one decade, i s somewhat disorienting — but I don't really know why the g i r l s were so Inarticulate on what they wanted i n men. One of the key features of the "young radicals" Keniston studied was, he said, that they were not, as i t were, "plugged i n " to 38 the institutional structures of established society — principally, of course, on the dimensions of jobs and marriage. Frotr this section on marriage, and the previous one on work, I think we can see this same tendency among the people I studied. I think the reasons may be very different than those for Keniston's interviewees, but I w i l l go into this i n more detail later. Finally, i n this section, I want to deal f a i r l y briefly with the responses to the few, and not very f r u i t f u l questions, on their views of the boy-girl relationships i n the school. The best background against which to see this — though X think i t may not be a particularly f a i r one — is Coleman's thoroughly dislikeable book, The Adolescent Society. Thia describes the "sub-culture" of high schools i n I l l i n o i s i n the late 1950s. He states quite revealingly that "the major thesis of this book i s that i t is possible to...learn how to control the adolescent community...and use i t to further the 17 ends of education," — those ends that are defined by American high school administrators, he should have added. As a matter of fact, I think Bennett Berger's criticism that everything Coleman describes — the search for status and popularity, academic achievement counting l i t t l e , the importance of athletic prowess, beauty, dating, etc. — does not count as a subculture at a l l because they are the very pre-occupations of much of the wider adult society — is f a t a l . "To Cole-man, adolescent romanticism seems l i k e a nasty b i t of arbitrary t r i v i a obstructing the kind of accomplishments that really count, lik e As i n 18 maths, physics, and cooking....': However, i t i s not my intention 39 here to get involved in criticism of Coleman's book, merely to state that the descriptive part of i t may be taken as an interesting back-ground against which to see the school i n which my interviewees were involved. The whole ethos of this i s the Interesting l i t t l e uninten-tional vignette to be found on page 42 of Coleman's book that "the g i r l ' s role is to s i t there and look pretty, waiting for the athletic star to come and pick her up." The school, because of the area i t i s i n perhaps, had until recently at least a very "acadenic" reputation and, I was told, used to get more scholarships to U.B.C. than any other high school i n the province. A l l of them f e l t i t had changed the last few years ("the way i t was, i t just had to", one explained), and under a ncw-ish principal is f a i r l y relaxed, though s t i l l , from the most usual points of view, one of the "best" high schools i n Vancouver. Most of those I inter-viewed, however, seemed very irked at s t i l l being at school, and were dying to get out. Linda was the only one who seemed unequivocally to enjoy i t . Everybody who was asked was unanimous in stating that there were lots of "cliques" i n the school. Whether t h i 3 wa3 any more ao than in any other high school i n Vancouver, I don't know, but i t seemed almost to be part of the "ideology" of the school that i t was very "cliquey : i — no one disagreed. The idea seemed to be that once a clique had formed that was i t — the people within i t mingled with no one else, and i t was virtually impossible for anyone else to get i n to the clique. I doubt very much whether in reality i t can have been as 40 exclusive as this. The group might be held together by friendship alone, or there might be a common element — "for instance, there's the Band, the athletic types, the drop-out types, and so on." "There are a lot of cliques here — and there's only going out with g i r l s i n -side the clique. I myself usually go out with g i r l s outside the school." "The cliques are more of a gang-thing....The couples go around together i n the gangs. Some of them — I c a l l them 'ultra-too-too-cute couples — have been going around together for three or four years. They're so sweet!" "In Grade 8 there are parties, i n Grade 9 there are dates, and boyfriends you go around with and hold hands, i n Grade 10 things start getting kind of serious, and by Grade 11 i t ' s really surprising what people are doing!....I'm in a clique and my clique i s extremely strong — there '8 no mingling outside." (Judy) It seemed that one either went around in one of the cliques, though most of my respondents said they did not — and one may or may not have a boyfriend or girlfriend i n that clique; or one had a boy-friend or girlfriend i n the school who occupied most of one's social l i f e to the v i r t u a l exclusion of other friends; or one mixed with a person or people completely outside the school. Most of those I interviewed did not really take part i n what was considered to be the "main" social l i f e of the school — the cliques. Though i t i s impor-tant to notice that the "main" social l i f e of the school did not i n -clude the majority — rather i t was the social activity of certain e l i t e s . Nearly a l l of them f e l t that "dating" was "out"; "the dating idea i s not so much now"; "I don't l i k e the concept of dating at a l l . 41 The term 'date' is not used — It went out a long time ago." I'm not sure how true this was of the whole school, because Judy at least, s t i l l used the word, and she was definitely part of the "main" social l i f e of the school — she was i n one of the most important and v i s i b l e cliques. She f e l t "the most worrisome thing for g i r l s i s not being asked out...you feel terribly rejected, you really do." Attitudes Towards the Future " — Do you think i t ' s important to know how the future's going to work out, e.g., to know that you're going to go into such and such a career, or that i n so many year's time you should be married, or whatever — or doesn't i t matter to you, not knowing? — Do you think i t ' s better not to know i t — for the future to be open and undetermined? — Do you ever feel — "well, things change so much — there's no point i n planning ahead too much — i t ' s too unpredictable"? — Would you say that i n general you're optimistic or pessimistic about how your l i f e ' s going to work out — or a bit of both? — Suppose you could now see yourself i n ten years' time or so — when you're, say, between 25 and thirty — do you have any picture of what you'll be doing, what your l i f e w i l l be like? Could you describe it? — What ideas do you have about the way you'd l i k e things to work out for you? — What do you think might happen in between? (False starts, var-ious jobs, travel, university, tragedy, strokes of luck, etc.)." 42 The most important point to come out of this section i s a distinction between how they conceived of the future and how thz? saw their future. This was a distinction that I did not have any awareness of at a l l when I thought up the questions and while I was doing the interviews. It only became clear to me afterwards, on reflecting upon some of the things they had said. A few did not really think anything at a l l about the future, but most were very concerned about i t indeed. In general, they were worried about what was going to happen to the world. There was a very acutely f e l t sense of c r i s i s , and this affected how they f e l t about their own futures. "Something's gonna happen within the next ten years" — either because of pollution or population or "perhaps a war with Russia and America against the Chinese" — "the human race has to be kicked i n the ass before i t does something." John said he was very worried about the future: the population explosion i n particular was "one of my pet peeves — the balance of the entire equation." He said growth had to be decreased, and i t might have to be by compulsory measures. "Although what I want to do is create for myself, and a few others, an environment that would be self-sufficient, and keep going i f the rest of the world were destroyed." "I don't think the whole picture looks too good." Another said he was very pessimistic about the world future — "I'm practically sure something w i l l happen." Another (Judy): "I don't l i k e the way the world i s shaping up, and that's the only thing that really bothers me." World war, pollution, population — "everything's coming to a head — and i t sure doesn't look too good." She mentioned seeing a movie called No Blade of Grass 43 which dealt with some of these things: "I f e l t — now, everybody should be made to see that movie." But, almost paradoxically, this obviously very strongly f e l t oense of c r i s i s about the future was coupled with an optimistic view about how one's own l i f e was going to work out. Nobody was actually pessimistic about their own future, though two or three f e l t they were a b i t of both, but for the most part boundless optimism, about one's own future. With John i t was because his personal plans for a communal farm were some insurance against the envisaged " c r i s i s " (his plans were not at a l l unrealistic, by the way. He had spent every summer since he was a child l i v i n g on a farm on Vancouver Island, and obviously knew a l o t about farming), but for most i t was simply a basic confi-dence that whatever might happen, they could nevertheless weather i t . Perhaps i t was the very fact that they were not "plugged i n " to the institutional structure of society and i t s style of l i f e , that gave them this sense of invulnerability. " I ' l l manage", "I can always make a l i v i n g " , " I ' l l find something." This Is very reminiscent of Kenieton's remark about his interviewees: "Personal future is open, f l u i d , undefined and indeterminate, Immersion into [CERTAIN LIFE STYLES] i s clearly rejected, but i n i t s place he often finds i t d i f -f i c u l t to define clearly an alternative role, style, way of l i f e . Partly they manage to tolerate the uncertainty and ambiguity of the future because they have a basic self-confidence that assures them 19 they can respond as needed to whatever is needed in the future." So, on the whole, though they sometimes said they worried about the future at times, they were quite willing to l i v e with open-44 nes3 and uncertainty. This openness was by some regarded as simply necessary because of the unpredictable nature of things, and by others aa a value i n itself? "I dor't want to have too many plans for the future — I want to have nothing definite"; "I have plans, but they're open to change. It x*ould be very monotonous i f things were too planned out." Alli e d to this, i n several cases, was the knowledge that such an attitude i s viable. Just as several of them knew of people — older brothers and sisters i n particular — who lived Common Law, so several also knew, or knew of, people who were successfully not li v i n g a planned, "conventional"; l i f e - s t y l e . In both cases, to see concrete instances of something i s to see that i t is possible, and from seeing that i t i s possible, i t i s but a small conceptual leap to consider the fe a s i b i l i t y of i t for oneself. For instance,, one boy said his sister's boyfriend, who he obviously admired, was at the moment hitch-hiking right round the world, and another, Linda, said she knew some friends of her family who managed to get by just travelling around. Although, as I've mentioned, she was one of the few who had very positive fe e l -ings about having a career, "I'm questioning at the moment whether i t ' s necessary to have a career. I'm hoping new things w i l l suggest them-selves, but I know It's possible to goof off round the world and enjoy yourself just as much as someone who's working." In contrast to those in Douglas' study, clearly these young people are not unduly worried about security and money, and can l i v e with openness and uncertainty. Either they have so many plans and can 45 see so many possibilities that they are quite confident that they'll manage somehow, or they have no plans at a l l and s t i l l are not worried about i t — they have confidence that they can adapt to whatever pre-sents i t s e l f . On the whole they are not very clear about what they want to become, but are quite relaxed about this uncertainty. They were i n general very optimistic about how their future would work out, though in two cases there seemed to be the implication that the optimism was a moral or strategic decision: "Sometimes I can feel very pessimistic, but thinking l i k e that i s just a cop-out", and: "I really am an optimist — because I think I have to be. There's really a l o t to get you down i f you l e t i t . " Douvan and Adelson said that their respondents, when asked for concrete references tended "to retreat into stereotyped notions of the future, imagining a l i f e of suburban i d y l l . " Although my inter-viewees were often not able to be specific here on how they thought their lives would work out, It wa clear for most of them that the stereotype of suburban i d y l l was what they did not x*ant. "I think I don't want to strive my whole l i f e for a house; because, you know, that's what a l o t of. people have got to show for their lives — and I think 'no, there's no way' — and the thought of that sort of security — no — I don't want to get into that, you know, financial...[THING?]", was how one g i r l put i t . Their notions of v?hat their l i f e would be like "between, say, 25 and 30" were often not very clear — they only seemed to know how they didn't want to be — but there were one or two interesting things. 46 The g i r l who wanted to be an actress (perfectly r e a l i s t i c a l l y — she'd already appeared i n two productions at the Playhouse) said, "At 30 I ' l l probably be — not married, very poor, l i v i n g i n a l i t t l e one room f l a t , doing a b i t of acting and music, maybe writing a l i t t l e — and drawing welfare! (Laugh)." ( I ' l l c a l l her Mary from now on). John thought he would be "probably married, l i v i n g somewhere in B.C. on a farm." Linda thought she would be "unmarried, working, with enough leisure time to do what I wanted — l i k e travel, for instance — and s t i l l be learning. I know just from now that I'm going to be the type that keeps on, you know, in education." And Judy said: "I think I ' l l be l i k e my mother. I think I ' l l just be an average everyday person. I don't know i f I want i t — but I think that's what'11 happen." If there '8 any difference between the boys and the g i r l s i n a l l this, i t seems to be only that the boys definitely seemed to think more about the future. At any rate they had more to say — both on the general future and on their own future. Douvan and Adelson reported that boys tend to construct their identities around vocational choice — "for most boys the question of 'what to be' begins with work and the job, and he is l i k e l y to define himself and be identified by his occupation." Girls — so they say — "tend to keep their identity diffuse and misty...and identity formation (so far as i t depends on an 20 anchorage in the future) is l i k e l y to remain incomplete." If this i s correct i t may explain to some extent why my boys had more to say on the future than the g i r l s . For the most part they definitely do 47 not construct their identities around a vocational choice, but i t may be that the cultural precept that one should generates enough thought i n them about the future to account for this difference. I don't know, though. Finally, unlike Douglas' respondents, they are not "resigned" to a future they don't really want. Most of them do not seem to be prepared to "abandon their ideals...and 'face the facts of l i f e ' , as defined by adult culture." They seem to be unwilling to accept any compromise between what they want of the future, and what they feel they w i l l get. Far from a l i k e l y attitude of "ritualism" to the public world, their attitude to the future which faces them seems much more lik e undifferentiated commitment. Desires, Fantasy, Imagination " — Suppose money were no object — that you had as much as you wanted from some source or other — What would you do (anything you want)? Would you s t i l l work? — What would you change about yourself i f you could — about your appearance, your personality, your l i f e , anything? [GIRLS] Do you ever wish you were a boy? Why? — [BOYS] Do you think g i r l s have i t easier than boys? — What things do you thine, do boys/girls at your particular stage of l i f e worry about most? — What kind of things do you l i k e doing i n your spare time? — Are there any other things you'd l i k e to do i f you had a chance? 48 — When they're alone, some people l i k e to spend their time day-dreaming. Some people like to spend i t i n other ways. Do you ever daydream or pretend? — [YES] Would you t e l l me about the sort of daydreams you have? — [NO] What do you do when you're alone? [TRY AND GET TO THE DAYDREAMS] — Why do you think you — or anybody — daydreams? — Given your a b i l i t i e s as they are now, what would you really l i k e to do, to be, etc., in, say, 10 years' time? What would your ideal or really perfect l i f e - s t y l e be? — What do you think the most wonderful thing that could ever happen to you would be? — What's the worst thing, or at least some very bad thing, that you could imagine could happen to you? It seemed clear from Douglas' study that his respondents were embarking on futures they weren't necessarily very enthusiastic about, for two reasons. F i r s t l y they wanted the money that went with i t , and secondly they wanted the social status and approval that went with a "respectable" work future or career. When Douglas asked them what they would do " i f money were no object, i f you were independently wealthy", the general response of considerable altered plans seemed to indicate that money was seen as a very large limiting factor on what they did. That i s , most of them quoted things they would l i k e to do and would do, i f they had independent money, that were very d i f f e r -ent from the plans they were engaged upon i n re a l i t y . Clearly, they f e l t that money would radically change their future. 49 With only one or two exceptions the responses of ray inter-viewees to the same situation was that money would not very much change what they were already planning to do. This was the opposite of what I had expected. There were, to be sure, some things they would do d i f -ferently, but they were what I would c a l l peripheral activities — they were not things that would change their central l i f e plans or ac-t i v i t i e s . Only one, Wayne (who has been consistently different from nearly everybody else on nearly every section of the questions, and who I'm going to deal with i n f u l l later), would totally ditch his work plans i f he were independently wealthy. He was planning to be an engineer i n order to get the money, and i f he already had the money, there was no way he was going to be an engineer. A l l the others would essentially carry on doing the same things, with the money only making large differences i n peripheral matters. John would s t i l l go to Europe, perhaps do a b i t of agriculture at U.B.C, and then start his communal farm; the money would just make a l l this easier. He would put a l o t of i t into "something like S.P.E.C. — to educate people — change ..things", but i t would not change his personal plans much. The boy who was planning to be a school teacher would "buy a 750 Norton, and go across Canada — meeting people, and things" — but he would s t i l l be a school teacher. Mary would "buy the empty lot at 8th and Tolmie and build a foam ho-ose on i t " (she went into elaborate de-t a i l on how to build them) — and she would s t i l l be an actress. A g i r l who I w i l l c a l l Heather, who was also one of the ones who wanted to be a teacher, would s t i l l be a teacher, but the money would enable 50 her to travel a l o t . Nearly everybody, in point of fact, at one point or another mentioned "travel" and i t seemed to be an important facet of their outlook. One boy thought that with money he would perhaps go into p o l i t i c s and change things, put the world right — or he might become a hermit — he wasn't quite sure. The rest were a l l peripheral: "buy a summer house i n Ireland", "buy one of those big houses on 53rd and Granville", "buy a Ferrari", "oki a l o t " , and so on. From the fact that money would change the plans of few of them, and from additional (and presumably related) facts such aa that of their very carefree and open attitude toward the future, I think i t i s f a i r to say that the need for money was not seen as too much of a problem by them. They had a l l grown up i n affluence, they had never seen any different, so they took i t for granted. They would "get by", "manage", "everything'11 work out ok". And i n fact their attitude to affluence i s not unrealistic, i n a sense. Although there are complex and specific and by no means irreversible sets of social conditions without which this affluence could not exist, and although i t is un-li k e l y that they really understood the nature of this, whatever hap-pens to these fourteen youngsters, i t is extremely unlikely that any of tliem w i l l starve or i n any other way l i t e r a l l y "suffer" from poverty. So although taking affluence totally for granted may be naive, i t is not for them unrealistic — thay almost certainly always w i l l have enough to l i v e on no matter what they do. Importantly related to this i s the fact that i t is now pos-sible, at least among young people, to be what Goodman calls "decently 51 poor". He says in Growing Up Absurd (which i n many ways now reads l i k e an amazingly prophetic book) that society had become (by the 1950's) such that "merely!l to make an honest l i v i n g and support one's family was not regarded as enough of an achievement to be respected by the community. The pressure was always to achieve a higher and higher standard of l i v i n g . Douglas' respondents, we remember, were doing that about which they were less than enthusiastic, partly to make the money and partly to actieve that "respect" of the community (i.e., established society). Goodman writes: "Some way w i l l have to be found, again, for a man to be decently poor, to work for a subsistence without neces-21 sarily choosing to involve himself i n the total high-standard economy." As came out time and time again i n my interviews, their c r i t e r i a of respectability, success, status, and so on, were i n general not those generally recognized by "established" society. To anyone who lives i n Vancouver at the moment i t must be perfectly obvious that among a very large number of young people at least, i t i s possible to be respectably poor. My argument here then is that money i s not on the whole seen fcj. a very Important consideration or worry, partly because affluence i s largely taken for granted, and partly because i t is now possible to be decently poor anyway. Figuring largely among the things nearly a l l of them wanted was, as I have said, travel. Only one person, Mary, the g i r l who wanted to be an actress,after she had not mentioned i t at a l l and after I had then specifically asked her, said that she did not have any particular desire to travel. Everybody else was extremely positive 52 about It, and i t cropped up by i t s e l f i n numerous contexts. To an extent that quite surprised me, they had actually already travelled outside Canada quite a l o t . Nearly a l l of them had been somewhere — Japan, Europe, Ireland, Mexico, or around the United States. These were a l l very consciously aware from their own concrete exper-iences of the value of travelling i n foreign countries: i t "gives you strength", "give you perspective", "broadens you", "opens your eyes a l o t " , "completes your education." Heather, for example, now an ex-Catholic, went to Europe with her mother a couple of years ago. She said that Ireland and Spain "turned us off Catholicism". This, and Europe generally "made my mind more open". She f e l t that many of her contemporaries were "extremely — bleahl — uninteresting. Like sheep — no personality." This was because the parents are "bleah" too, and because school " f i l l s you with mindless a c t i v i t i e s . " "But the trip to Europe stopped me getting into that kind of thing." Travel, the attraction of and desire to, i s , I suggest, a crucial component on the way they see the world, and i f they do more, the ways they w i l l come to see the world. By seeing other cultures, social arrangements, taken-for-granted assumptions, one cornea to see one's own i n a new light, from a different perspective. The more you travel, the more you see that different things are possible, and the more you question assumptions about your own culture that you never even noticed before. These young people I interviewed were very well aware of these things. Anyone who lives i n Vancouver — particularly — cannot help but see that more and more young people are travelling 53 around more and more. Travel i s seen as an extremely positive and de-s i r eable activity and the amount of travel, among young Canadians, is increasing the whole time. This is not the place to go into i t here, but I suggest that, on the whole, having done a lot of travelling i n foreign countries i s inconsistent with certain ways of seeing the world and tends to encourage certain other ways. On the question about changing any aspects of self i f i t were possible, there was nothing l i k e the response I had expected. Douvan and Adelson's boys often would, If they could have done, have changed aspects of their personalities and a b i l i t i e s that related to their chosen work occupation and that would have enabled them to do i t better. I did not get any response of this sort at a l l . Among the g i r l s , a large number wanted to change things that would improve their popularity and attractiveness. Of the g i r l s I talked to here, four said they were perfectly happy with the way they were, two said they wanted only their noses different (because they were self-conscious about them), but only one, Judy, really responded here i n a way similar to Douvan and Adelson's g i r l s . She had quite definite things she would l i k e changed to look more attractive, and added, "90% of g i r l s would improve their appearance." Now I suspect this may be true. If so, why did the others not say this? It could be (though this i s very tentative) that there i s now a cultural precept to look and accept the way you are. The loss of favor of make-up and bras among young g i r l s may be related to this. Hardly anybody wanted to change their personalities or character, except i n very minor details, and i n general they seemed 54 very happy with the way they were. There were a few things — l i k e wanting to be a l i t t l e less shy, or more intelligent, or calmer, or more energetic — but nobody was radically dissatisfied with the sort of person they were. One theme did crop up on several occasions, when I was encouraging them to be as unrealistic as they liked about this, and that was the desire for knowledge. "I'd l i k e to be able to press a button and know everything", was the way one put i t . "I'd l i k e to be more aware — understanding of other people and cultures —more knowledgeable", said another. "I want to be aware — awareness is the great thing", said Heather. Another theme that four or five peo-ple touched on had to do with music. "If I could change anything about myself, I'd l i k e to be more a r t i s t i c and have musical talent." / <-"I'd l i k e to have a much better feeling for harmony i n music." "Often I dream I'm a really exceptional bass player — with a really good group — up there on the stage...." "Yeah, sometimes I have fantasies about being a rock singer — being another Janis Joplln," said Heather. And being a "travelling musician" would be her ideal l i f e style. (No-tice how two desireable elements music and travel are combined here i n one ideal model.) Although again this i s somewhat off the point of my thesis here, I think a study of the influence of and reasons for contemporary pop music might prove very helpful i n understanding changes among Western youth. I think the music as good music may be causing or perhaps just be related to a tendency towards more a r t i s t i c and emo-tional concerns among young people, and I think the actual messages of the songs have vastly increased i n importance in the past decade. In 55 Coleman's study, Pat Boone and Elvis Preslry were the two most popular singers. If you compare the l y r i c s of any of their songs with those around today, you cannot but notice that much contemporary music i s actually saying something. And what i t says about sax, drugs, "po l i -t i c s " , and so on, is not without influence. The words of pop songs were actually quoted once or twice In the interviews i n i l l u s t r a t i o n of points. Even the most "conventional" of young people cannot help being "exposed" to some of the things pop music says. And I'm sure i t i s not without some effect either. The daydreams or fantasies were absolutely fascinating, though not a l l relevant here, Lots of them, no6 surprisingly, touched on sex and love. Here are a few of them, not related at a l l , except to i l l u s t r a t e a general point that I think these were quite openly imaginative kids on the whole. "I'd l i k e to be l i k e Ava Gardner in Night of the Iguana — wild, beautiful, sexy, earthy!" "I'd l i k e to be l i k e Jacques Cousteau, I thi. k that would be my ideal l i f e style." "Half-bohemian, half-gypsy" (Mary). "I've always liked to be an Indian princess that lived with the animals i n the woods — I've had that sort of dream ever since I was l i t t l e . " "I like speed — I l i k e going fast. I'd l i k e to get a big bike and go — fshoo I — a l l over the place. The ultimate would be i n a Ferrari on the Utah Salt Flats and just opening the son of a bi^ch up! Oh wowJ Just going about a 150 miles an hour — that'd be the ultimate!" "Ever since I wac a l i t t l e g i r l , I've always wanted to be some lady i n a long dress, floating down the stairway — gracious, beautiful" (Judy). "Often I think about 56 a conversation I've had, then I think up a fantastic argument, and I just wish they were there! (Laugh)." Linda had a continuing fantasy about a private j et a i r l i n e r that she would turn her mind to at times and elaborately decorate the inside, travel the world, and so on. The most interesting of a l l , and i t took up about a third of the whole interview, was with Mary, who had lived for about six years i n an elaborate and all-involving fantasy world. It was not unt i l the f i r s t time she had taken acid (LSD) that she realized she was i n a fantasy world. She used the drug on subsequent occasions to work her way out of i t , and had been totally free of i t for over a year now. Personal L i f e and Parents " — Can you think, what's the best thing that's ever happened to you i n your l i f e so far? — what's the biggest disappointment you've ever had, or the thing that's made you most unhappy? — Do you have one, or a few, close friends or best friends, who you spend a l o t of time with, or talk to a l o t (about personal things perhaps); or not? — What do you think are the most important things that a friend should be like? — How do you get on with your parents? (Well enough, very well, not too well, etc.?) — Do you ever have disagreements with your family about what you do, or, for example, over something i n the newspaper or on t e l -evision? What? 57 — Do you ever see your parents' views as being a l i t t l e out-of-date ever; or not? Examples? — Do you feel lonely at times — ever kept a diary — imaginary friends, etc.,? — How do you feel that you personally have changed i n the past few years? In what way? — Are you reasonably satisfied with your l i f e at the moment? The aim of this section was partly to unearth any relevant details about the lives of each that would help me understand some of the other things they said i n some sort of context, and partly to attempt to discover to what extent they were experiencing what is called "adolescence". This i s an extremely complex question, which I w i l l deal with centrally and i n detail i n the f i n a l part of this thesis, but a section from Keniston w i l l suffice to paint i n the back-ground here. He says that the European-influenced literature on adoles-cence deals with i t as a time of turmoil, the onrush of sexuality, "sturm und drang", and so on. But that the most common adolescent pattern i n (North) America involves what Peter Bios terms "uniformism": a turning away from the family to a peer group culture, acceptance of i t s norms as i n f a l l i b l e and regulatory, and using this as a means of regulating one's impulses. Erikson calls this "ego restriction". Keniston agrees here and says that most commonly the problems of early adolescence are dealt with by submersion into the teenage culture. Compared with their more "typical" American contemporaries, Keniston's 58 radicals seemed to have undergone an unusually "European" adolescence. At the same time they did have an adolescence, with a l l the anguish 22 and the po s s i b i l i t i e s for growth that this entails. Douvan and Adelson start from a similar perspective to Bios', and come up with only slightly modified conclusions. "The traditional idea of the adolescent experience has i t that the youngster becomes involved i n an intense concern with ethics, p o l i t i c a l ideology, religious beliefs (etc.)....This pattern can be found — but i n a bold, sometimes stubborn, often unhappy minority. Our interviews confirm that American adolescents are on the whole not deeply involved i n ideology, nor are they prepared to do much individual thinking on 23 value issues of any generality." Where they would differ from Bios i s i n their claim that there are i n fact two quite distinct ways of coping with this period, i n that g i r l s do i t rather differently. "The sexual drive i s so successfully excluded from consciousness by a large majority of g i r l s that they do not i n adolescence i n any rele-vant psychological sense confront an impulse problem comparable to boys....We question the traditional concept of adolescence as a time 24 of turbulent instinctual struggle as far as the g i r l i s concerned." On the evidence of this section of questions, the next sec-tion of questions, and general remarks made by each scattered through-out each interview, I f e l t that eight of my fourteen respondents — three of the boys and five of the g i r l s — were unquestionably having (in Friedenberg's phrase) "a real adolescence". I shall be justifying this of course, but i f I am right this would seem to be a suspiciously high number in the light of the above. Given the general soundness of 59 the framework above (i.e., Bios, etc.), there might be two factors to account for my having come across so many apparently "real" adolescents. One i s that the group of people I interviewed was unrepresentative of the majority, and the second i s that social change has reversed the process i n society toward the "vanishing adolescent" (the t i t l e of Friedenberg's book of course). I think i n fact both factors are op-erative here but I'm going to try and claim towards the end that the second i s the most crucial one. I'm afraid I did not — and I think now perhaps I should have done — attempt to measure the presence of "real adolescence". What I might have done i s construct certain "dimensions" of adolescence that could be measured as empirical indicators. As i t was, some of my c r i t e r i a were explicit, and some of them implicit (and s t i l l remain so to me), and wero cot unconnected with the total "gestalt" I had of each person i n my head, afterwards. Anyway, i n some, not f u l l y spe-cifi a b l e way, i t seemed perfectly clear to me who had and was having a real adolescence, and who was not. One of my c r i t e r i a was something I called to myself "self-reflection" — that i s the extent to which a youngster thought about himself. Another was to what extent he spent time by himself. Another was whether he was able to articulate answers on certain questions (more on this l a t e r ) . Another was whether he was aware of any substantial changes i n himself over the past few years. And another was to what extent he merely adopted a particular ideology more or less wholesale, or whether he was wrestling and trying to con-struct one from "pieces". 60 "What was the worst thing that ever happened to me? (Pause) I wasn't socially accepted for sixteen years. It's only i n the last two years that I started to mix and make friends. I was a complete social outcast. I tried too hard. I f i n a l l y said to h e l l with i t — look, I've gotta stop trying to make friends. I didn't try to make friends, or impress anybody, or anything. I changed completely i n one week. It was something I decided myself. I suddenly saw myself as other people saw me." This sort of thing, from a boy we'll c a l l Bob, i s what I saw as "self-reflection". Because of this, and other things (which I ' l l quote i n the next section), and my overall impres-sion of him, he was quite unquestionably, to my mind, going through a "real adolescence". Another boy, who I ' l l c a l l Paul, who again I ' l l quote in the next section, was very sensitive, and took a long time to say the following. "I l i k e walking along by the beach in my spare time. I was by myself a l o t when I was l i t t l e . I would play by my-sel f , or with dogs, and talk to trains. In my family you're regarded as wierd now i f you talk to yourself. You can't show any emotion around the house. Somehow I think there's something blocking my brain — because I have a l o t of trouble communicating — I feel my tongue sort of — twisted back, trying to get out the right words....I started to read about semantics from a book I got out of the library, but I got very confused, and had to stop. I think people can only 50% commun-icate something. People interpret what they hear in their own way. I dunno — you're probably doing this to what I'm saying now." A very palpable h i t . 61 One thing that seemed to greatly increase the likelihood of a real adolescence was an unusual home or family situation. To my utter amazement as I completed one interview after another, half of the fourteen came from one parent homes — either, mainly, because of separation and divorce, or because of death. Now I'm sure this says something significant, but I don't quite know what. It may say as much about me as about them — since, as I have said, they were "cho-sen" i n a very casual way — but neither they nor I knew anything at a l l about the other's l i f e i n this detail. It may be that this particular well-to-do area of Vancouver has a very high number of divorced people of the sort of age to have 16 to 18 year old children, in fact I think there may be something in this — but I do not think i t can be half. Anyway, whatever the significance, that so many had divorced parents should be borne i n mind. Of those who did hare so-called "normal" families, the actual nature of the situation was often more important than i t s structure. That i s , several were from two-parent homes that were obviously far from ideal and which generated a lot of tension. Only four came from what seemed l i k e reasonably happy home situations. We may l i k e to think that such families are "the normal" or "the average", but I would tend to think myself that four out of fourteen is perhaps not a wildly unrepresentative proportion of such families i n our society. I must make i t clear that nearly a l l those now only with one parent got on very very well indeed with that one, being much closer to them, etc. — but they had a l l been through a bad time with the family s i t u -62 ation before or during or just after the break-up or whatever. Sev-eral of them specifically pointed to this as crucially important to their own subsequent development. Linda: "The best thing that ever happened was when my mother got divorced. Because that meant my father was no longer going to be around....The situation with my father was really bad....But the whole thing made me much more sensitive, less self-centred, and more concerned with other people." Heather: "During the divorce....suddenly my Dad was a l l sweet and sugary, and bought us presents and took us out to dinner. And that was something I couldn't understand. I see now why he did i t , because he's only human and he thinks material things can make up for a loss l i k e that. But you just can't do i t . " Later she said: "When my mother and father broke up, I had to look at them as people — and they were human....I can look at other people now — and see that people are human — teachers are human — bus drivers are human — [ETC.]." And another g i r l , who I ' l l c a l l Diana, said, "the separation of my parents was the thing that made me most unhappy. I t was instantaneous unhappiness. And what made i t worse was that my father l i e d to us about what he was doing at f i r s t . " And i n another context: "my parents s p l i t t i n g up affected a l o t of my views on marriage and things." She now gets on extremely well with both her mother and her father and says fondly, "I've got especially nice parents." I think that "unusual" backgrounds predispose one to question some of the assumptions and values that one would not otherwise see, 63 and perhaps i t predisposes one to have a "non-conventional" outlook, self, set of values, and even adolescence. It gets a person thinking. Tliis i s the same sort of process i n which we said foreign travel may lead to change i n outlook and so on. However, I am definitely not claiming that an unusual home background i s the only thing that pre-cipitates a real adolescence, nor that i t is sufficient i n i t s e l f either. Two of those I regarded as unquestionably having a real adol-escence came from "normal" homes — one was Bob, who "wasn't socially accepted for 16 years", and this, and a year spent l i v i n g i n Europe, and a few other things, might be pointed to as factors i n causing his development — and the other was a remarkable g i r l who I think i n retrospect I regarded as the nicest, most warm person of a l l , and about whom the only factor that I could seem to see that helped her have a real adolescence, was that her parents were clearly happy, thoughtful, sensitive, good people. That an "unusual" home background was not a sufficient condi-tion for f u l l adolescence either was obvious to me from the case of the boy whose father had "dropped out". While his father was a child his father had had to be away from home quite a lo t , and the family had been cared for by a Communist who lived, nearby and who had his own wife and chiIdran to support and care for too. This man was l a -ter put i n j a i l , for reasons not unrelated to his p o l i t i c a l beliefs, and as my interviewee said, "this sort of made my father think about things." He was obviously very influenced by his father and greatly looked up to him — "my Dad is very...he can understand anything." 64 This boy was an extraordinarily likeable, easy-going person, and a l l the values he expressed, I would not find hard to subscribe to myself — but he was not having an adolescence. He had no great ideals, no feelings on what really mattered i n l i f e , no consuming interests, and could think of no way he had changed i n years. Everything he be-lieved i n were because his father did. His father put no pressure on him, and he put no pressure on himself. "I guess I don't feel motiva-ted enough to do anything." "I wish I was able to apply myself more." Best of a l l he liked being with g i r l s . He reminded me of nothing so much as someone out of Margaret Mead's Coming of Age i n Samoa; a very likeable happy person, but as Friedenberg puts i t : "from our point of view, insufficiently characterized" — because no real process of adolescence is taking or has taken place. None of this i s intended in the slightest b i t c r i t i c a l l y ; i t i s merely to i l l u s t r a t e a point. Another feature of their parents that may have been unusual was that there seemed to be very l i t t l e pressure from them for their sons and daughters to decide what they were going to do with their futures. The boy who wanted to be a teacher said that i t was "expected" of him at home that he go to university. Everybody else seemed to i n -dicate that their parents just assumed that they would find what they wanted to do i n time and they were not prepared to press tham at a l l i n the meanwhile. If anything, the school put on more pressure here i n what are called "guidance" classes — but these students did not tend to take them too seriously (and with good reason, i f some of the things I heard were anything l i k e true). These factors may go some of the way to explaining one of the differences between my respondents 65 and those of Douvan and Adelson. They say on pages 192-3 that the g i r l s i n their study had been socialized to sensitivity to personal relations, and the boys to activity and achievement. The boys I talked to did not seem to have much of a "thing" about achievement and were not i n any noticeable way different from the g i r l s here. I think maybe parents being more relaxed (or lax — depending upon how you view i t ) about their offsprings' futures may be a relevant factor here. The casual conversations I've had about how things were at this school some years ago, with people who were there, seems to indicate that parents did react differently to this situation at that time. The boys I interviewed seemed no less sensitive to personal relations than the g i r l s — indeed I would say both sexes showed a very high de-gree of sincere and open concern about such matters. Most seemed to have a best friend, or a boyfriend or g i r l -friend, or a varied group of friends — or a combination of a l l three. Although three or four of them obviously had been pretty isolated at certain times during the past, none of them was really so now. Oi..ly two of them seemed to resemble anything l i k e 31os' model of "uniform-ism" — and they were very close to i t indeed. Both belonged to a distinct group of friends who spent a l o t of time together and i n whom there was obviously a lot of personal investment. Judy said: "Right now, my friends are the most invariant things In my l i f e — and i f they a l l said 'Forget i t ' — I'd (La'-gh) k i l l myself — I really would. Because there's nothing else I have that's worth l i v i n g for." She said i t was a group of about ten people who were so important to her. Wayne similarly spent a lot of his spare time 66 "hanging around" with a group of about six other boys, and when asked what was the most important thing i n his l i f e right now, he said: "If I didn't have friends, I don't know what I'd do." There i s an enormous number of other details about their personal lives which i s interesting, and which I feel helped me under-stand each one of them a b i t more. I w i l l just r e s t r i c t myself, i n concluding this section, to three however. One is that, as has been reported i n other high schools i n Vancouver, a lot of kids take or 25 have taken drugs. I never asked about the subject, but i t came up of i t s own accord on several occasions. Wot a l l of them, but probably rather more than half of them smoked or had smoked grass (marijuana), and what was quite interesting was that some of the more l i b e r a l par-ents seemed very permissive on this score. John said, for example, he gets on extremely well with his mother and (as illustration) "She doesn't mind me toking i n my room." Diana said her mother "would rather see us get stoned than watch T.V.", when I was asking her how much she watched television. A handful of them had also dropped acid (LSD) on one or several occasions. Nobody at a l l did i t at a l l regu-l a r l y . The most interesting encounter with acid was, of course, Mary's use of i t to get out of her fantasy world. The second remark here i s an extremely tentative observation that may be completely wrong. It seemed to me, however, that i n most cases there was an inverse relationship between a real adolescence, and the number of "hobbies" a person had. This was particularly true of boys. Some of them crammed their lives so f u l l of stereos, radios, 67 guitars p sailing, skiing, woodworks motorcycles„ and sports o f various kinds that they did not have time to (or did not have to) think about "things" too much. There were a couple of energetic and talented people for whom this relationship obviously d i d not hold, but on the whole I got the distinct impression i t d i d . I may b e completely wrong o n this, however. The third and f i n a l remark has to do with Douvan and Adelson's conclusion that the sexual drive seemed to b e almost totally excluded from consciousness by a large majority of the g i r l s they dealt with, and that therefore adolescence for their g i r l s was a distinctly d i f -ferent process than i t was for their boys. Although I d i d not raise the subject, either directly or indirectly, i t seemed f a i r l y clear f r o m numerous casual comments that sex was anything but excluded from the consciousness of the g i r l s I talked to. Because, I think, of cultural change that i s at last coming to accept the sexuality of g i r l s , i t was a matter which most o f them gave evidence of being con-cerned with. AtEDng my interviewees there was no noticeable difference between boys and g i r l s h e r e , and neither d i d there seem to be any difference between the sexes i n the process o f g o i n g through adolescence. Models and Values " — What do you think the most wonderful thing that could happen to you would be? — What's the worst thing, or at least some very bad thing, that you could imagine that could happen to you? 68 — This is sort of d i f f i c u l t to put, but people sometimes get a feeling of great wonder, or excitement, or awe, at something that seems Inspiring or impressive or really important. What things would give you the greatest feelings l i k e this — could you say? — What things about your l i f e as i t i s now are important to you — or looking at i t the other way, what would you miss most i f i t were taken away? — Will you always want them? Is there any danger or possibility that you w i l l have to drop them in the adult world? — Can you think of any things you definitely don't want in l i f e ? — Perhaps this i s too vague a question — but do you have any strong feelings about what really matters in l i f e , what's really important? — Can you think of any adult you admire — either someone you know personally, or someone famous, or that you've read about perhaps, or seen on the television? What is i t about them you admire? — Can you think of anyone either who you'd l i k e to be, or whose l i f e you'd l i k e to lead? For what reasons? — Can you think of anyone, or type of person, you would definitely not l i k e to become like? — What would you say are some of the reasons why you l i k e or dis-l i k e a person?" This was i n many ways the most Important and revealing sec-tion of questions i n the whole interview. It was here that i t stood 69 out most clearly which youngsters were, as friedenberg put i t , "merely undergoing puberty and simulating maturity" (though that i s perhaps slightly exaggerated language), and which were actually thinking about things — themselves, their values, their identities — and having a real adolescence. The very vagueness of the questions was what showed up the difference most clearly: some immediately or with encouragement talked about the things that most deeply concerned them and showed that they had obviously thought a great deal about these matters, others, with a l l the encouragement i n the world could not really relate to some of the questions — and I either drew a blank or very "stock" opinions that did not seem to me to be evidence of any level of intense thought on the subject. In addition to this, and at least as importantly, i t was here that i t became most clear what their Ideologies or weitanschauungs were. Here i t became most clear to me that I was not dealing with anything l i k e a homogeneous group; there were a couple of reasonably distinct ideologies, a few almost totally unique and personal ones, and many of the interviewees had only very distinct components of cer-tain ideologies. For instance, although as I havesaid, this group were definitely not from among the "freaks" ("long hairs", "hippies", c a l l them what you will) of the school, and for the most part looked "straight", nearly a l l of them had some of the components of what one would normally understand to be those clusters of values that constitute i t s ideology. I w i l l deal with the varying ideologies found here i n a later section. These are some of the examples of things people said i n answer to these questions. Bob, who had described himself as "a com-plete social outcast" up t i l l two years ago, was very concerned, and very perceptive too, about "understanding" people. When asked about the things that moved him, he said: "I think egotism and greed are what move the world, but I think what matters i s understanding some-one.... It's very d i f f i c u l t to achieve f u l l y , but i t can be done. And I've thought about this, so I'm not j u t saying i t off... [THE CUFF?]