Writing

There is 2 parts. A discussion and an Assignment…

Discussion

Step 1: Remember and reflect upon formative influences on your own identity during your adolescence.

Chapter 13 of Child and Adolescent Development discusses adolescent identity formation at length. Before you reflect on your own social emotional development as an adolescent, review Chapter 13. With specific ideas surrounding the search for adolescent identity in mind, think back to your own development as an adolescent and reflect upon formative elements in your identity formation. You should consider the following components of and influences on adolescent identity in your reflection:

  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Ethnic identity
  • Media/technology influences
  • Peer relationships

This first part of your discussion post should be both specific and reflective.

Step 2: Relate your identity reflection to influences on contemporary adolescent identity formation.

Compare your reflection to the specific content that discusses identity formation in our Lesson 12 materials. Then, relate your social emotional developmental experiences to those of adolescents who are “coming of age” today.
Please allow the following questions to guide your response:

  • How were the influences on your adolescent identity similar to and different from contemporary influences?
  • What do you think it is like to be an adolescent today?
  • How do you think adults can better relate to and become more supportive of adolescents?

Use specific details from the text to support your response. Cite sources appropriately.

ASSIGNMENT

This two-part assignment first asks you to analyze a media “text” that was designed for an adolescent audience and create a presentation that illustrates your analysis. Next, you must write an argumentative essay based on what your analytical, illustrative presentation shows about the impact of media messages on adolescents.

  • One 5-10 slide PowerPoint presentation.
  • One 2-3 page (500-750 word) argumentative paper. Use word processing software.

Step 1: Select a media text to analyze.

Begin this assignment by selecting a media text (e.g. a television, Internet, or magazine advertisement; a television show or film; etc.) that was designed for an adolescent-age audience. You should choose a text that was clearly made for adolescents and that sends messages about what adolescence is, what adolescents are like (or should be like), and what adolescents want (or should want). The text you choose should be open for analysis, meaning it should be both small enough and accessible enough for you to analyze it with careful analytical detail.

Step 2: Analyze the text and develop an illustrative presentation of your findings.

Once you’ve chosen a media text to analyze, think about the text with the questions below in mind.

What does the text suggest about:

  • What adolescence is?
  • What adolescents are like?
  • What adolescents want?
  • The role of the family in adolescent life?
  • Peer relationships?
  • Gender?
  • Culture?
  • Identity?

Then, design a presentation that illustrates your analysis. The goal is to show your audience what one specific media text communicates to and reflects about adolescents who are coming of age in contemporary U.S. society.

Step 3: Write an argumentative paper based on your analysis.

Once you have developed a presentation that illustrates your media analysis, think about how the media text functions and