... Also being able to have helped someone without your even having been aware of i t i s very moving. I just wish that people could have under-stood me two years ago — nobody did. I think suffering — when you suffer i t helps you understand other people suffering." This i s Paul, who was very sensitive, and who had trouble communicating. Be had to struggle getting his thoughts out, but when he did they were often beautiful. "Where Nature's at i t ' s f u l l e s t i t ' s really awesome. It really hits you to see how big i t i s , how small man i s . . . . I think that solitude i s spiri t u a l l y rewarding....Of course, there's some days you can go into the woods and you don't notice anything, you're so — yea know — c i v i l i z e d . But i f you're l e f t by yourself i n the woods for two weeks, or a week, or even over-night — you develop, you know, canine characteristics...your hearing really gets attuned — not as well as a .dag's or anything — but you can be s i t t i n g at some places in the wooda and you can't hear anything except the blood running through your ears, and i t ' s going right through you, and you can hear your heart beating i t ' s so quiet — and then you can walk by a river, a l i t t l e stream...(Pause) I dunno, I really l i k e it....Some of my friends think I'm nuts — but they don't see." 71 "I don't really have any materialistic, you know, values.... You have to go through l i f e realizing what l i f e i s . . . i f you don't rea-l i z e l i f e , you're sort of waiting for death....Watching birds flying ...I l i k e it...because i t ' s simple...I don't know, i t ' s just really nice. I don't l i k e the idea of stepping on other people — you know, striving to get ahead. The way things are now you pretty well have to, you know, step on somebody...this i s what I don't l i k e . You feel oppressed, you know — you have to do this, and you have to do that... I would admire the l i f e of a prospector — or even a game warden — there's not really any getting ahead i n it....Everybody seems to keep wanting more and more...I wouldn't really want to be settled at that age [TEN YEAR'S TIME], but you pretty well have to be...I admire a person with firm beliefs — who really believes that what they're doing is for the good. I'd say I would really admire somebody l i k e Kennedy or Lincoln." Paul was i n some ways an exceptional person, but many of the ideas he expressed i n the second paragraph here were themes which, as we shall see, many others touched on too. This i s John, who's father had died some years previously. "I admire adults who don't give you any shit — who don't try and stand on their adult status. I guess I admire Trudeau too — basically be-cause he's kind of cool — he doesn't surrender his personality — he's him and that's what I admire. I don't think I've ever worshipped anybody — except maybe my father — he was somebody....I don't l i k e my girlfriend's brother — he sort of stomps on people — he's not '2 considerate. I don't l i k e Wixou. I can say I di s l i k e some Americans — the general middle-class pig who drives his Cadillac and throws his cigarette butts... there'a nothing there that's creative — they don't try to do any tiling •-- they won't state their principles and stand by them." "I wouldn't want to work und-sr any system where I couldn't ful l y express myself — nio3t people have very frustrating jobs...I would admire farming, and creative life-styles....Being satisfied i s what matters — even i f i t involves sadness too; being creative; being able to accept death, to be able to comprehend i t , understand i t — that's important....Good books move me. If I'm i n a receptive mood, even i f I see, sort of, a l i t t l e kid walking down the street crying, I ' l l be very moved by that...I really get a charge out of making some-thing, creating something out of nothing. [IDEAL LIFE STYLE] -- I'd be a farmer, who writes poetry, who does sculpturing — and with real people around me. Close relationships are really important to me.... The best thing that could happei to me would be lots of travel — travelling makes you feel independent, free, good." I could quote large chunks from many of the interviews, but this for the moment w i l l suffice. One of the points I want to draw attention to is that these have a l l obviously given some seriouB thought to these matters and are genuinely struggling to work out their values. As Bob added as an afterthought— he had thought about these things, and was not just saying them off the cuff. To those who were having a "real" adolescence, this was the case. To those who were not, I was not able to get responses i n this section that really got to grips 73 with the questions. Some of them had obviously never stopped to con-sider questions of this nature before. As Wayne said, as an after-thought at this point: " A l l these things you're asking about — i f I were asking myself, i t ' d be sort of something I'd have to think about before I'd answer, sort of thing." The point is that some of them had thought about these things before, and with encouragement could articulate them. It is possible that a few had worked on their own identities and values i n this way inside their own heads but because, for example, of a restricted l i n g u i s t i c code, could not articulate them — but I do not think so. They were a l l very definitely middle-' class kids, the person who seemed to have most trouble with articu-lation, Paul, was able to, when given sufficient sympathy and encour-agement, and some of those who clearly were not having a f u l l adoles-cence were very articulate indeed. It may take experience, insight, maturity, and intelligence to have actually thought about these things and be able to articulate them. Those that did, seemed to me to be undergoing a f u l l process of adolescence; and for those that did not, i t was often possible to see specific things i n their social environ-ment that were either holding them back or not encouraging them i n this direction when they could have done. The second paragraph of Paul's quotation above was not un-typical from the things a great many others said when revealing their values. F i r s t , Paul said he did not have any materialistic values and many others said the same or similar. Diana: "I don't want to chase money, be materialistic, l i v e i n the Shaughnessy area." Ano-ther g i r l , who I w i l l c a l l Wendy, said: "I don't want a l i f e style 74 where your house, and the money you have, and the clothes you wear, and the way you wear your hair — that i s more Important than any type of emotional or mental... — I've seen people who, you know, that's their whole l i f e . " The boy whose father had dropped out said: "Ideally I'd l i v e with someone I l i k e , out i n the country. I wouldn't need that much money — you can exist on very l i t t l e — and that can give you a good feeling." (This i s , interestingly enough, strikingly similar to some-thing one of Keniston's interviewees said: "One of the things I've learned i n the past two years i s that you don't need very much to l i v e on....It gives me a completely different perspective on what i t is that I decide to get into....I sort of feel myself to be open and I 26 feel very happy. It is l i k e I have built a whole new world." ) And another of my boy interviewees, the one who wanted to be a teacher, said: "I don't consider making $200,000 and s i t t i n g out on Marine Drive a success. I mean, personally I think i t ' s a kind of failure — because you've accumulated $200,000 that other people w i l l never get." This non-materialistic theme was one of the most persistent across a l l the interviews. (There was one definite exception — Wayne — which I ' l l deal with separately.) Paul said, "You have to go through l i f e realizing what l i f e i s " , and this emphasis on livingness, i f I may c a l l i t that, was ano-ther theme many others dealt with too. Another way of looking at i t is that i t i s an emphasis on being rather than doing. (Erikson, i n -terestingly, commented thus on the situation of young people i n Ameri-can culture some years ago: "Young people find themselves involved 75 i n a doing into which they were forced by a compulsion to excel fast before enough of a sense of being was secured to give to naked ambition 27 a style of individuality or a compelling communal s p i r i t . " This i s another thing I think i s changing.) Diana said: "I think too many people set themselves too many goals, and I think that's really res-tricting themselves. I want to enjoy myself and I want to be myself." Heather said: "To be serene within myself — my inner peace — i s the most important thing that I'm reaching for....I want to be aware — awareness is the great thing." And Wendy (poetically): "I want to know that where I am is where I want to be." Appreciation of Nature was something that many paid at least token respect to, but three of them seemed to have a very profound feel for nature and i t was obviously very important for them. They talked extensively, as Paul does above, about how much and in what way they value and love i t , and I noticed afterwards that at one point they a l l say a very similar thing — not because they would have ever talked to each other about It — i n fact these three did not even know each other, I don't think — but because they had a l l obviously had the same experience. Paul said: "Where Nature's at i t ' s f u l l e s t i t ' s really awesome. It really hits you how big i t i s , how small man is Mary talked about "si t t i n g by a river, watching it move, hear-ing the wind — just sort of the noise and the feeling you get off that — really incredible — makes you feel insignificant, but not i n a negative way." And Wendy said: "At the beach last summer...Just the water, and the moon on it...and a l l of a sudden i t a l l just came i n on 76 me — what I f e l t was kind of my place....I can't pinpoint an idea — but I remember feeling kind of l i k e I knew — kind of l i k e I f e l t re-assured ." Such experiences i n another time would probably have been called (and quite rightly, Z think) religious. That some people are at the present time on "nature trips" would, I suppose, be regarded as a not unknown fact by young people l i v i n g i n Vancouver i n 1971. A "nature t r i p " , however, is usually something that you get "into" and I don't think these particular three people value Nature because i t i s i n any sense a "thing to do" at the present time. What I do think i s of sociological interest, however, i n that because of the now soc-i a l l y available concept ofbeing on a nature " t r i p " — that i s , to be sensitive to Nature is now culturally acceptable and even desireable ("ecology", etc.) — i t was possibly easy for these people to accept how they were anyway and furthermore express these feelings to another person. I think this may not have been as easy, say, ten years ago. One cannot imagine anyone i n the schools Coleman describes, for instance, readily expressing such s e n s i b i l i t i e s . I think this may also be true of John's obvious concern with creativeness and self-expression. He did not have to be encouraged to talk about these things — he did any-way. But I really do think that the cultural climate a decade ago would have made him much more wary about using such terminology. Partly at least because of, as Friedenberg point out, the absolute paranoid fear of homosexuality, which would have made someone who wanted to be "creative" and "write poetry" very suspicious indeed. I don't 77 say attitudes to homosexuality are ouch better now, but at least i t seems to be getting culturally "o.k." for a man to have emotions and sensitivity again. (John is absolutely not a homosexual, i n case i t ' s s t i l l necessary to say this.) To return to the main thread of the discussion, which was Paul's second paragraph above, the next thing he talks about is his distaste for "stepping on other people" and "striving to get ahead". This again, as from quotations already given, and to be given, i n other contexts make clear, was an often repeated sentiment. Here is how a g i r l expressed her own distaste here: "Everybody's In such a big race to get on top of everybody else — i t just makes me sick — people that can't make i t just get pushed out....Everybody's trying to show up the other person, and they hurt people — though they don't really mean to...I wish everybody could lead their own lives and do what they l i k e — but the trouble Is too many people get hurt a l l the time." This might be called the "anti-rat race" sentiment, and not unconnected with i t i s the next thing that Paul mentions •— a strong dislike at having to do things you do not want to do. The emphasis here is upon personal freedom. This i s a strong (and i n my opinion, very healthy) belief that the individual should do what he wants to do and not have to make compromises. Furthermore i t i s anti-authoritarian. One boy whose family had moved up from the United States a few years ago was concerned with the draft problem there, although i t would not now affect him. He said that the worst thing that could possibly hap-pen to him would be to be forced to do something he did not want to 78 do, for instance, " I would not want to go on a war that I haven't got any belief i n . " Heather, as I think I've already quoted i n another context, said: "I'm gonna do what I want to do and not what somebody else t e l l s me." Even Wayne, who reminded me of Douglas' respondents somewhat, i n that he was obviously planning things for his future that he was not wildly enthusiastic about, expressed the general view that you should not have to do things you do not want to, and that everybody should be able to do their "own thing". The f i n a l point of Paul's paragraph echoes a value that very nearly everybody expressed, and expressed very strongly — that i s admiring people with principles. Some of these examples may be unusual, but i t is this same thing — principledness — which is valued. " I admire Link Hayes in the 'Mod Squad', not because he's a good actor, but because h e ' l l defend what he believes i n . " " I don't l i k e Jerry Rubin — I don't l i k e people without a sense of responsibility, or morals, or scruples." "Dr. McClure — he's the head of the United Church — he wants to go to the Far East and work in hospitals there free. He used to work in China as a missionary...he hasn't sold out — he s t i l l believes i n the same things he believed i n when he was a young man....Bennett's sold out everything just to stay in power. I've actually met him, and talked to him, and I guess he's the one guy I could say who I really hate. I don't l i k e people who don't t e l l the truth." "Gene McCarthy, Dr. Spock, I really admire people who would give up everything for what they believe i n . " "One person who I really admire is Abbie Hoffman — i n a way he's an asshole — but he goes 79 through with his ideas. Angela Davis too, whether she's right or not. She goes through with what she believes." Illustrating exactly the same point were, of course, a l l the people they could think of who they did not l i k e . Nixon came i n a comfortable winner here, followed by Spiro Agnew, followed by Bennett. "I don't l i k e most politicians — they don't have integrity and honesty." "Politicians are two faced." "They're manipulated by other people." The total scorn with which the vast majority of politicians were regar-ded is very interesting indeed. That the leaders of established soc-iety, and i n real terms, the guardians of i t s values, provided the instantaneous and most obvious source of adult models who were des-pised i s , to say the least, not without significance. Another inter-esting thing here is the way several people answered this. For example: "I have a hard time hating anyone, out I guess I'd have to say I don't l i k e Richard Nixon. Or the people who started the War — because what they did was wrong." Several people similarly prefaced this with an apologetic qualification — which seemed to indicate an implicit value belief that: hatred i s wrong. The unstated assumptions behind the above quotation seem to be: hatred i s v/rong, I know — but what these people have done is immoral — therefore I have to hate them. On the qualities of people that are valued, the attributes that are admired, the most widely mentioned was, as we have said, principledness. These are some of the more personal qualities that were mentioned as being good. Mary: "I l i k e gentleness, sensitivity, a good sense of humour. I don't l i k e people who are loud, and pushy, 80 who brag a l o t . I don't l i k e people who are always playing games." Linda: "I admire people who are intelligent, knowledgeable — and who can impart that knowledge, who can communicate....! don't l i k e super-f i c i a l people. I know that underneath they're really nice, but with other people they're too frivolous...they act dumb when they're not ...they won't be serious." A boy: "I don't l i k e looking down on peo-ple just because they're not intelligent." Another boy: "I value honesty i n personal relationships. I don't l i k e two-faced people." A g i r l : "I l i k e sincerity In friends. I don't lik e two-faced people. I l i k e people who care, and who think of other people." Wendy: "I don't l i k e insincere people. I don't l i k e phoninese. I don't l i k e people who act differently to different people....I l i k e my father — because he's gentle....I can talk to my mother about anything....My mum missed so much ™ not that she'a dreadfully unhappy or anything — by marrying so early and putting herself into the role of devoting herself to her l i f e and children — you shouldn't l i v e i n the shadow of your partner. I'm starting to think about relationships i n that light — 'cos there's one tiling I don't want to do — that's when you start getting bitter — 'cos, l i k e , nobody's perfect, you know." The main concerns here seem to be sincerity, equality, hon- esty, and people who care. The g i r l s seemed particularly sensitive to ths importance of equality — especially of valuing yourself equally. As Wendy did above, some of them seemed to see i n their own mothers the consequences of not doing so. "Dependent relationships are no good. That's what's wrong with the family," said Diana. A further 81 quality which nobod/ actually stated, but which struck me as very apparent was an emotional openness. This was both a willingness to admit emotion to oneself, and a willingness to express deep concerns and feelings to another person — i n this case me. It was only with two of the boys and one of the g i r l s that I f e l t that there was any amount of emotional reserve; a l l the others surprised me (and delighted me) with their honesty and their willingness to open themselves. Emo-tions, both among the g i r l s and the boys, seemed to be something which in principle should be admitted and not repressed. Of course i n everyday l i f e this i s not often done — but the:lr belief seemed to be that one should be able to, and at certain times willing to. One person, who's father was a psychiatrist and who they saw infrequently, said that when he starts "playing psychiatrist...it bothers me. I'm perfectly willing to drop my mask for people — but I don't want having i t pried off." Although, i n general, they seemed to have some very strong, and i n most cases well thought out and articulated values, very few seemed to have "models" of what they wanted to become. This would stand in very strong contrast to the Douvan and Adelson study, i n which most had very distinct models of what they wanted to become. This puzzled me at f i r s t — to have strong values and yet not know what you want to be. They did however have models of what they did not want — and most could name people or lif e s t y l e s that they did not l i k e . A great many examples of these have been quoted already. It may be that there are no positive models for them at the moment, or at least, only very 82 vague ones. Perhaps they w i l l be going through an analogous process to that which Keniston's interviewees f e l t they went through. That is they did not set out to become (in their case) "radicals", they just went about doing what they did, and ended up finding themselves regarded by others, and then by themselves, as ''young radicals". Thus in effect they created the model — themselves. Once that was done of course, everybody else could take short cuts and become "rad-i c a l s " quickly — because they had a model to follow. At the moment, and for the kids I'm talking about, there are no long-term or " l i f e " models. Perhaps these are s t i l l being forged by the "generation" ahead of them — which now has perhaps no more than a five year start. There exist, to be sure, components of possible models — these are the values I've been talking about i n this section — what remains to be done ( i f It can be done at a l l ) i s to tie these components together i n a new, viable, long-term l i f e style. A process i n some way related to that of finding models, such that by seeing them one can change oneself, is the much smaller scale one of coming across new concepts which are seen as relevant to oneself, and which can thus be used to change oneself or further one's (self-) knowledge. A very good example is Mary's when she read a cer-tain book: "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test was really fascinating to read because i t showed me a way of l i f e I'd never even dreamed of. 1' Because someone else had, in a sense, dreamed i t up for her, she was now able to see that new things were possible — and her subsequent self-changes were not unaffected by this. In a similar sort of way 83 Diana saw something new was possible, and "at fourteen I came out from being straight." Previously, "I was very straight and did whatever Seventeen magazine said," but something (unfortunately I never got round to finding out what) gave her a new set of concepts — and she changed herself. Heather was at some stage given a new (for her) synthesizing concept which "made sense" of certain things and by which she was able to change herself. "I used to be hyper-tense, and I didn't l i k e myself....Someone fi n a l l y told me — 'slow down, you're too speedy' — I'd never grasped, thought of this concept before....It's a matter of creating your own kind of order — you have to learn to shut cer-tain things out." As a result of this she f e l t she had been able, quite considerably and very suddenly, to change herself. Linda, certainly the most intellectual of a l l those I talked to, talked about how t h r i l l i n g i t was on occasions reading a book and "coming across some new enlightening concept I'd never thought of before." In concluding this long and d i f f i c u l t section — two ad hoc observations on the sources of many of the models, values, ideas, and so on that occurred here. The f i r s t i s that the f i e l d of music provi-ded a great deal. A great many pop musicians were quoted as admired people — Elton John, James Taylor, Phil Ochs, John Hartford, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin, etc. I've made a claim already for the crucial importance of pop music to young people (including, I emphasize again, "straight" kids), and I take this as further evidence of this. One of the reasons for i t s enormous influence i s that i t obviously has great emotional power — several when asked what things really moved them cited music — certain musicians, certain songs. 84 Lcrtaiu parts of pop ousic were clearly able to crystallize, represent, and express, a great many of their own strongly f e l t emotions and ideals. Furthermore the "ideas'' of certain song.- were sometimes quoted and obviously used to :,maxe sense" of things. ''I'm a great believer in the Circle Game i t ' l l a l l happen, i t ' l l a l l work out. People die, things are lost, and the ci r c l e just keeps going and l i f e goe3 on", said Heather. Sue did not make i t clear that she t>as referring to a song called ''The Circle Jama''.by Joni Mitchell •-- she just assumed, without thinking about i t that I knew the song and i t s lyrics and ful l y understood what she was talking about. Being not too old myself of course I did. The second ad hoc observation ou the sources of things cited a ere. is that an extraordinary amount of i t was American — that i s , from the tailed States. The language some of them used — and which is used in places in some of this tnesis, is something that spread up from, mainly, California a few years ago — "straight 1', "trip'', '"heavy'1, "far cut : i, etc., etc. The ideas many people expressed — similarly I think. And the people that were admired, or otherwise, were peruana 90% of them iuuerican too. Whereas the influence of pop music on ideas and so on would be o^^tning that is quite distinctly different from the estab-lished or wider society, receiving influences from the United States, i s , I think, something that is shared with the wider society. Whether they are the same shared American influences i s , of cour&w, entirely another matter. 85 The Mass Media " — Can I ask you now a few questions on what are generally called the mass media. — How much would you guess you watch television? Every night? For how many hours? Only at weekends? Or what? — Bo you watch only when i t happens to be on, or are there spe-c i f i c things that you try not to miss? Favorite programs? — What do you think of television i n general? — Do you get a newspaper i n your house, or get to see one now and again? Which? — Do you ever read the Ann Landers/Dear Abby column? What do you think of that? — [IF "THE SUN"J Do you ever read Bob Hunter at all? What do you think of him? — Do you ever read the Georgia Straight? What do you think of that? What do your parents think of it? — How much would most young people your age read, or sympathize with, say, the Georgia Straight, do you think? — Do you think most young people get their opinions, or ways of looking at things, from the television, newspapers, etc.?" The purpose of this section was to get some idea of how they related to the mass media, what parts of i t were lik e l y to be most i n -fluential on them, how they reacted to certain opinions (e.g., those of Bob Hunter), and so on. I think now I was not really explicit enough i n 86 what I wanted to find out, and this section only really skims over the surface of a very complicated subject. Trying to understand the com-plex cross-causal effects, relationships, influences, images, etc., of the mass media is a very tricky undertaking, and I have not really attempted i t here. A l l this section i s really then, is a partial des-cription of what they were exposed to, some of their opinions on i t , and a few observations. Fi r s t of a l l everybody watched television. Even those that claimed they did not — when they were questionned more closely i t was clear they did sometimes. The most common amount of time that they seemed to watch was,when we worked i t out, between 11/2 and 2 hours a day. Some watched more at weekends, the very active ones watched less, and those i n Grade 12 seemed to feel that they had watched television quite a l o t less during this f i n a l year because of work pressures. Interestingly they nearly a l l thought, to varying degrees, that the standard of television was i n general pretty bad. They watched i t — but they were almost apologetic about i t . "Yeah, I watch television — even though I know there are better things to do. I find myself watching the junkiest programs, and not knowing why I'm doing i t . I guess I watch about 2 to 3 hours a day. (Pause). I feel myself quite sort of hemmed i n by i t . " Most of them watched either be-cause i t was just part of their "routine", or just "to relax". To my surprise they could quote very few favorite programs — and without my even asking there were more programs cited that they thought were lousy. 87 Diana: "I rarely watch. Don't have any favorite programs. Televi-sion i s ridiculous — programs l i k e 'The Flying Nun' — idiot things l i k e that." Documentaries, especially the Tuesday night documentary, were the only programs that several people mentioned as being their favorites. However there was quite a distinct current of the very op-posite opinion among three others. Bob who had been giving me some extraordinarily intelligent and perceptive things earlier i n the inter-view, said: "I watch T.V. for entertainment...1 guess about 1 to 2 hours a day, i n the evening. I don't watch things l i k e the news. I li k e movies best — but I can't see the point of making movies with sad endings — movies are for entertainment....Documentaries, I can't stand." Wayne: "Yeah, quite a b i t , I watch i t . About 2 hours a day. I l i k e movies, but I don't have any favorite programs....It's a good past-time. Television should just be for enjoyment — I don't l i k e documentaries and stuff." And Gerie: "I don't watch T.V. much — I'm never at home — I watch i t to calm down from school [HOW MUCH?] Oh, I watch i t for about 3 hduiss a day...I don't have any favorite programs — I l i k e things that aren't too heavy — nothing you have to concen-trate on....In general I think i t ' s made for a 4 year old — I don't think i t ' s terribly good. (Pause) But I think i t should be Just to relax." In general, though, they watched television and knew at the same time that a lot of i t was bad and did not have to be. Essentially, \ they seemed to watch i t because i t was there. They did not have favorite 88 programs — more often quite the opposite — and seemed to watch because i t held their attention enough to stop them having to think about structuring some other activity. "I watch T.V. just to relax, I sup-pose. Though some of i t makes me sick — i t ' s so ridiculous, so dumb ....I l i k e the news best, but no, I don't have any favorite programs." Paul, because I think i t helped get him away from his oppressive home l i f e , was one of the few who could state his favorite programs: "I l i k e U.F.O. —because i t doesn't have any bearing on l i f e today, i kind of l i k e to associate myself with Steed, i n the Avengers, too....I l i k e cartoons — because they're a fantasy world." Most watched, because i t was oh, because everybody else that they had any knowledge of at a l l , watched. They took i t for granted that I watched too. Somebody said, i n explanation of a point: "I watch Dark Shadows, you know (Laugh)." Unfortunately the significance of this was completely lost on me. Without undue exaggeration i t seemed very much as i f their television watching was a form of alienation — an activity done for several hours a day which they f e l t somewhat ambi-valent about. Heather seems to have thought about television. "I don't watch T.V. Only when I'm babysitting. It's dangerous. It sucks me i n too easily." They a l l got newspapers i n the house — eleven of them The Sun, and three The Province. This was lucky, because I happen to be much more familiar with The Sun. A few of them also got, periodicals — Punch, National Geographic, Psychology Today, Star Weekly. In the newspaper 89 everybody read the comics — and usually a few other sections or pages, depending on what their main interest was. For instance, people who did a lot of sports — the sports page. Mary — the arts section, and Linda — virtually everything. Only a couple anything l i k e tried to cover a l l of i t . I suppose I had seen Ann Landers and Bob Hunter as representing two very contrasting ideologies, and I was interested to see what their reactions to these two columns were. In fact, i t was not much. Ann Landers was "interesting" and i n addition for some also "inane", " r i -diculous", "old-fashioned", but I do not really think most saw her as representing a particular ideology. (I am not implying here that they should have done.) Bob Hunter was read by far fewer; some thought he was very good, and some thought he was Interesting, but "goes overboard sometimes". Heather said-of his column: "I try, but he's heavy — li k e he's eternally heavy — he depresses me." (Which, Bob Hunter might say, la exactly the point of some of the things he writes about.) Unfortunately (for me) none of those who might have disagreed with his general viewpoint read him at a l l . The Georgia Straight was rather more interesting. Everybody had looked at i t at one time or another, though only a couple did so now regularly. A few thought i t was merely amusing (the classified ads, and the cartoons), a few did not l i k e i t at a l l , but the most generally expressed opinion was that i t "used to be good", but that i t had "gone downhill'', "deteriorated", "got too extremist". Now as I understand the Georgia Straight from my own reading of i t over the past two years, 90 two processes have taken place: one Is that i t has indeed deteriorated — i t has lost some of i t s freshness and the integrity of i t s report-ing i s not what i t used to be; secondly, and by no means necessarily related to this, i s that the balance of the paper has changed from a predominantly drop-out, commune-building, peace-and-love, "hippie" t r i p , to a predominantly hard-line p o l i t i c a l revolutionary, and i f necessary violent, t r i p . Both may have always been present, but the balance has changed I think. My interviewees either did not relate to the "revolu-tionary" philosophy at a l l , or they did not l i k e i t . At any rate, i n general they did not li k e the Georgia Straight any more. This attitude seemed to be entirely i n l i n e with their general orientation, which was that of not being very enamoured with the Institutional structure of established society, and i n some instances being very articulately c r i t i c a l of i t . For themselves, however, what i t seemed they wanted to do was not confront this head on and try and change i t — but rather avoid i t almost altogether and try somehow to carve out one's own niche in the Interstices. This, i n my opinion, is what most of the data on these high school students' orientation to the future has been showing. I think i t i s beyond dispute that the mass media are very i n -fluential on people's attitudes, values, and so on — and they a l l seemed to be pretty well aware of this. What the exact nature of this relationship i s , i s , as I said at the beginning of this section, some-thing I feel I cannot cope with here. What i s certain i s that i t i s not straightforward, causal influence. Although I did not ask i t (I could 91 think of no way to phrase i t without i t being a leading question), several people in just generally talking about the media showed that they saw quite clearly that i t was not "objective". That i s , although they were highly exposed to television, newspapers, etc., they knew enough not to take them at face value. One boy, for instance, mentioned that he'd noticed a couple of years ago that Canadian reporting of the Vietnam war was distorted to give i t a pro-American bias. A g i r l , with relatives i n the Middle East, saw that the Arab/Israeli War was dealt with one-sidedly by the media, and said that "people are only given information from one side of i t — so they don't make f a i r judgements." Another c r i t i c i z e d the Sun for pretending to be "objective", by dishing up "facts" — whereas in fact " i t ' s just trying to influence you". I think, then, that although probably a good deal "soaked i n " that they were not aware of, they did have a reasonably sophisticated appreciation of the media. In a sense, television especially, gave them images of what they did not want. An extremely larga amount of Cana-dian television and newspaper content is primarily American. The tele-vision i n particular has countless programs and series, which are watched a great deal, which seem to be made in and around Los Angeles and which are riddled with the images and assumptions of the surburban middle-class l i f e - s t y l e . Many of the advertisements similarly emphasize the same ideal. As w i l l be clear from the next section, to be American was what they did not want, and as I hope has been clear from preceding sections, the suburban middle-class l i f e style was what they did not want either. To a large extent I think i t is not unfair to say that the 92 situation i n Vancouver i s that there i s very l i t t l e culturally rich mass media available here. You can pick at the fringes and find some excellent things, but the general offering is rather impoverished. In some way most of these kids seem to be at least vaguely aware of this, and although, as I say, they almost certainly are influenced here in ways they do not realise, they have an essentially dismissive attitude towards the mass media. They are subjected to i t , alright — but they do not lik e i t . Two l i t t l e points that cannot be f i t t e d into the main flow of the argument: one is that many of them were aware from recent ar-ticles i n the newspapers that university graduates are finding i t very hard to get suitable employment — and because they had picked up on this fact, and mentioned i t , I am sure i t was not without influence, on their thinking about, their own future and position in society; two is that someone from the Interior told me recently that because of the reporting of Simon Fraser University i n the small town papers a l l the high school kids who wanted to go to university were definitely aiming at U.B.C. — because they regarded Simon Fraser as being populated entirely by "revolutionaries" and "hippies". Cultural Images " — Now I'd l i k e to ask you what you think about the meanings of certain words or phrases — quite straightforward ones. Try and describe them, t e l l me what they convey to you. 93 — O.K. — "Science and Technology" — how do you think of that? — What words would you use to describe and contrast "Child" and "Adult"? -- What does the word "Adolescence" mean to you? What is an "adolescent"? — What about the word "Career" — what does that convey to you? •. — What about the word "Success" — what does i t mean "to be a \ success"? * — What do you see the difference as being between a Canadian high school student and an American high school student — or an American and a Canadian In general, i f you like? (* This question tended to drop the "high school student" specification in the later interviews, because i t was not getting anywhere.) This i s a strange l i t t l e section, admittedly. The idea of i t grew out of something Keniston said i n I960. He said that one of the reasons "why young people are increasingly unwilling to accept what their culture offers them" and why "the youth who does accept adult roles with enthusiasm and without hesitation i s now the exception", i s because of the gap between the cultural images of a child (immediate, spontaneous, genuine) and an adult (abstract, specialized, conformist). In other words he is saying that the image of adulthood i s so humanly unappealing compared to that of childhood. I thought i t would be inter-esting, and not irrelevant to my main concerns, to try and find out whether the empirical assertion he makes i s true. The idea of "cultural 94 Images" also tempted me to throw in a few more I thought might be Inter-esting. Hence this section. It seemed to me, though i t is something I have no empirical proof of, that the cultural image of "science and technology" had changed i n a very few years from something that fostered feelings of approval (to say the least), to something that causes feelings of great ambivalence. The responses I got ranged from neutral, through wary, to outrightly hostile. Glenn: "I think of laboratories, a bunch of test tubes... neither a bad or-a good feeling to i t . " Bob: "Men i n white coats, test tubes — something I don't want to do. It's productive, but It's got to be curbed." John: "People experimenting — kind of cut off from everything else," Another boy: "In a way bad — slightly threatening." Diana: "Bad. I don't l i k e the idea of 'progress* at a l l . " And Judy: "Ugh! — I don't like those words, I really don't. It sounds too edu-cated and hard — i t sounds...I...1 wouldn't wanna do i t . I think of 'academic', 'technical' — i t sounds dead — I don't l i k e i t . It sounds bad." (What a beautiful response!) Two people Immediately s p l i t up the phrase. Heather: "The 'science' part strikes me. as very Important, but the 'technology' part I turn down. I associate i t too much with pollution." Linda: "Well I think 'science' i s good — pure research and so on — but technology is doubtful, dangerous even. It produces problems. It's rather fright-ening." Nobody was positive about the expression. I strongly suspect that i f the same question were asked only five years ago, i t would have 95 produced very different responses Indeed. I may be wrong, but I sup-port that this i s one area where there has been a big upheaval of social attitudes during the 1960s. The Adult-Child question sometimes drew a blank, and sometimes merely a neutral response, that indicated preference for neither. Linda: "An adult i s simply what a child becomes." Two people refused to admit the distinction — Diana: "I don't l i k e the labels 'adult' and 'child'." Wayne was the only one who saw "adult" as being "better" than child, and only three people anything l i k e conformed to Keniston's belief here. One g i r l said: "Probably the happiest people are just l i t t l e kids." John: "The contrast i s i n age and power. 'Child' i s kind of less aware — even happier. 'Adult' i s a fear of awareness, yet wanting to be aware — maybe confusion." And Heather: "'Child' represents a l l that's simple and innocent — 'Adult* kind of taints i t . I can dig the word 'child' more." Interestingly, these last three were on the other end of the scale from "straight" (whatever the word for that i s — and i f i t is a scale). I would guess that Keniston's point — n o t a very important one i n actual fact — i s wrong here. Among these students i t was those who were closest to the "counter-culture" who bore Keniston out — and of course, the "counter-culture" did not really exist i n 1960 when Keniston said i t . "Adolescent" produced more definite, and uniform, reactions. Either they did not l i k e the things they associated as going with i t , or they did not l i k e the word at a l l and tended not to want to be asso-ciated with i t . Paul: "An adolescent i s someone who is old enough to 96 get into adult troubles, but not old enough to enjoy adult pleasures. Sex is a big source of frustration for adolescents. I'd l i k e to see the ideas on sex change." Wayne: "It's a confused teenager. I think the word would bother me i f somebody called me an adolescent." Linda: "A time of not really knowing, in between, not really sure of what you're doing or where you're going, or anything — l i k e me, right now." Diana: "I hate that word — l i k e 'teenager' too — i t makes me feel cut i n half." Judy: "The most horrible time i n a person's l i f e — because i t ' s when they have to decide everything, and i t ' s a big pres-sure.... It's the worse thing that could ever happen to anyone." And Heather; "Ghhl I hate that word — I just hate i t ~ Ohh! It makes me think of 'gawky' — dirty fingernails — greasy hair. If anybody calls me an adolescent I just cringe." "Career" was interesting. On the whole i t drew negative or blank reactions, and most did not want to be associated with i t . For example, Bob: "I don't view my own future i n these terms", and another boy: "It sounds l i k e a job — something you have to do." There have been many examples on this already quoted in other contexts. Three of them, however, did have some positive feelings about i t : Linda, who was nevertheless questioning i t , and the boy and g i r l who had much closer to what I have called a "traditional" ideology. Linda: "I have a good Image of i t . It's something to work for, and that can be very enjoyable...(but) a career can get to be too much....I'm questioning at the moment whether i t ' s necessary to have a career." Wayne: "Sort 8 97 of positive." And Judy: "For boys, i t ' s their whole l i f e ' s work." I had been trying throughout the interviews to establish whether the necessity of having a career was an unquestioned assumption. To a degree that really surprised me, i t was clearly not. For the most part they did not — and the boys are particularly relevant here, of course —• see their future as necessarily including a "career". "Success" was similarly something that had been thought about. Judy, once again, different from most of the others i n the way she talked about this; for her, "a job, marriage, and a family, equals 'success'." Nearly a l l the others were either negative about the word, or immediately made i t clear that there were different c r i t e r i a for "success". Heather: "It doesn't do anything to me." Diana: "There isn't really any such thing." And John: "Well, I think i t is impor-tant to make something of yourself — but not necessarily by other people's standards. If you're satisfied i n yourself, I think that's enough." And another boy, the one who is going to be a teacher, and who I ' l l c a l l Terry, said: "It depends what you mean by success. I don't consider making $200,000 and si t t i n g out on Marine Drive a suc-cess — I mean, personally, I think i t ' s a kind of failure — because you've accumulated 200,000 that other people w i l l never get....I want something stimulating, where you can feel you're accomplishing some-thing." For most of them then, their ideas of what constituted a suc-cessful l i f e had been thought about and were perhaps rather different from those of established society. I think they were probably different 98 from those of high school students a decade ago as well. Certainly one of the noticeable features of the U.B.C. students Douglas inter-viewed was that they were .going to "face the facts of lif e . . . a s defined in the adult culture." One of the most crucial things about most of the students I dealt with was that they did not automatically accept many of the definitions of the adult culture. From the f i n a l question of this section came the very dis-tinct general negative image they had of Americans. Although when asked to be specific, the things they did not l i k e about America were very often exactly the same things they did not l i k e about some parts of Canadian society, most of them definitely had a generalized a t t i -tude that i t would not be at a l l unfair to c a l l anti-American. John: "I don't l i k e Americans too much. They're more loyal to their country than Canadians — maybe more propagandized (phewl), conditioned." Heather: "Canadians are more individuals. They're not mpatriotic. [IS THAT GOOD?] — Yes.; They're less uptight than Americans too." A boy: "Things are much tenser In the States — the police are bad — everybody feels they have to do everything so fast." Judy: "Canadians are much more friendly than Americans — more relaxed. Americans are sadistic, aggressive, too material, too unfriendly.", The boy who had originally moved up from the States with his parents saw i t differently, however. "There are no differences between Americans and Canadians —• but most Canadians don't want to admit i t . They'd l i k e to think there are differences, but there aren't." One 99 other boy expressed a similar opinion with more precision: "The d i f -ference between Canadians and Americans i s that most Canadians don't l i k e Americans." Wendy was the only other one who did not seem to have any edge of anti-Americanism: "I don't have any different images of Americans and Canadians — though I did used to be terribly preju-diced against Americans when I was much younger." The anti-American attitude that most of them had seemed to be a mixture of several things. Partly i t was an attitude shared with the wider society; partly i t was a generalized h o s t i l i t y to that country for specific things which, i n fact, they also c r i t i c i z e d their own society for; and partly i t seemed to be affected by the recent growing feeling of the importance of Canadianism, and the crucial necessity of defining one's national identity by emphasizing the precious differences that made one distinct from such a powerful and proximate other. "Young People", Change i n Society, and Conclusion " — Do you think that adults, older people, think about things as much as young people? — Do they get upset about things as much? — Do you think they're happier/unhappier? — Would you say that i n general older people practise what they preach — that i s , act according to the things they say they believe in? Examples? A l l adults? — Are young people different i n this respect do you think? 100 — Do you feel that when you're 25-30, say, you'll be happier, etc.? — Why (not)? In what way? — Are you reasonably satisfied with l i f e — the world around you — society? — Are there things that should be changed? Can they be? How? What? — Do you feel powerless to change things? Or do you feel that young people can eventually change things for the better? How? — This i s kind of d i f f i c u l t , but some of the things we've been talking about...what things do you think have influenced your views, or been important i n forming them? — parents, T.V., school, friends, you yourself, etc.? — I've been asking you a l l these questions, do you want to turn the tables and ask me about anything now?" The aim here was to get some idea of how they saw themselves in relation to the rest of society. Several of the questions aim i n -directly at whether they have any consciousness of belonging to "young people" as a group. That i s , whether they see any sense of special-ness about themselves together i n their relationship to the rest of society. I anticipated, with ideas l i k e "the counter culture" i n my head, that at least for those kids who leaned i n this direction, this would i n fact be the case. In addition I tried to get at least a rough idea about whether they saw the necessity for any social changes, and whether they saw "young people" as being possibly a hopeful producer 101 of such change. The last two questions here were what I wound the interview up with, though i n fact a l l of them went on a b i t longer than this — some by a few minutes, some by quite a long time. These are some of the things Terry said that were relevant here. "I think that nowadays things are changing...the whole generation, I think, has changed. It was a real rut i n the 1950s — a really stag-nant society...I think our generation are actually thinking about some-thing. It's rather lik e a new Romantic Age...it's pretty well the whole generation — a really profound change....The Beatles were very impor-tant here....One result of i t a l l has been a trend away from sciences among young people....This change among young people may be corrupted, of course — I mean the big record companies cashing i n on music — i t ' s just a big sellout — we're being used, and our views are being used....We need a revival of thinking i n our society — even the young people want to tear everything down and don't want to be constructive — they're either destructive or isolationist — you know, the'living off the land' trip....We need a revitalization of everything." Heather also obviously had a similar sort of paradigm here, talking about the "new awareness fostered by drugs" and so on, and Wayne seemed to have some diffuse feeling for this toos "Well, i f older people are happier they don't seem to show it....Younger people are more apt to do the sort of things they enjoy. Older people are con-cerned about status, and younger people are just doing their own sort of thing...[IS THAT BETTER?] Yes, I think so." 102 Apart from these three cases where there seemed to be a def-inite consciousness of young people as being "together", there was not, however, this feeling among the rest. Indeed I was surprised at how strongly most of them did not want to be identified with "young people", and how many hostile remarks they made about them. There were two types of derogatory remarks, however: one was aimed by some at those young people who were "like sheep" and "just l i k e their parents", and the other was aimed by (usually) others at those young people who thought they were special and so on, but i n fact were not. Diana said: "Most students are so damn docile." Heather said: "Most people i n my own age group are extremely — bleah! — uninteresting — l i k e sheep — no personality." Linda said i t was depressing how many young Americans admired Spiro Agnew. And a boy said: "Too many young people are gonna be just l i k e ^heir fathers." This same boy, however, said: "I think a lot of long haired people are just greasy punks — and very few that are really, you know, doing what they say." Bob said: "Older people have had a lot of ex-perience, they know what w i l l work, and they're much more r e a l i s t i c than young people. The trend among young people i s to be i d e a l i s t i c about everything, and I'm not. Most of them don't really believe what they say they believe....A l o t of people here at school are extremely phony. They say things that sound impressive — you know, hippie, radical, anti-American — they l i k e to think of themselves as radicals, but they aren't really." John was also quite cynical here: "A l o t of kids sometimes 103 think about things and say things just so people w i l l say — 'Oh! You're thinking about things!'." Bob should be distinguished from the other two i n this paragraph, by the way, i n that he says he i s not id e a l i s t i c (and indeed many of his beliefs were quite conservative), and the other two certainly were concerned with ideals, and were any-thing but conservative. So, i n general, the view most of them had of the situation was thus: most young people are a large, "straight", undifferentiated mass; another segment think they are special, different, principled, etc. — but i n reality are not; and some — relatively few — young people (in-cluding oneself, of course) are principled, different, etc. Now this is an idealized picture because a couple of them did see young people as being a special group, a couple were what might be called "conven-tional" and did not think about any of this i n any of these terms, and a couple were such completely original people that they cpuld not cate- ' gorize anyone else or be so categorized themselves. Given this gener-alized picture though (which is that of over half of them), what are the implications? Well, I would have to admit some measure of agreement with this picture. In other words, there are a l o t of average, nice, ordi-nary, conventional high school students; there are also many who have the "trappings" of something else — very long hair, dope-smoking, etc.; and I think many of those I interviewed were cut of the ordinary in i n -telligence, home background, personality, etc. But this does not mean 104 that they were a l l totally unique. In fact, far from i t ; I have been trying throughout this thesis to show that to quite a large extent, most of them had markedly common concerns, beliefs, values, outlooks — and I have been trying to specify them. Moreover, I do not think those I talked to were so special; from knowing a great deal more than just these 14 I would say that a very large number shared, or were strongly Influenced by, this ideology. These values, etc., were certainly in a sense "counter" to the main culture — but did they constitute them-selves a culture — a "counter-culture"? Especially i n view of the fact that most of them did not wish to be identified with a distinct social group, such as "young p e o p l e " — could i t possibly be called a culture? Now the Interesting thing about this set or constellation of beliefs i s that It does contain a very definite prescription to be individualistic, be yourself, realize your own uniqueness, and "do your own thing." In other words, these is a rule i n this set of rules which says: do not be bound by rules. If one accepts this rule, one roust deny being l i k e , or being influenced by other "young people". The tendency would obviously therefore be not to see oneself as conforming to a particular social group. There were many unique things about each of the people I talked to, but most of them also had a lot of com-mon values and attitudes. What i s more, these values were common to a lot of others i n the school, I think. The fact that becauseof this they also had the "be individualistic" prescription explains, I think, 105 why so many of them did not want to be identified with a particular group. To what extent a l l this can be called a "counter-culture", I w i l l deal with i n the next section. I have been generalizing here about whether and in what way they had a conception of young people as being somehow "together". These are a sample of answers to the specific questions that were asked. "Older people are a l o t more two-faced than younger — espe-c i a l l y over sex, for example. They put things out of their mind more....You can't generalize about whether they're happier or not." Heather: "Young people aren't unhappier — just angrier — over Vietnam, for instance." Diana: "I think sex i s a big problem for young people. At this age you're really hung-up about your body....but I don't think older or younger people are happier — they've both got different kinds of problems....I don't know whether I ' l l be happier when I'm older, or not." Wendy: "I feel a l o t of older people don't — think about things — but I don't l i k e to say i t because, you know, the generation gap..." Paul: "Older people are just as sensitive — they're probably unhappier — because they have more worries and less pleasure." And Judy: "It's not as important to have close friends later i n l i f e , because the pres-sures then are enjoyable pressures...I hope I ' l l be happier when I'm older." On the necessity of changes, Bob was the only one who said outright that nothing need to be: "Social unrest w i l l iron i t s e l f out — just peter out, just disappear." Nearly everybody else could think of something they'd lik e changed, especially schools — which 106 came In for a lot of criticism. Most of them did not know how social change could be brought about though, and f e l t more or less powerless. Nobody f e l t that young people by themselves could actually bring about any effective changes. Two of them, John and Terry, had some sort of faith i n education as a means of causing change, and two of them, Paul and Linda, mentioned p o l i t i c a l means. Linda had faith i n institutional change and put her trust i n organizations l i k e the Company of Young Canadians, and C.U.S.O., and Paul i t was who f e l t that "the human race has to be kicked i n the ass before i t does something" and who i f he had unlimited money might go into po l i t i c s to put the world right (or become a hermit ~- he was not quite sure). X think this general feeling of powerlessness i n the face of marked awareness of things wrong (either because of having no ideas on how to make change, or no hope of being able to) might be an important factor in explaining their already mentioned, attitude of avoidance, with respect to established society. Clearly Keniston's young radicals in 1967 had very distinct, and by no means outrageous, ideas on how to bring about change. The Vietnam War (among a whole host of other things — but I actually think this was the single most important factor i n social change in North America in the 1960s) — the Vietnam War In 1971 s t i l l goes on, i n spite of years of earnest and whole-hearted attempts to stop i t , and the reaction seems to have been in some ways forked. Some have become more miiitantly revolutionary (the Georgia Straight, for example), and some, while disliking almost the same things, have 107 opted for avoidance: i f you can't l i c k 'em, don't have anything to do with them. The wind-up of each interview often had some interesting l i t t l e things. Their enthusiasm often reminded me of a sentence that stuck i n my head from somewhere, to the effect that adolescents these 28 days are starved of sensible adult conversation. Certainly their readiness to respond to and with serious discussion was very apparent — and very gratifying. One of Keniston's interviewees had said to him: "You were received as you were because you were seen immediately 29 as an honest man with good questions." I tried to keep tills in mind. Diana: "I really enjoyed this. A l l these thoughts are whizzing round i n your head — but i t ' s not often you have a chance to s i t down and talk about them." John; "Are you getting enough of the sort of quiet people? The majority are the ones who don't ever say anything, you know." Wendy: "I'm really grateful to my parents, you know — be-cause they didn't impose values. You know they just — kind of l e t you work i t out. So many kids don't know how to think about things. I'm trying to work my own values out myself." Heather: "Anyone that comes here with long hair has got i t made...." 108 IDEOLOGIES I now want to take two.tfiole interviews and show how they rep-resent two very different ideologies. The f i r s t i s with Wayne, who to me very much has a "traditional" ideology; and the second is with Heather, who has what I w i l l c a l l the "new" ideology. I then want to claim that the direction of cultural change among young people i s from the f i r s t to the second. They should both be read with the earlier descriptions of the works of Douglas, Douvan and Adelson, Goodman, Keniston (i960), and to some extent, Coleman, in mind. These are not total transcripts — t w o hours of conversation for each would be far too long i n transcript form — but they are accurate notes taken from the tape recordings of each. If necessary this paragraph here can be skipped at f i r s t , since i t contains implicit "instructions" on how to read the notes. Wayne was i n a sense a "deviant" from the group of students I inter-viewed, though he was almost certainly not so from perhaps the majority of high school students in the province. Most of the main generaliza-tions and conclusions I have been drawing throughout the sections on the interviews did not i n fact apply to him. He was consistently d i f -ferent from much of i t . The only other person who resembled his a t t i -tudes at a l l , was Judy — who was also I think in the "traditional" mould. Wayne had intelligence, but i t had never been allowed to blossom 109 f u l l y . A stalemate situation at home had denied him an environment for growth there and had made him rather much withdraw into himself. He had not become involved i n sufficiently strong other social environ-ments which might have provided him with the encouragement and stimula-tion that could have produced real personal development. He was not s k i l l f u l l y articulate, but he certainly tried. Of a l l the interviewees I knew him least well when I asked him i f he would help me out, but he was inquisitive, asked questions, and was Interested. Wayne He i s going to do engineering at U.B.C. "It's just that i f I had to stay i n a job a long time, i t ' s just that engineering's the sort of thing I wouldn't mind staying with...I couldn't s i t i n an office just writing a l l day." He does not know any adult who is an engineer. He is very interested i n i t . He says there are good jobs available with i t . He's "never given too much thought" to exactly what job he w i l l do afterwards. Builds radios and stereos as a hobby. [IMPORTANT TO PLAN THE FUTURE OUT?] "It sort of seems so — everyone keeps telling me i t i s . " But i t is better "not to be pushed too much — or you might go into something you might not l i k e . " "High pay" and "Interest in the work i t s e l f " — most important reasons for choosing a job. "Status" unimportant. '"Meeting peo-ple' and 'Travel' might appeal to me, but I don't see that my job has got anything to do with them." He does not know whether there are plenty of satisfying jobs around — " i t depends on the person." no (He was one of the only ones who rated "High pay" as one of his reasons for choosing a job. His idea of a job i s such that "Meet-ing people" and "Travel" — both mentioned a lot by other people — cannot be related to i t . He does not seem to have any conception of the society creating the sorts of jobs.) He'd l i k e to move out of home but i t would be too expensive. "I Imagine I w i l l get married, but I've never really given It any thought." No image of an ideal woman — "just so long as she really liked me." "As far as I'm concerned I figure i t ' s my job to sup-port my wife, and i f we have kids, It's her job to look after them." Attitudes to marriage are "more sort of carefree nowadays" — for example, divorces are easier. Doesn't think the "population" talk has had any effect. Is not Interested in i t himself. (Rather vague about marriage — obviously not of great con-cern to him. Conventional view of his own role as husband — markedly different from the way many others talked here. One of the few who had l i t t l e or nothing to say about the "population explosion".) "I wish I didn't have to make something of my l i f e but with my way of thinking I think I do have to....I mean, no matter how you go about i t , work i s sort of going to be a drag. It would be nicer to do what you wanted a l l day — but to do what you want you sort of need money — and have to work for i t . " He likes sailing and skiing and woodwork. "It would be nice to know how things are going to work out, but there's no way of knowing....I find I do worry about that quite a b i t now." Money for university i s his main worry I l l now. "I sort of don't associate with my parents as much as possible — I don't lik e asking them for anything," Possesses radio equip-ment worth thousands of dollars. Does commercial fishing i n the summer, which is very lucrative — earned over $4000 one summer. [OPTIMISTIC OR PESSIMISTIC?J — "a b i t of both....I'd l i k e to think I'm really going to make i t , but i t a l l depends." If he had inde-pendent money — "I'd s t i l l go to school — just for something to do — but I wouldn't have a job. A job to me i s sort of something you're working i n to get money, so that you can do the things you enjoy. And i f you already have the money...." If he could change anything about himself that he wanted — "Oh, a l i t t l e b i t more intelligence would be nice — and to be fantastically attractive to g i r l s . And I'd l i v e by myself — i t bugs me l i v i n g at home." His ideal l i f e - s t y l e would be "exploring the ocean l i k e Jacques Cousteau." He'd l i k e to travel. (Notice the attitude to work — that i t i s inevitably "a drag", and that money i s i t s main raison d'itre. He worries somewhat about his future — in contrast to most of the others. Obviously the home situation i s not too good.) In his spare time he hangs about with his friends quite a b i t , and when he i s by himself messes about with electrical equipment or watches T.V. "I don't read at a l l . " "I don't daydream much — though every now and then I imagine I'm the prime minister of this country and the things I would l i k e to do to change this country." [LIKE WHAT SORT OF THINGS?] "Well there's things that really bother 112 me, l i k e — I don't see why we give foreign aid when there's people i n our country that are i n trouble. And things l i k e income tax — I think i t 3hould be a set figure — say, 10%. I mean, you're going to be making 2 1/2 million, and they're taking over half of i t — I don't think that's right at a l l . " More welfare i s needed for "the people that really can't make out." He has no personal exper-ience of poverty* "I mean, i f I'm earning my 2 1/2 million, I've worked to where I've got, and i f they haven't tried to get farther up, then that's their own fault, I feel — because i t seems that everyone has an opportunity to get somewhere now. I mean, there's grants, and tilings." [OTHER THINGS HE'D LIKE TO CHANGE?] Favors euthanasia, or rather, just letting people who are really sick, just d i e — rather than wasting money keeping them alive l i k e vegetables. (Lots of hobbies. Fairly conservative p o l i t i c a l views — unlike nearly everybody else. The "tax" thing was obviously related to the fact that he had had so much taken away from his gross earnings during summer fishing.) In 10 years' time or so, " I ' l l just be going to a 9-5 job, sort of — i f I got through university i n engineering, sort of thing — making some money." And, yes, probably married with children. Realizes i t i s possible to marry and make a mistake, but he hopes not. Best thing that has ever happened i n his l i f e — getting the fishing job and a l l the money, and a girlfriend he had two years ago. Feels that big companies can write things off to income tax, and i n d i v l -113 duals cannot, and that this Is not f a i r . "Things l i k e General Mo-tors and stuff — I think i t would be better i f the government con-trolled them. I think i t would be better i f everybody worked for everybody, sort of thing." "They should change the provincial Prime Minister every couple of years instead of having Bennett up there for 18 years." The best thing that could ever happen to him —"some fantastic chick coming along who, l i k e , was my ideal." "The worst thing i n general i s my association with my parents — I don't make out too well with them or enjoy l i v i n g at home. They're sort of i n an old path, sort of thing. I happen to think there's nothing wrong with, l i k e , drinking or grass or that sort of thing — and they're sort of ' i f you get caught what w i l l the neighbours thiuk?', sort of thing." The worst thing that could happen would be " i f I was maimed in some way, and couldn't work and make money, and wasn't appealing to g i r l s , sort of thing." (Sees his parents as being old-fashioned. Smokes grass with his frieuds, i n exactly the same sort of social situation as boys beer-drinking together. Enjoys g i r l s , but goes around in a group of boys mainly.) [DO YOU HAVE ANY STRONG FEELINGS ABOUT WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN LIFE, WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT?] — "Money seems to be the important thing i n l i f e — i t seems to matter. That apart, just sexual drives, I guess. [WHAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO YQU IN YOUR LIFE AS IT IS NOW?] — A group of about six friends — "If I didn't have friends 114 I don't know what I'd do." He was really upset about a g i r l once for tso months or ao. " A l l these things you're asking about — i f I were asking myaelf i t ' d bo sort of something I'd have to think about before I'd answer, sort of thing." (Everybody else to whom this f i r s t question was asked came up with abstracts or emotions — "human understanding", "love", etc. He obviously did not relate to i t i n terms of values or ideals, because he rarely seemed to think about such things — and came up with "money". The great importance of the group of friends follows Bios' model of "uniformism". Judy was the only other one who similarly was so strongly attached to a peer group. It i s clear from this last quote that he usually does not think about these things. Most of the others were thinking about such things and were familiar with them.) Television — "Yeah, quite a b i t , I watch It. About 2 hours a day. I l i k e movies, but I don't have any favorite programs.... It's a good past-time. Television should be just for enjoyment — I don't like documentaries and stuff." Family gets The Sun — he reads the front page and the comics. The Georgia Straight: "I think i t ' s a really good paper. It's the other half — my parents other half." He likes the fact that i t ' s not against drugs, and has local things i n i t , and people's opinions. "Most people here i n school don't read the Straight.' 8 He would like to be somebody famous — but not anybody i n particular. There i s no-one he really admires. "Although I didn't l i k e Clay, for instance. Hia conceit, sort of 115 thing, really bothered me." Another thing that really bugs him — "A l o t of chicks that are really sensational and sort of know i t and are really snobbish about i t . " (Seems to watch television mainly as a time-filler. Very positive about the Georgia Straight, but i t ' s mainly the drug thing he identifies with and cannot seem to relate to or see any other aspect of i t s philosophy, I tried asking here, but we did not get very far. He seems to recent people who have talent — or at least, those who flaunt i t . ) 'Science and Technology': "I think of laboratories, a bunch of test tubes...neither a good or a bad feeling to i t . " 'Career': "sort of positive." "'Adult' seems better than 'Child'." 'Adoles-cent: "A confused teenager. I think the word would bother me i f somebody called me an adolescent." "Well i f older people are happier they don't seem to show i t . Younger people are more apt to do the sort of things they enjoy. Older people are concerned about status, and younger people are just doing their own sort of thing. [IS THAT BETTER?] "Yes, I think so." "Though i t sort of seems that younger people change when they get older, and there's no difference." He thinks there w i l l be "mild changes a l l the way" In society, but not any big ones. "I think a l l status lines and things l i k e this are gradually going to drop — they're not going to exist." "I'd l i k e to see school change — but I don't have a better idea." "You shouldn't do things you shouldn't want to." Would not want a farmer 116 l i f e - s t y l e — "he doesn't have the comforts that I l i k e . " Thinks that there i s a danger that i n adult l i f e things that are important now w i l l have to be given up. "My attitude to my parents, for sure, has changed the past few years — I'm much more c r i t i c a l now. I've got more re a l i s t l d about chicks too. I'm coming to realize that perfect looks aren't everything." "Well, my parents are probably the biggest influence — but they're either going to shape me for i t , o r against i t — but positive or negative, theirs is the biggest influence." (Paradoxically, although he was definitely a "straight" kid, and w i l l blend i n easily with engineering students at U.B.C., he seemed to have a definite consciousness of young people as being different, i n a new, and homogeneous, sort of way. To htm, young people enjoyed them-selves, smoked grass, and did their own thing, and old people were up-tight and forever worried about status. Unlike many of them, he found the l i f e s t y l e of a farmer distinctly unattractive — for material rea-sons. Sees the adult l i f e ahead of him as slightly threatening, i n contrast to the optimism of most of them. We continued talking for a long time after I had run out of these questions and he questioned me closely on what I was doing with my own l i f e and my own future. My own — genuine — in a b i l i t y to be as specific as he wanted puzzled him. "I can't see the point of spending a l l that money and a l l those years on your education i f you don't know what you're going to do with i t after-wards." We liked each other, but I did not seem to f i t any model he 117 had i n his own head of the sort of things a 25 year-old does. He was very interested, but puzzled.) Compared to the interview that follows, Wayne i s very close to those adolescents that Douvan and Adelson, Douglas, etc., talk about ten years ago. He has what is in the context of this thesis a "tra-ditional" ideology. For him a career is an unquestioned assumption about his future and he i s beginning to construct his Identity round this. His attitude towards his future is not wholly enthusiastic, how-ever, and he i s more or less resigned to the fact that much work is going to be less than fascinating. He does not have an orientation of optimistic openness to i t a l l , and is adopting an attitude of " r i t -ualism" already. His attitudes to marriage are "conventional", and his p o l i t i c a l beliefs are f a i r l y conservative and individualistic — everybody has an opportunity to get ahead. The general orientation to l i f e i s secular, non-Idealistic, and materialistic. He has lots of activities and hobbles to f i l l up time and energy, spends a l o t of time with a peer group of boys, who are obviously very important to him, and he i s not used to reflecting too much about himself. In almost a l l these things he is closer to the "typical" high school students of "a decade ago" and closer to the values of established society, than most of the rest of those I interviewed. (Bear i n mind, though, that at this school now at a very, very rough guess, half the students are also of this "traditional" ideology.) He tends much more than these others to what Keniston characterized i n 1960 as "alienation 118 and apathy." However there are some things here that almost certainly would not have been found ten years ago — the casual use of drugs, a conception of young people as being different and essentially doing their own thing, and the reading of an underground newspaper. (I'd better make i t quite clear, very b r i e f l y , that In case i t appears as i f I have presented him too unsympathetically, this is very far from what I f e l t . His general situation reminded me very forcefully of my own at the same stage of l i f e : disliking school, unhappy at home, no attachments to any other social groups that offered alternative enthusiastic wei tans chauunge, and mainly because, of the home situation, similarly rather "turned o f f " from myself and others. As luck had i t other things switched me on later — I only hoped that somewhere along the line Wayne would have the same opportunities.) Heather, of the same age and i n the same grade, was very different. Along with Diana and John, she represented the "new" Ideology i n i t s most clear form. Nearly a l l the others were far, far closer to and more influenced by this Ideology than the "traditional" one. The claim I shall be making i s that among young people, and spe-c i f i c a l l y here, high school students, the direction of cultural change is from the "traditional" to the "new" Ideology. (I use the neutral word "new", because the alternatives, such as "alternative", "hip", "freak", etc., have too many overtones which I do not necessarily want to imply. On the whole, words l i k e "hippie" have been totally distor-ted and mangled by the mass media.) 119 Heather She i s going to U.B.C. and starting i n Arts I. She says i t i s interesting because " a l l knowledge holds together anyway", and the students on i t "seem very together." She wants to be a kinder-garten teacher. She has only recently decided this, having before wanted to go into the country and farm, etc. "I find most kids here at school uninteresting." "I'm gonna do what I want to do, and not what somebody else t e l l s me." There are not many satisfying jobs around. There i s no pressure from her family on what to do. Her parents are divorced, and she lives with her mother. "I can't see anything else interesting apart from teaching." "I feel I've wasted 12 years at school....I'm just turning on to learning now... discovering literature and so on." Low opinion of the teachers here at school. 'Interest i n the work i t s e l f — the main reason for choosing a job. "Kids are the only neat people l e f t around here pretty well, they haven't been sucked into the system...so free." You cannot plan carefully because things change so much — "what's going to happen, i s going to happen." Office work "turns you into a machine." "Most kids here at school are conformist" — attached to cars, skis, T.V. sets, etc. (She believes i n the "unity of knowledge" — something Keniston pointed out for his young radicals. Notice "hip" language throughout this — e.g., she values students being "together". She i s determined to do whftt she wants to do. Does not feel established society 120 offers much interesting. There i s an implicit belief that runs right through this Interview that man is innocent as a child u n t i l society corrupts him. " F a t a l i s t i c " attitude to what w i l l happen — but not i n a negative way. "Conformist" i s a bad word for her.) "I'm too busy l i v i n g to plan ahead too much." "I can't really think about marriage now — i t ' s such a f i n a l thing. I think Common Law is better because i t ' s only love holding you together, instead of a marriage contract. Though I suppose I would get married for the children's sake." Believes that a wife should have an indepen-dent l i f e , outside the family. She has two sisters l i v i n g with boy-friends. Her mother i s 50, "but more l i k e 17," and is doing a B.A. at Simon Fraser at the moment. Thinks that attitudes to marriage are changing among young people. Would not really want to change any-thing about herself. Does not have any specifications for a husband — "there are some pretty neat accountants around — you can't go by generalizations." She does not care about a "fantastic financial position" i n marriage. "Marriage has been an escape for so long." Younger people are concerned about the population explosion, and she i s determined to limit her family to two. (Emphasis on l i v i n g in the "now". Clear ambivalence to mar-riage. Has knowledge of people l i v i n g Common Law. Obviously her family situation i s a big influence. The statement about Common Law seems to imply a belief i n the value of spontaneous genuine emotion as against social duties and constraints. Very tolerant about other people, e.g., even a person as "straight" as an accountant may well be "neat". Applies the logic of the population explosion to herself.) 121 "Older people are coming to realize that the younger people are fast becoming more educated than them. Because there's nothing else to do [I.E., NO INTERESTING JOBS]...it's kind of ridiculous, but that's the way i t i s . " She i s an ex-Catholic. There are cliques at school, which are "more of a gang-thing." She doesn't l i k e the concept of dating at a l l . "The term 'date' Is not used any more — i t went out a long time ago." Couples go around i n the gangs. "Some of them — I c a l l them 'ultra-too-too-cute couples' — have been going around together for three or four years. They're so sweet!" Her family was originally Irish Catholic. She went to Europe with her mother a couple of years ago. "Ireland turned us off Catholicism." This, and Europe generally, "made my mind more open." "I've devel-oped a form of thinking where I try to take everything i n and analyze i t , and pick out what I want." "When my mother and father broke up, I had to look at them as people — and they were human. I was twelve at the time. I can look at other people now — and see that people are human — teachers are human — bus drivers are human — and so on." "Growing up i s really an insane trip — really strange." "People i n my own age group are extremely — bleahl — uninteresting. They're l i k e sheep — no personality....It's because their parents are 'bleahJ' too — and school only f i l l s you with mindless a c t i v i -t i e s ." "The trip to Europe stopped me getting into that kind of thing." Travel ia very important — " i t gives you strength, and perspective, and i t opened my eyes a l o t , and I appreciated home a 122 lot more when I got back." "The big thing now i s independence.... I'm looking forward to looking after myself." Optimistic and re-laxed about her future. Her parents care — but don't push her at a l l . (Again, the belief that established society has not much to offer. She does not want to identify herself with the sort of people who use the term "date". Travel was obviously of enormous importance in seeing herself i n perspective and learning new things. She thinks about things, and thinks about the fact that she thinks. Her parents' divorce gave her a new and. influential perspective. She can see what got her out of being 'bleah'. Clearly from this, she values people who are individualistic, unique. She's looking forward to her future with confidence.) Unlimited money would not change things a l l that much — she'd travel more, and buy a motorcycle, but would s t i l l be a kin-dergarten teacher and go to U.B.C. She would not change anything about herself, her l i f e , etc. — "nothing can make me change before my time" but she does not feel hemmed in or bad about this. She has an " i t ' s their t r i p " attitude towards other people who are d i f -ferent. "I'm a great believer i n the Circle Game— i t a l l happens, i t ' l l a l l work i t s e l f out....People die, things are lost, and the ci r c l e just keeps going and l i f e goes on." "There's nothing you can do to stop what's going to happen anyway...I may not li k e i t , but i t ' s going to make me a better person." She's satisfied, happy, 123 with herself, "There are lots of motorcycle freaks here...it's l i k e a status symbol, makes you feel tough, makes you feel l i k e a movie star." "I don't l i k e 'hanging around' with friends —• because I get into ruts really easily. I'm what people would c a l l a 'quiet' person....1 like thinking, playing my guitar, watching my cats play. I l i k e riding my bike a l o t . The best time for daydreaming i s on a bicycle on a nice day — you just l e t your mind wander." "I don't feel I need a group of friends, or a whole bunch of possessions, to feel secure." Never had an imaginary friend, and does not have really wild fantasies. She has them sometimes about being a rock singer though — "being another Janis Joplin." "Mick Jagger is pure sex — oozing i t from every pore!" To be a "travelling musician" would be her "ideal l i f e - s t y l e " . (Money obviously i s not crucial to her. She quotes a pop song as part of her explicit ideology. It is what might be called an "oriental" philosophy of l i f e ; or i f one were unsympathetic to i t — which I am not — one might c a l l i t Panglossiari. Her security seems to be firmly anchored in her own head, and not i n externals too much. Rock singers seem to be the 'folk heroes' of a great many young people.) [IN lo YEARS' TIME] — "I haven't really thought about i t much ....I try to l i v e for the present a lot....I'd l i k e to be — nice to know, I guess....I'll probably be l i v i n g i n Vancouver — or up the coast." "Falling in love ~- that's got to be the beat thing that ever happened to me...It changes your whole perspective — that's just 124 about the beat thing that can happen to you." "The best thing that could happen to me i s finding my own peace — within myself, or with someone else. I really figure I ' l l have i t made then — when I can be happy within myself." "I've never had any t e r r i f i c traumas or tragedies. During the divorce...suddenly my dad was a l l sweet and sugar, and bought us presents and took us out to dinner. And that was something I couldn't understand. I see now why he did i t , be^ -cause he's only human and he thinks material things can make up for a loss l i k e that. But you just can't do i t . " "The death of some-body really d o s e would be the worst thing that could happen. My cat had a miscarriage a l l over my geography book last night...." "People a l l being 'together' makes me feel really good." Her boy-friend le the most important thing i n her l i f e right now. "To be serene within myself —• my inner peace — i s the most important thing that I'm reaching for. And i t ' s hard." "There's a l l these things going on around me, and a l l these things going on i n my mind...and I have to compile i t , and f i l e i t , and fi n a l l y put i t to use." "I used to be really speedy — I'm not half as much now as I was bafora. It used to be really showing off . " "I want to be aware — awareness is the great thing. I wouldn't want to be l i k e Spiro Agnew." "I wouldn't want to be speedy. I used to be hyper-tense, and I didn't l i k e myself....Someone f i n a l l y told me 'slow down, you're too speedy' — I'd never grasped, thought of, this concept before. It's a matter of creating your own kind of order — you have to learn to shut certain things out." "You can be excited 125 without playing a lot of stupid 'games'." She really admires Elton John, Judy Collins — "for their power, for the emotions, the tears, they can s t i r up", i n their music. "Inner Peace i s the most impor-tant thing i n l i f e -- that's what matters." [HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE 'INNER PEACE'?] — "To be able to l i v e alone, without being lonely; to be able to l i v e with yourself, without hating yourself." She knows one person lik e this. A friend i s "somebody you don't feel uncomfortable with." Inner peace — " i t ' s the thing that people have been striving for for thousands of years without realizing i t . The very fact that our parents have surrounded themselves with mat-er i a l wealth — in reality they're searching for peace. They're trying to assuage their, their feelings — i n television 3ets." She only became aware of this i n the last year — because of one particular person — "It took a l o t of thinking to get round to i t . " She can talk with her mother about anything. "She has erased a l l the taboos most parents have, and now there's nothing to be subver-sive about." Does not get on too well with her father. (Lots here. Places a very high value on love. She has done a lot of serious thinking about "inner peace", and can articulate these thoughts very well — she has a nice way with words at times. The orientation to l i f e here i s essentially a religious one, I think. Ap-parently she has had very influential exposure to this sort of ideology. She has a sensitive understanding of some of the past acts of her parents in perspective. She makes several anti-materialist statements. She sees 126 the previous generation, or rather her own generation i n contrast to i t , as extremely different. She values the idea of 'community*. She i s thoughtful about her own thoughts and is trying consciously to direct her mind — to be aware, and not speedy. She knows what she wants, and what threatens i t . She seems to place a high value on emotions, and i s very open about i t . She realizes that she has a particularly good mother and — i n connection with earlier quotes too — that many people don't.) "The 'Science' part strikes me as important, but the 'Tech-nology' part I turn down — I associate i t too much with pollution. It's a very dry phrase." ['SUCCESS'J — "doesn't do anything to me." "'Child'represents a l l that's simple, innocent — 'Adult' kind of taints i t , I can dig the word 'Child' more." ['ADOLESCENT'J — "Ohhl I hate that word — I just hate I t . — O h h l It makes me think of 'gawky' — dirty fingernails — greasy hair. If anybody calls me an adolescent I just cringe." She kept a diary once — but found she could not really express i n words, experiences — "my words were so awkward, i t kind of took away from the things I f e l t . " She talked about "the new awareness, fostered by drugs, and because things have got so bad they can't be ignored any more." She i s very conscious about "pollution". Acid: "gives you a false sense of knowing everything." "It took f a l l i n g i n love to make me realize that, that l i v i n g i s just — fine! — i s good enough! (Laugh) — because li v i n g alone is a trip — you don't need drugs." 127 She's very accepting of other people's'trips", "Young people aren't unhappy — just angrier. Over Vietnam, for instance." "From what I've heard of high schools i n the States, i t ' s not too good. Cana-dians are more individuals. They're not as patriotic. [IS THAT GOOD?] — Yes. They're less uptight than Americans too." She's not very hopeful about the f e a s i b i l i t y of changing things i n society. "Most of the time I try to be rational. It's hard." "I don't watch T.V. Only when I'm babysitting. It's dangerous. It sucks me i n too easily." The CBS Tuesday night documentary at 10 o'clock i s the best program. She gets The Sun i n her house. Bob Hunter: "I try, but he's h e a v y — l i k e he's eternally heavy — he depresses me." Ann Landers: "I think she's really inane." The Georgia Straight: "I find that a b i t heavy too. I used to read i t a l l the time — but i t ' s deteriorated." (Ambivalence about science and technology. Implicit belief that experiences are inexpressible i n words. A realization of the importance of drugs. An assumption, that previously people ignored things that were there, but now young pedple are different because they're aware of these things — because they've got so bad, and because of drugs. Young people are thus seen as more explicitly principled now. An emphasis on 'livingness'. Anti-American sentiment. No faith i n rational means (or irrational means, for that matter) of changing society. Perceptive about television. In lin e with changes I've out-lined i n the Georgia Straight, she used to l i k e i t , but now no longer does because i t is too heavy, i.e., p o l i t i c a l . ) 128 Overall the tacit assumption that seems to underly this ide-ology, i s that l i f e , the world, i s good, whole, beautiful -- and that one must get i n harmony with certain simple elemental things and exist i n union with them. It i s against the institutional structure of society, which i s seen as corrupting, and which i t seeks to avoid, and i s essen-t i a l l y an Introspective trip — a going within, to find out what you want and where you're "at". Heather i s relaxed, mature, intelligent — she knows what "space" she wants to be In, and knows what endangers that. Now, i t is not the case her whole Weltanschauung, as pre-sented here, i s exactly the same as a l l of the others interviewed or that precisely this is the "new" ideology. One or two of the others were very close to her in outlook but i n general she was more explicitly "religious" and introspective than most. So she had "bits" which were not common to a l l , but i n general and with minor variations this i s representative of the oriertatlon and philosophy of most of those I interviewed. She was only at a more extreme end of the same Ideology that the majority of the others had incorporated into their way of ex-periencing the world and seeing their future. When I talk about this "new" ideology i t i s in fact an i d e a l i -zation — no two thought alike or subscribed to exactly the same views. The elements below are taken from the data, they are common to most of them, in some they are more explicit than others, they miss out certain important unique elements i n each person, but they do i n my opinion constitute a common, coherent, influential, and "new" ideology. It i s 129 of course extremely d i f f i c u l t to explicate an ideology, partly be-, cause i t is almost impossible to be completely exhaustive about a l l the tacit assumptions that underly i t , and partly the elements "hang to-gether" i n a way that cannot be verbally described — and either, after seeing them a l l , you intuitively "understand" them, or you don't. An active process on the part of the reader is therefore necessary here, i n addition to the writer's explication, i f comprehension i s to be achieved. As well as I am able I have put the elements in three categories, and i n descending order of concreteness. They are values, social deriva-tions, and concrete referents. Within the categories they are rather complexly connected and are not here arranged hierarchically. The values are simply what i s a p r i o r i valued, without further j u s t i f i c a -tion. Values 1) Livingness: the value of existence, of being fully alive, of "being" rather than "doing". 2) At-oneness with Nature: of liv i n g In harmony;with the miraculous complexity of Nature, and not trying to control i t . Connected with (1). 3) Acceptance of sexuality: as a positive good. Connected with (1) and (2). 4) Hedonism: livi n g joyfully and to the f u l l . Connected with (1), (2) and <3). 130 5) Accepting What Is: what Is about l i f e — but not necessarily the contingent arrangements of what society tries to make of l i f e . "Going with the flow." Connected with ( 2 ) , mainly. 6) Be yourself, accept yourself. Personal freedom: the value of personal uniqueness. Everybody's differentness i s precious. Connected with ( 1 ) , ( 3 ) , and ( 5 ) . 7) Personal qualities: the value of other people's personal, inter-nal qualities, not their society-connected, external qualities — such as status, money. Sensitivity to personal relations, Connected with ( 6 ) . 8) Authenticity and honesty: the qualities one should strive for oneself and value i n others — sincerity, honesty, care, equal-i t y . Authenticity versus: duty, expectations, "games", roles. Connected with ( 6 ) and ( 7 ) . 9) Emotions: the value of, acceptance of, honesty with. Most im-portant of which Is love. A belief i n self-expression — a r t i s -t i c expression one form. (Sometimes, but not always, an accom-panying belief that such things are essentially Ineffable — not expresaable i n words.) Connected with ( 1 ) , ( 3 ) , ( 6 ) and ( 8 ) . 10) Awareness and knowledge: striving for the enlargement of both. Consciousness. Essentially, a "religious" outlook. Connected with ( 1 ) , ( 2 ) and ( 9 ) , mainly. 1 1 ) Ideals: concern with principles, morality, ends. Commitment and enthusiasm to beliefs. No compromises acceptable. Thus includes 131 a precept to the effect: Take a l l the above seriously. Con-nected with a l l the above. Social Derivations (i.e., j u s t i f i e d by the above) a) Established society has l i t t l e to offer: because of transgressing much of the above, notably (2), (3), (6), (8), (9), (11). It cannot be changed, and/or is not worth:, trying to change. b) Avoidance; of the structures of established society — e.g., career, marriage. Because of (a) and aspects of (2) — I.e., letting be rather than attempting to control. c) Anti-rat race: striving in competition with others for material rewards i s valueless and harmful. Because of (4), (6) and (8). Connected also with (b). d) Non-materialism: i t is possible to be "decently poor" — (although a certain level of afluence is taken for granted). Material things do not ^essentially matter. Because of (1), (2), (6), (7), (8) and (10). Connected with (b) and (c). e) Experience your l i f e as a unity: do not compartmentalize, deny or repress parts. Because of (6), (8), (9), and (II). f) "Open" attitude towards the future: Because the general future may be very bad because of a l l that (a) contains, and because of (5) and (6). g) Against Technology: because i t transgresses (2) and threatens, e.g. (6). Also connected with (a), (c), and (d). 132 h) Anti-Americanism: because the United States i s seen as transgres-sing (2), (6), (8), and (11). It thus represents many of the things they do not want. 1) Hatred js wrong. Tolerance In general; because of (2), (5), and (11). But, there are over-riding elements in (II) which may invalidate this on specific occasions. i) Social concern and conscience: because of (2), (7), (8), (9), and (11). k) Community: the value of. Because of (2), (7), (8), (9) and (11). Connected with (c), (d), (e), and ( j ) . 1) Social equality; against divisions between people. Because of (2), (7), (8), (9), and (11). Connected with (e), ( i ) , ( j ) , and (k). Concrete Referents (i.e., behaviour, etc., following from the above) Travel: because i t increases awareness and knowledge (10), and is enjoyable (4). Music; because i t is expressive of emotions (9), is enjoyable (4), i s sometimes sexual (3), and may increase awareness (10). Drugs: because they are enjoyable (4), may increase awareness (10), and may foster community (k). Creative li f e s t y l e s and/or to do with people: because of (6), (7), (8) and (9). Suspicion of the mass media: because It represents established society — see (a) and (b). 133 Clothes: Dress as an individual (6); dress to express yourself (9); do not dress expensively (d); do not dress i n such a way as to represent any supposed "age group" (1). (It is now almost im-possible to t e l l the age of anyone under 30 who Is part of this "new" Ideology by their style of dressing alone. The differen-tiation of clothing has brought about a less s t r i c t differen-tiation of "ages".) I do not claim that this i s completely exhaustive, but i t i s as much as I am able to derive from my understanding of the data. Hea-ther had one or two "bits" (such as an expressed belief i n the unity of knowledge) which I could not see even implicitly i n the others, and which I have not therefore included. A l l that is included i s common to many of them i n greater or lesser degrees of explicitness. A couple of them had such idiosyncratic or unique ways of seeing the world that I could not claim that their ideology was that which i s presented above — but they were certainly very influenced by i t and had distinct com-ponents of i t . A very interesting thing to note from the above, of course, is that the concrete referents are relatively few i n number. As I have said before, they knew l i f e - s t y l e s , futures, models, and so on that they did not want, but only to a much, much lesser extent did they know the concrete things that they did want. They had values a l l r i g h t , but these values have aot been tied down in a l i f e model yet. There are only short-term models, and they have not been shown to be viable 134 for a whole lifetime yet. The concrete referents are thus so few because models that contain them are s t i l l i n the process of creation, I think. 135 SOCIAL CHANGE The main single point I am claiming about social change i s that the direction of i t among older high school students i n Vancouver in the laat decade has been from roughly what Keniston described i n his Alienation and the Decline of Utopia essay i n 1960 — and what I have called a "traditional" ideology — to what I have described above and called a "new" ideology. I do not claim that a l l such students ten years ago had this same ideology, nor that a l l of them now have the "new" ideology, only that the direction of cultural change has been from one to the other. Furthermore, I think that i n the next few years, sayjthe numbers of those adopting the new ideology w i l l i n -crease. Keniston said that i n 1960 the direction of cultural change was from commitment and enthusiasm to alienation and apathy; that many young people were doing what Riesman called "inner emigration" — be-coming inwardly silent, apathetic, bored, uncommitted. He says: "The gap between aspirations and actualities i s one of the chief sources of alienation...a discrepancy between what i s , and what he dimly, almost unconsciously, senses might be...(There has been) a long-term decline  of positive morality, which has not only l e f t men unable to visualize a better future, but has deprived them of articulate bases on which to judge the present....There is a relative absence of concepts appropri-ate to, adequate for, or expressive of, either the f e l t evils of the 136 contemporary world or the vague aspirations for a better world....Our deepest need i s not to propose specific reforms, but rather to create an intellectual and cultural atmosphere i n which i t is possible for men to attempt affirmation...." Goodman f e l t that this situation made growing up in such a cultural environment absurd. Douvan and Adelson described what high school students were thinking at this time and were somewhat depressed by i t . Douglas described f i r s t year university students' r i t u a l i s t i c and uncommitted engagement with established society and termed i t a "quiet rebellion". And from conversations I have had with a couple of students who were i n the early 1960s at the same high school I have been talking about throughout this, the picture seems pretty much the same. One of these people actually taught at the school as a substitute teacher b r i e f l y this year and was very struck by the changes that had taken place among the students. The claim I am making Is that the direction of cultural change has now reversed, that i t is now away from alienation and apathy towards commitment and enthusiasm, that there i s now a positive mor-a l i t y , that there are now concepts with which to judge the present world and possible future1! ones, and that the cultural atmosphere i s such that affirmation is possible. From the basis of about twenty-five hours of taped discussion with high school students I have attempted to explicate what I think this new ideology i s . If i t i s correct i t means that something l i k e a moral reaffirmation has taken place here, 137 that by making new conceptions available, has effected the not incon-siderable achievement of actually making l i f e more meaningful to such young people. I think this i s a cultural change of the utmost impor-tance. Mow one possible objection to a l l this i s that the data from which I am making assertions about the direction of cultural change i s far from ideal. This i s f a i r . I have not been able to subject i t to a l l sorts of controls, and i t certainly i s not " s c i e n t i f i c " . The most comparable data I have i s Douglas' thesis on f i r s t year U.B.C. students i n 1960 and my interviews with fourteen Vancouver high school students i n 1971. These are not necessarily similar groups of people. In fact i t may well be that a random sample of f i r s t year U.B.C. stu-dents in 1971 are closer i n outlook, ideology and so on to the 1960 students than to the 1971 Vancouver high school students. That i s to say, I think the majority of new U.B.C. students att the moment have something l i k e the "traditional" ideology outlined above. This i s because U.B.C. i s the university of the province, and a great propor-tion of i t s intake comes from outside Vancouver. Social change i s much slower In the Interior (urban social change almost always is more rapid than rural or that of less major urban areas); and thus the proportion of young people with a "traditional" ideology i s , I think, higher there than i n Vancouver. In addition, there may be a selection process where-by those from the rest of the province closer to the "new" Ideology go to Simon Fraser anyway, resulting i n an even bigger number of "tradi-138 tional" students at U.B.C. I think, however, that Douglas' description would have f i t t e d most middle-class young people ten years ago s t i l l involved i n the upper ends of the educational system, aid that there were not any at that time with this "new" ideology ~- socially, i t just did not exist then. So the fact that, without trying to do so, I have found about ten 16-18 year olds, who are thinking things that virtually nobody was thinking ten years ago, i s significant i n I t s e l f . Now i n addition, I do not think this group was a l l that unusual. Their particular char-acteristics that are relevant here are that they were middle-class, from Vancouver, with quite a lot of divorced parents, and of above average intelligence.' Taking the school population as a whole, they were neither the most "freaky" (none had particularly long hair, or exceptionally bizarre dress, or took drugs a l l that much, compared with some groups i n the school); nor were they the most "radical" (I did actually try, unsuccessfully, to get the most prominent Women's Lib a c t i v i s t involved i n this); nor were they from among the more apa-thetic, turned off (or "bleah"), students i n the school. But because they came from the biggest city on the West Coast of Canada, because they were Intelligent, and perhaps because their unusual home back-grounds had been particularly conducive to their having to re-examine what i s usually taken for granted, they were, I think, highly suscep- tible to new and attractive cultural changes. The very things that might be pointed to as making them "unrepresentative" of young people 139 i n general, are the very things that make them a particularly good weather-vane for gauging the direction of social and cultural change. I do not myselfj however, think they are so out of the ordi-nary . I think i t i s f a i r to say that they said some pretty original and impressive things at times. But this does not make them exceptional. Sociologists often tend to make general assumptions and conclusions about this group of people and that group of people based on the data of, quite honestly, f a i r l y superficial questionnaires. They ask shal-low questions, in an impersonal, highly structured situation, and get surface answers — the things that spring to people's minds, which are obviously more lik e l y to be cliches and "stock" opinions — rather than giving them an opportunity to think about and articulate what they really do think — which is hard,for anyone. So the sociologist takes the scanty fruits of his superficial digging ( i f he has done a lot of work i t i s because he. has dug i n hundreds of places hastily, rather than i n a few places deeply), juggles about with them, makes conclusions from what i s i n effect the lowest common denominator, and thinks this i s what people are l i k e . They are not. People do think about things, they do have strong feelings and profound and unique ideas — b u t not surprisingly, they do not reveal them very easily. People are not as stupid as many sociologists seem to think. And i f these fourteen said some interesting things, I do not think that this necessarily makes them so unusual. So there are two points about the validity of the data from which I make conclusions: one i s that my sets of data ten years apart 140 are not s t r i c t l y comparable, and the other i s that the data I use for the present time i s not. proven to be representative. On the f i r s t point, I can only say that from conversations with two people who knew the school then and now, what I have said seems perfectly f a i r ; and on the second point,. "*y own judgment from the basis of casual acquaintance with several dozen other students at the school is that these fourteen, while not necessarily matching the ideological composition of the rest of the school, were neither so extraordinary that they were representa-tive of nothing. What I believe is the case is that they x*ere repre-sentative of those who were reasonably quickly affected by this new . cultural change of climate. They were middle-of-the-road vanguard, i f you lik e , and perhaps at a very rough guess, a quarter to a third of the school was similarly influenced. Of great importance for those sharing this new ideology i s that others have gone before and broken the ground. This means that to some extent a youngster has a model of what he wants to become and can take short cuts and save a lot of wasted effort and pain, and i n addition that other people, parents in particular, can also see that he is following a model (evon i f they do not wholly approve of i t ) , and that what he is doing is not totally Idiosyncratic and leading no-where. Because someone's been there before a path Is v i s i b l e . I think that on the whole ten years ago there was no such path. Either a young person could wholeheartedly accept his social position and future, as defined by adult culture (as most did); or he 141 could accept i t only nominally and, because he could not articulate or know any socially acceptable criticisms of his situation, experience alienation and apathy (this seemed to be coming increasingly common); or he could drop out of the main culture into a pre-existent subculture such as that of the Beatniks (but this was a big jump to do, because he automatically became a "deviant" by the prevailing definitions); or he could become, either alone or with a handful of others, a com- plete outsider (which i s psychologically a very d i f f i c u l t and dangerous thing to do). Not a very appetizing hierarchy of p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Then, somewhere along the l i n e , and out of the last two groups (or collections of individuals), another — perhaps two other — new poss i b i l i t i e s grew. I do not propose to deal i n any detail with this because the thesis i s concerned primarily with the fact that i t happened, rather than the much more d i f f i c u l t , and indeed pos-sibly intractable, problem of how i t happened. Perhaps the two best books on this are Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Ald Acid Test, and Kenneth Keniston's Young Radicals. Both show, to some extent, how new models were created. Keniston shows how these f i r s t radicals were special people who had gone through profound identity crises i n the course, over a few years, of becoming that which they had no way of knowing un t i l they got there — because there was no path. Once this was done, and i n conjunction with a few other things, a model of being a "radical" was established and many more were able to follow i t . Wolfe sees LSD aa an incredibly important catalyst through which another group of very unusual people forged another model — that, roughly, of 142 "hippie". The mass media were also extremely influential i n setting up for public availability these two models — and also, to some ex-tent, of compounding them. Especially i n the "hippie" case, what young person with any imagination and restlessness could not but find the stereotype the media presented attractive? These models were to start with (and s t i l l are to many peo-ple, of course) "deviant" identities or l i f e - s t y l e s . But the more they were publicized (which probably amounted to the more they were glamourized), the more young people adopted them, and the more young people adopted them, the more other, less marginal, young people were li k e l y to adopt them. So we have something l i k e an. epidemiological model of social change here: the i n i t i a l colony of values, etc., i s d i f f i c u l t to establish (which i s why the f i r s t people, l i k e Keniston's, had to be exceptional people), but once i t i s established (i.e., has found an "ecological niche"), i t blooms and spreads rapidly —assuming a potentially favorable or f e r t i l e environment, of course. So the subsequent people do not have to be special people (and i f they are i t probably means they are just a l l the more l i k e l y to adopt the new cul-tural form) — a l l they have to be i s f e r t i l e ground — which, due to the documented disenchantment with what the adult culture had to offer, they obviously were. The f i r s t people had to be special because they had to generate a coherent new ideology and l i f e s t y l e out of "nothing" — or at least floating, unconnected bits of "matter"; and they had to nurture i t i n i t i a l l y when there was no outside social support whatsoever. 143 The more i t spreads after that, however, the less and less "special" new "hosts" have to be. And this f i t s i n with my earlier assertion that those I interviewed were not a l l that unusual. A l l this however, while i t is an interesting model, does not explain where the change comes from and why i t takes the form i t does. The fact of the matter i s , we simply do not know how new ideas, new ideologies, originate. We know that most social change does not result from the deliberate actions of men to bring i t about, and some-times, once a change is under way, we can say something about the course of i t s development. But we do not know how such things begin. Because we do not even have the glimmerings of an answer to this, this i s usually, of course, not even seen as a question. Because i t i s not seen as a problem a l l sorts of people have made claims to have produced a "theory" of social change —• but a l l they are i n fact i s models be-cause they have not explained social change. There is no theory of social change, and this i s why my only claims about i t i n the context of the subject matter this thesis deals with are descriptive — and at times (as here) a l i t t l e discursive. It i s important to assert that this new ideology i s not In any sense an "expected" or "natural" or "obvious" development over time of the "traditional" ideology. One cannot see i t s seeds i n the earlier ideology. Although i t ie almost certainly i n some degree a reaction to i t , i t does not attempt to argue with the earlier ideology. It rejects i t and by-passes i t , and i n effect "assumes" that i t is at a higher level. 144 Related to this i s the Interesting fact that a l l the projec-tions for the future of adolescents i n North America that were made a decade ago are now out of date. That i s to say, Coleman, Goodman, Friedenberg, Douvan; and Adelson, and so on, and with varying degrees of accompanying dismay, assumed, roughly, that the future would merely consist of more pf the same thing. But this is what has not happened; certain things really have changed -- and i n a discrete or qualitative, rather than, a linear or quantitative way. One cannot help getting the feeling (however teleological i t may be) i n reading Douglas, Douvan and Adelson, etc., in the light of what has subsequently happened, that the time was somehow becoming "ripe" for some such change as we have had. No theory of social change could possibly have predicted what has happened, and while sensitive social observers (and distinctly not within the mainstream of sociological thought — as i t was then, or now — for example, Goodman, Keniston, Friedenberg) could see that things were i n an "unsatisfactory" state, and wanted them changed — even they could not have predicted the content of the change. In actual fact of course, the contents of the new cultural forms that have arisen among young people i n the last few years are very varied indeed, ranging from extreme p o l i t i c a l radicalism to a l l -out, other-worldly mysticism, with many and varied forms in between. I have been concerned in this thesis only with the form found among some high school students in Vancouver. This new ideology I have been talking about Is, I think, a somewhat modified form of slightly ear-l i e r ones. To use the epidemiological analogy, as i t "bloomed" a new 145 "strain", slightly modified from the original, has come about, and as a matter of fact, I think i t i s a particularly resillant one. Attempts have been made to impose upon a l l these new cul-tural proliferations a homogeneity which does not actually exist. The most notable of these is perhaps Roszak's notion of the "counter-30 culture". That there have been cultural changes i s beyond doubt, and that they have also a l l been in one way or another reactions against the established culture i s also almost certainly true; but these changes do not necessarily (and i n many cases definitely do not) cohere among themselves i n any way. It may be that their only common defining feature i s the rather negative one that they are a l l , i n their own ways, against the established culture. Since the very notion of the word "culture" surely implies linkages and coherence between the parts that i n any instance comprise i t , the ju s t i f i c a t i o n for calling a l l these varied forma "ai counter-culture" i s not very good. Rather they are a. variety of ideologies, of which what I have attempted to explicate above is one. One of the ways in which the strain has modified i s a re-sult of the fact that after the i n i t i a l stage of a viable colony of "special" people establishing i t , successive hosts do not have to be so special. The changes mainly originated among younger people and eventually, though almost certainly not i n i t i a l l y , they reached down to the high school level. But by this time the influences have got diffuse and do not sewn to rely, as I think they once did, on those young people being affected by the changes feeling a sense of "special-146 ness" or "togetherness" among themselves. In other words, to have been influenced by these changes, to have tkaen up the new conceptions that have been made available, i t is at least by now not necessary to identify oneself with a "special" group, as perhaps i t was at f i r s t . Thus many of my Interviewees, although strongly influenced by or adopting the new ideology, did not have any consciousness of "young people" as a special group. The explanation for this may be partly the "rule" within the ideology to "be individual", and partly that the ideology Is becoming so increasingly widespread, and hence available, that those who adopt i t are no longer "special". This is one of the ways, then, i n which the "strain" seems to have changed, what has hap-pened i s that certain previously deviant identities or l i f e s t y l e s — such as "radical" or "hippie" have become much more li k e l y to be accep-ted as models for "normal" adolescents. This has now become so wide-spread and diffuse that the values can now be incorporated by someone without taking up the whole identity model. People l i k e Linda,in the above, were clearly i n this position. The overall importance of a l l this to the average high school student i n Vancouver is i n fact an opening up of new p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Certain values and ideas that previously one had to be an outsider or misfit to adopt (which i s emotionally d i f f i c u l t , and for the average person sociologically highly unlikely) are now socially available. Since almost a l l conceptions are socially derived, social change that has spread new ones has now made i t more or less socially "o.k." for a youngster to adopt new and interesting ways of thinking that he 147 would not only not have dreamed of adopting some years ago, but would also not have dreamed of. He no longer has to "choose" the adult world, or be alienated and apathetic, or be a socially frowned upon deviant; there i s a new cultural alternative. Given the analysis of Keniston's 1960 essay, then, there i s now a positive morality available. And given that i t ' s attractive, and that that which established society offers seems to provoke most fre-quently only alienation and apathy, i t is not surprising that an i n -creasing number of youngsters are adopting i t . The fact that i t has clearly reached the high school level i n Vancouver seems to indicate i t s strength and the likelihood that Vancouver w i l l act as a diffusion centre for the rest of the province i n time, such that high school students elsewhere In i t w i l l be similarly affected ( i f they are not being so already). An ideology that i s positive, emphasizes personal relationships, encourages a person to be more relaxed and open about things, to be happy, and to do what he wants to do, cannot f a i l to hold some measure of attraction to someone who i s thinking about his situation, what he should believe i n , what he should do when he f i n -ishes school, and so on. So, i t seems we have the position where a modern Industrial society (in fact many) is now producing — albeit inadvertantly — new members who are seeing that not working very hard, and essentially enjoying yourself, i s possible. And the more people opt for this possibility, the more "acceptable" i t becomes, and the more li k e l y young people are to do i t . I think that this represents a social development for industrial society of the utmost significance. 148 Goodman said that "the development of a full-blown.adoles-cent sub-culture i s not normal but reactive. It signifies that the adult culture i s hostile to adolescent interests, or i s not to be 31 trusted." Since he wrote this the situation has bloomed dramatically and the youth cultures are far stronger and elaborated and different from the adult culture than at that time. There i s now what Keniston said i n 1960 there needed to be: "a cultural atmosphere i n which i t is possible...to attempt affirmation." This has not however been the result of an intellectual movement — which i s more or less what Keniston urged — but has been a sudden social movement (which as one consequence has had an effect on intellectuals, rather than the other way around). New cultural forms and ideologies associated with youth now exist of such attraction to young people that the possibility arises that "youth culture" ( i f we can c a l l i t that, loosely) may no longer be something to go through, but remain as a viable alternative to the "adult culture". That i s , the "adolescent sub-culture" Goodman refers to was nevertheless something that i t was assumed a person came out of after a certain age and then got down to the serious business of participating i n established society — even though often alienated and apathetic about what he was doing here. The possibility now i s that "youth culture" has got off the ground sufficiently for i t to represent a non-transitory escape from established society. This mainly depends, I think, on whether the generation ahead of present-day high school students, that i s , five to ten years older, are able 149 to create out of their lives viable life-long "models". If this i s successful then we may truely be able to c a l l this a culture i n i t s own right, (which i t is not really at the moment), and i t w i l l clearly have enormous consequences on the culture of established society. 150 ADOLESCENCE In this f i n a l section I want to deal with certain aspects of adolescence and show specifically how they are related to the so-c i a l environment. Much of the literature on adolescence deals with i t i n a social vacuum and does not seem to allow that i t s arguments and conclusions could be specific only to certain social milieux. As w i l l be obvious from what follows, I do not agree with this pers-pective and believe that the social conditions that confront a person at the time of adolescence are crucial i n determining what happens to him. Most of the works quoted below take a similar perspective. This is not an exhaustive discussion of adolescence — only of those aspects of i t that pertain to what has already been talked about i n this thesis. There seems to be some measure of agreement about the task of adolescence: Goethals and Kbo are i n accord with Erikson that adolescence deals with the formation of identity. "Identity i s the capacity to see oneself as having continuity and sameness....It i s the conslatent organization of experience." And identity formation i s required when one comes to an age when childhood identifications are no longer sufficient for shaping one's behaviour and one's place i n 32 the world." Erikson's well-known concept of the "psycho-social mora-torium" is often used to describe that period of time when choice may be deferred and experimentation permitted i n the furtherance of the establishment of an Identity. 151 Friedenberg's very important book, The Vanishing Adolescent, states that "the task of the adolescent is to define himself i n dia-l e c t i c a l combat with society....When there i s no conflict, there i s no strong sense of individual character and personality....Adolescent conflict i s the instrument by which an individual learns the complex, subtle, and precious difference between himself and his environment.... (The conflict is) d i a l e c t i c a l , and leads to a higher synthesis, to the youth's own adulthood and to c r i t i c a l participation i n society as an 33 adult." The trouble i s , according to Friedenberg, modern society is not allowing this to happen and thus "real adolescence" i s vanishing. " A l l the contemporary institutions that bear on the young, diverse as they seem to be, are united i n their Insistence on cultivating sensitivity and p l i a b i l i t y to the demands and expectations of other persons...other-direction, adaptibllity, adjustment, conformity — 34 c a l l i t what you w i l l . " "The emphasis on co-operation and group adjustment characteristic of modern l i f e interferes specifically with the central development task of adolescence i t s e l f . . . . I t i s the time during which he differentiates himself from the culture, though on the culture's terms....It i s precisely this sense of Individuality which develops only feebly i n most primitive societies....A successful i n i t i a t i o n leads to group solidarity and a warm sense of belonging; a successful adolescence adds to these a profound sense of self — of 35 one's own personality." 152 Though he views the d i r e c t i o n of change of the whole society f o r t h i s s t i f l i n g of the opportunity to have a r e a l adolescence (and i t i s important to notice here that t h i s book was published i n 1959), he c r i t i c i z e s schools i n p a r t i c u l a r f o r what they are doing here. "School should have an o b l i g a t i o n to c l a r i f y f o r i t s students the mean-ing of t h e i r experience of l i f e i n t h e i r s o c i e t y . This does not mean 36 propagating s i m i l a r views, or s o c i a l a t t i t u d e s and b e l i e f s as such." "School today i s l i k e a blender — what comes out, when i t i s function-ing e f f e c t i v e l y , i s not merely uniform but bland and creamy; by i t s very nature i t i s i n i m i c a l to c l a r i t y , yet r e t a i n i n g i n a form d i f f i c u l t to detect a l l the h o s t i l e or t o x i c ingredients present i n the o r i g i n a l mixture." "Society i s making c l e a r s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n increasingly d i f f i -c u l t . ...Those worse o f f never form a c l e a r conception of themselves and what they stand f o r . They take no stands and f i g h t no b a t t l e s . He Is l i k e Ortega y Gasset's mass-man, who sets no value on himself — good or i l l — based on s p e c i f i c grounds, but who f e e l s himself 'just 37 l i k e everybody', and i s nevertheless not concerned about i t . " (Com-pare t h i s statement by Judy: "I think I ' l l j u s t be an average, every-day person. I don't know i f I want i t — but I think that's what'11 happen....I don't think I ' l l make any b i g mistakes — because I never do anything r e a l l y big.") Douvan and Adelson s p e c i f i c a l l y agree with Friedenberg's analysis i n that "nowadays the youngster merely undergoes puberty and 153 simulates maturity." They do not feel that the socialization of their adolescents led to solutions of intrapsychic or psychosexual problems — rather that they learned to cover them up (most importantly — from themselves) by "external" devices, presentations of the sel f , and merely simulated maturity. 3y constructing identity so early around, say, proposed occupation, "the precocious choice may produce a narrow, over-defined personality, impoverished through a premature foreclo-sure on experiment and experience. It may hinder the f u l l develop-ment of personal qualities or simply postpone the identity c r i s i s 38 until a later and more inappropriate moment." "The traditional idea of the adolescent experience has i t that the youngster becomes Involved i n an Intense concern with ethics, p o l i t i c a l ideology, religious beliefs, etc. This pattern can be found — but i n a bold, sometimes stubborn, often unhappy minority. Our interviews confirm that American adolescents are on the whole not deeply involved in ideology, nor are they prepared to do much i n d i v i -39 dual thinking on value issues of any generality." "It takes an unusual personality i n unusual circumstances successfully to challenge more than modestly the value commitments of the milieu. Yet some do 40 manage it....They develop the ideological tone of that generation." Again, of course, i t i s important to note that this was written about the situation ten years or so ago. What is interesting about the last sentence of theirs i s that i t is precisely some of these "unusual" people who became Keniston's "young radicals". Douvan and Adelson's research was done at a time when they could not have known 154 about the subsequent developments dealt with in this thesis, but they do seem to be aware of the process, or at least, some of i t , by which change of the situation can come about. It was during the early 1960s that Keniston's interviewees, talented people i n unusual circumstances, were going through the personal changes that led to their finding them-selves eventually having become radicals. What is not quite accurate about what Douvan and Adelson say i s , I believe, not that these people develop the Ideological tone of that generation, but more the next one. It was because they became the f i r s t models that the subsequent gener-ation ( i f i t makes sense to talk of generations i n terms of a few years — and I think here i t does) were able to follow. The ideological tone of the present generation was determined some years ago by the "bold, sometimes stubborn, often unhappy minority" that would not accept the direction i n which the pressures of society that friedenberg was writing about seemed to be pushing them. Douvan and Adelson's finding that adolescents "are on the whole not deeply involved i n ideology, nor are they prepared to do much thinking on value issues of any generality" clearly does not apply to Keniston's interviewees — and more importantly for the central concern of this thesis, i t does not apply to most of my interviewees either. Not because mine are so unusual, but because others went before and set the tone i n which value issues were to be thought about. Keniston claims that his radicals' values were not so terribly exceptional — what was exceptional was that they were Insisting on taking the formal 155 values that society had come to pay only lip-service to, seriously. This i s what I meant when I said i n the previous section that the social change that has taken place, amounts to a moral reaffirmation — the tone of the new Ideology i s explicitly moral. This of course has impor-tant consequences for the process of adolescence as i t i s i n society. Erikson i s unusual among psychoanalytically oriented writers on adolescence i n that he does not treat i t i n a social vacuum or pay merely l i p service to social considerations. He centrally locates the -social environment i n the process of adolescence. "It i s In adolescence that the ideological structure of the environment becomes essential 41 for the ego....We cannot separate personal growth and communal change." He then goes on to introduce the very Important concept of "cultural con-solidation": "In every technology and historical period there are types of individuals who ('properly' brought up) can combine the dominant techniques with their identity development, and be-come what they do. Independently of minor superiorities and in f e r i o r i t i e s , they can settle on that cultural consolidation which secures them what joint verification and what transitory salyation l i e s in doing things together and i n doing them right — a Tightness proven by the fact that they 'work'. Only such consolidation offers the co-ordinates for the range of a period's identity formations and their necessary rela-tion to a sense of inspired activity, although many or most do so only by creating compartments of pronounced narrowness, of enforced service, and of limited status. But how such con-solidation permits a man at the same time to limit his horizon so as not to see what might destroy the new won familiarity of the world and expose him to a l l manner of strangeness... a l l this i s hardly approached from the point of view of depth psychology. The history of cultures, c i v i l i z a t i o n s , and technologies Is the history of such consolidations, while i t i s only In per-156 iods of such transition that the innovators appear: those too privileged i n outlook to remain bound to the prevailing system; too honest, or too conflicted not to see the simple truths of existence hidden behind the complexity of daily •necessities'j and too f u l l of pity to overlook 'the poor' who have bfen l e f t out."^ "...Adolescence is least 'stormy' in that segment which i s gifted, and. well-trained i n the pursuit of expanding technolo-gical trends, and thus able to identify with new roles of . competency and invention and thus able to,accept a more im-p l i c i t ideological outlook. Where this is not given, the adolescent mind becomes a more expli c i t l y ideological one, by which we mean one searching for some inspiring unification of tradition or anticipated techniques, ideas,, and ideals."^^ "...It is through their ideology that social systems enter into the fibre of the next generation and attempt to absorb into their llfehood the. rejuvenative power of youth. Youth can offer i t s loyalties and energies both to the conservation of that which continues to feel true and to the revolutionary correction of that which has lost i t s regenerative s i g n i f i -cance. "44 "...The sense of identity becomes more necessary and more problematic whenever a wide range of possible ideologies is envisaged."^^ I have quoted Erikson at length because he very eloquently ties up social change and adolescence and because through these selected passages he deals with a great many of the things this thesis has touched upon. The "cultural consolidation" applies most closely to those of what I have called the "traditional" ideology — among those I talked to Judy and Wayne, with their particular views about work and marriage and so on. Judy saw success as a job, marriage, and a family, and seemed not unduly perturbed at becoming "an average everyday per-son", and Wayne was able to Identify with a particular branch of the technology of society and construct his identity around being an engineer and making lots of money. In comparison to nearly a l l of the others, they had " a more implicit ideological outlook". 157 They both had some doubts about their chosen means to "transitory salvation" however. They were not unaware of or unaffected by new developments taking place around them, however r- Judy, for example, having to cope with the recently acquired knowledge that some of her friends "had relationships". Even better examples of this cul-tural consolidation would seem to be many of those youngsters described i n Douvan and Adelson and In Coleman, who most successfully seemed to limit their horizons so as not to see what might threaten their consoli-dation achievement. Perhaps i f I had found a student with the prospects of a b r i l l i a n t career i n computing science, we might have seen this i n the most perfect form in the particular technological society that we have. The "innovators" Erikson talks about are obviously exemplified in Keniston's young radicals — privileged, honest, conflicted, f u l l of pity. Through them, and other innovators having gone* before, alterna-tive ideologies have developed and the young person going through adoles-cence now, unless he screens out these alternatives altogether, finds identity formation a problem. He can see conflicting models of what he can become, and limiting his horizon so as to settle on conventional consolidation and not see certain things, becomes very d i f f i c u l t . I claimed earlier that eight of my fourteen interviewees were i n my opinion unequivocably having a "real" adolescence, and that i f Friedenberg*s analysis were correct, this would be a suspiciously high number. I think his analysis is correct — but only for that particular time; my claim here is that social change Is such that adolescence i s 158 no longer vanishing but becoming increasingly possible. Friedenberg believed that society was producing a new model of man to f i t the ever increasing bureaucratic organization of society. He believed this was rendering men increasingly other-directed and that the humanizing potentialities of adolescent growth were being subverted i n the inter-est of early socialization. One of the most evident aspects of any Ideology that has grown up among young people in, the last decade i s that there Is a rejection of the increasing bureaucratic organization of society. This is true for any of the new orientations — a n a r c h i s t , revolutionary, religious, communal, or whatever. Thus the "new model of wan" Friedenberg talks about Is not at a l l being accepted by a lot of young people, and there Is a more explicit concern with ideology. I think that so many of those I talked to were having a real adolescence not because they were the "innovators" (Erikson) or the "unhappy minority" (Douvan and Adelson) but because a genuine adolescence i s now much more l i k e l y . This is partly because the attractive (to them) new ideology is explicitly con-cerned with morality and value questions, and partly because there is so obviously now more than one ideology to choose from anyway. And as Erikson says, the sense of identity becomes moire necessary and more problematic whenever several ideologies are seen. The interesting thing about Douglas' respondents is that po-tentially they might have broken away from the cultural consolidation of the time — i f that had been able to see that other things were possible. In different circumstances the fact that they were less than 159 whole-hearted about what they were doing would surely have meant that some of them at least would have broken sway to new things. Douglas said: "they confine themselves only to those systems of po l i t i c o -46 philosophical ideas which have earned popular approval," — which is to say they had l i t t l e choice but to settle on a consolidation of identity around the dominant techniques of society. The point about the present situation i s that there are more "politico-philosophical systems" having popular approval — not "popular" i n the sense that a l l the people support them, but that enough people support each such that one can reasonably consider the "acceptability" of adopting them oneself. Once again Douglas* students were the not exceptional who, once the exceptional had broken through to new things and shown new po s s i b i l i t i e s , might have (or at least some of whom might have) embarked upon what had been shown to be feasible. And once a person either starts considering a variety of possible ideologies or chooses one which is explicitly concerned with value questions anyway, a real developmental process of adolescence is much more l i k e l y . I want to go further and pefaaps suggest that the opportunity to have and likelihood of having a real adolescence have not only i n -creased within the last decade, but w i l l now remain and not be subject to reversal. Friedenberg believed we were reverting back to the s i t u -ation of primitive societies which usually have no room to tolerate the "psychosocial moratorium" — that i s , a period of identity play i n which the adolescent can find out who and what he i s . Ironically, for 160 Friedenberg, although i t is only i n relatively advanced societies that genuine adolescence is possible, this possibility was, in his opinion, being increasingly denied. I think the position i s such that this i s not the case now — and for the two reasons already cited: because the new ideology is explicitly concerned with values, and because there is so evidently now more than one ideology to choose from. I think that the future is such that even i f an ideology attractive to young people arises that has absolutely no concern with values and thus tend-ing not to encourage real, adolescence — even i f this happened, the rate of social change is now such that homogeneous cultural consolidation on one ideology and sort of identity.is now Impossible i n Western nations. In many ways the 1950s were exceptional — most especially i n America — i n that although there was very fast social change, there some-how did not seem to be. Engaging in a b i t of h i s t o r i c a l speculation for a moment, i t seems to me that i t was believed at that time that some end-point had been reached — the golden age, the triumph of the American way of l i f e , the elimination of a l l poverty i n the affluent society, and the end of ideology — there was nothing l e f t to argue about. Not unconnected with this was an increasing "psychologlzatlon" ( i f I may c a l l i t that) that had been going on for decades in Aaerica. (I am equating the cultural climate of Canada with that of the United States for this time — because I think i t is justified.) Ever since Freud, and perhaps because of the "individualistic" ethos of the country any-way, popular culture had come to see human behaviour i n more and more 161 psychological terms. Some of the movies of Alfred Hitchcock suffused with<pop-psychoanalysis i l l u s t r a t e this beautifully. The result was that perception of behaviour was ^psychologized" and seen i n "inner" terms — to the exclusion of any possible social factors bearing on i t . People smoked marijuana because they had had inadequate father-figures, and so on. A l l social problems— unemployment».unhappy marriages, non-conventional p o l i t i c a l beliefs — were,because the individual was "maladjusted". Any perception of the possible importance of social factors seemed to be quite lacking* An example from Friedenberg i l l u s -trates this: "When something goes wrong between the student and the school, i t is usually assumed that i t is the youngster, rather than the 47 relationship or the school Itself that needs to be adjusted." The result for adolescence was as Bennett Berger described i t . "Adolescents are naturally preoccupied with their developing capacities for intimacy and tenderness and Intense subjective experiences, and by their need for self-esteem and the c l a r i f i c a t i o n of experience. But the school sub-verts a l l this — i t confuses, humiliates, hands out guil t and anxiety (especially over sex), and the result is that maturity becomes redefined 48 as 'adjustment'." If I may play the historian for just one more paragraph — I think the events of the 1960s were such as to bring about an increas-ing "sociologization" i n society towards the way behaviour i s perceived. Almost rapidly, and especially i n the mass media, the way of looking at particular human events has switched from a primarily psychological to a primarily sociological perspective* Whereas before i t was the 162 social background that was taken-for^-granted and the individual who was the "explanatory" device — because he was "maladjusted", etc., now i t is much closer to being the individual who i s put in brackets and the society which i s cited i n explanation. Perhaps an extreme ex-ample of this was the reaction to an American soldier who a few years ago murdered at least 22 women and children In Vietnam — an incredible number of people would not believe that i t was "really" his fault — i t was the fault of "the Army" or "the politicians" or "war i t s e l f " — any-thing, i n fact, other than the individual moral responsibility of he who did the murdering. Less extreme, and perhaps fairer examples of this sociologization of society can be seen, again, i n the sort of movies that are commonly produced now c r i t i c i z i n g social conditions and aspects of society that one cannot imagine being even noticed by American cinema ten years ago. Now I am prepared to admit that this sociologlzation of per-ception i s more pervasive i n the mass media than among the population In general, but to my mind i t definitely represents the societal trend. And the (as already stated) complex position of the mass media i s such that what i t presents i s influenced by developments in society and reciprocally influences the developments themselves. The fact that there i s uo longer the f a i r degree of cultural homogeneity there seemed ten years ago is picked up and magnified by the mass media such as to increase that cultural differentiation. One of the reasons for this "sociologlzation" of perspective i n society i s that there so clearly are differing and widespread weitanschauungs i n society. The media, 163 in spite of one tendency to distort information i n a particular and uniform way by virtue of the fact that i t i s controlled by those with vested interests; has an even stronger tendency to give maximum exposure (which usually results, inadvertantly perhaps, in a rooanticlzation) to the differences aud cleavages and conflicts i n society. This means that the differences i n ideology and so on are magnified even more, and the sociologizatlon of perspective i s reinforced. The majority of those I interviewed unquestionably did not see the rules of society as being, l e t us say, "out there". They did not take the definitions of reality of the madia, or adults, or the school, at face value. They had a conception of the relativizatlon of social rules that I believe was not held by those adolescents dealt with by Douvan and Adelson, Coleman, Douglas, and so on. Now this obviously has enormous consequences for the process of adolescence. If this sociologizatlon of perception is a feature of rapidly changing society subject to very high exposure to mass media — and I believe this i s now a necessary feature of such a society — then Erikson's cultural consolidation becomes very unstable. It can be achieved, and obviously for an enormous number i t s t i l l i s , but there i s an ever increasing amount of things that people must "not see" In order to do this. If this is not achieved then identity formatiou during adolescence becomes some-thing that w i l l necessarily involve personal struggle. Hie main point I am making about adolescence, then, is a claim that real adolescence is becoming empirically more common now, and that this situation i s l i k e l y to be maintained i n the foreseeable future. 164 It i s important to make a distinction between being affected by or adopting the new ideology and having a real adolescence. They are not the same thing. Among the fourteen I interviewed there were a few who were having ah adolescence and who were not of the new ideology; and there were two who were of the new ideology and were not having a real adolescence. Of the former Bob is an example — someone who was clearly thinking about things and personally growing but who wanted nothing to do with people he regarded as " i d e a l i s t i c " . He did however, interestingly enough, show components of the new ideology: i n his attitudes to work, marriage, travel, music, and so on. Of the latter I have already commented on the boy who was very influenced by his "drop-out" father and who very much had the new ideology — but was not having a real adolescence. In general however, and particularly because this new ideology i s concerned with morals and principles, there was a relationship between adopting i t or being strongly influenced by i t , and having a f u l l adolescence. But It is important to keep the distinction i n mind. As a f i n a l observation, i t i s of note that something a l l wri-ters on adolescence seem to avoid l i k e the plague i s i t s relationship to intelligence — that i s , whether the likelihood of real adolescence varies with Intelligence. It was certainly not the case among those I interviewed that those not having an adolescence were less intelligent and vice versa, but intuitively i t does not seem unlikely that there would be a relationship here. I do not think Friedenberg*s ideal, "sturm und drang", dialectical heroic conflict against society is really 165 on for a great many youngsters. It i s a l l very well to deal with very intelligent people l i k e Keniston's radicals and their true adolescences (and in fact I believe those I interviewed were of distinctly above average Intelligence) — but for everyone of these there i s a corres-ponding person of that anount below average in intelligence. We may be able to point to factors which hold back the development of I n t e l l i -gence, and we may not be able to measure intelligence well, but It does conform to a normal curve of distribution — as a l l attributes of populations of human beings do. What the adolescent process is or can be for these, nobody cares to find out i n personal detail i t seems. I do not know whet the position i s here, but I think i t i s dishonest to ignore i t and pretend i t does not exist. This i s not an exhaustive theoretical discussion of the pro-blem of adolescence — I have only used selected works that are germane to the central concerns of the thesis. What I hope I have done overall i s , by an i n i t i a l concern with high school students' orientation to the future, to have delineated certain features of a group of adolescents in a particular social environment, and related the nature of adolescent development to cultural and ideological change. 166 FOOTNOTES 1. Kenneth Keniston, "Alienation and the Decline of Utopia," American Scholar, Spring, 1960. 2. Elizabeth Douvan and J. Adelson, The Adolescent Experience. New York: Wiley, 1966. p. 24. 3. Ibid., p. 229. 4. Ibid., p. 22. 5. Ibid., p. 24. 6. Ibid., p. 33. 7« Ibid., pp. 34-38. 8. Ibid., pp. 42-47. 9. Lawrence Douglas, "Quiet Rebellion: A Study of Youth", M.A. Thesis, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of British Columbia, 1962, pp. 68-69. 10* Ibid., pp. 70-71. 11- Ibid., PP- 73-75. 12. Ibid., pp. 94-100. 13. Paul Goodman, Growing Up Absurd, New York: Vintage, 1960. p. 17. 14. Bennett Berger,"Adolescence and Beyond," Social Problems, Spring, 1963. Vol. 10. p. 401. 15. Goodman, op. c i t . , p. 28. 16. Kenneth Keniston, Young Radicals, New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1968. p. 278. 17. James Coleman, The Adolescent Society, New York: Free Press, 1961. p. 12. 18. Berger, op. c i t . , p. 399. 19. Keniston, Young Radicals, op. c i t . , pp. 41-42. 167 20. Douvan and Adelson, pp. c i t . , pp. 17-18. 21. Goodman, op. c i t . , p. 233. 22. Keniston, Young Radicals, op. c i t . , pp. 102-103. 23. Douvan and Adelson,, op. c i t . , p> 353. 2*« Ibid., pp. 347 and 350. 25. Gary Rush,"Turn on, Tune i n , Drop out," unpublished paper. Simon Fraser University, October, 1969. 26. Keniston, Young Radicals, op. c i t . , p. 25. 27. Erik Erikson. Identity; Youth and Cr i s i s , New York: Norton, 1968, p. 151. 28. In fact this was stated by John Mays In The Young Pretenders, Lon-don: Michael Joseph, 1965, p. 195. 29. Keniston, Young Radicals, op. c i t . , p. 23. 30. Theodore Rosaak, The Making of a Counter Culture. 31. Paul Goodman,"The Universe of Discourse i n Which they Grow Up," in Winder and Angus, Adolescence: Contemporary Studies, New York: American Book, 1968, p. 106. 32. Goethais and Klos, Experiencing Youth, L i t t l e , Brown, and Co., 1970, pp. 6 and 7. 33. Edgar Friedenberg, The Vanishing Adolescent, New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1959, pp. 32-34. 34. Ibid., p. 24. 35. Ibid.. p. 29. 36. Ibid., p. 75. 37. Ibid., pp. 202 and 214-215. 38. Douvan and Adelson, op. c i t . , p$ 17. 39. Ibid., p. 353. 40. Ibid., p. 21. 41. Erikson, op. c i t . , pp* 23 and 27. 42. Ibid., p. 32. 43. Ibid., p. 130. 44. Ibid., p. 134. 45. Ibid., p. 254. 46. Douglas, op. c i t . , p. 94. 47. Friedenberg, op. c i t . , p. 90. 48. Berger, op. c i t . , p. 406. 169 BIBLIOGRAPHY Berger, Bennett. "Adolescence and Beyond," Social Problems, Spring, 1963, Vol. 10, pp. 394-408. Bios, Peter. On Adolescence, New York; Free Press, 1962. Coleman, James. The Adolescent Society, New York: Free Press, 1961. Douglas, Lawrence. "Quiet Rebellion: A Study of Youth," M.A. thesis, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of British Columbia, 1962. Douvan, Elizabeth and J. Adelson. The Adolescent Experience , New York: Wiley, 1966, Erikson, Erik. Identity: Youth and Crisi s , New York: Norton, 1968. r Feigelson, Naomi, The Underground Revolution, New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1970. Friedenberg, Edgar. The Vanishing Adolescent, New York: Dell Pub-lishing Co., 1959. Goethals, George and Klos. Experiencing Youth, L i t t l e , Brown and Co., 1970. Goodman, Paul. Growing Up Absurd, New York: Vintage, 1960. Keniston, Kenneth. "Alienation and the Decline of Utopia," American  Scholar, Spring, 1960. Keniston, Kenneth. Young Radicals, New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1968. Mays, John. The Young Pretenders, London: Michael Joseph Ltd., 1965. Mead, Margaret. Coming of Age i n Samoa, New York: Dell Publishing, 1968. Muus, Rolf. Theories of Adolescence, New York, Random House, 1968. Roszak, Theodore. The Making of a Counter-culture, Doubleday, 1969. Winder, Alvin and Angus.Adolescence: Contemporary Studies, New York: American Book Co., 1968. Wolfe, Tom. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, New York, 1968. 


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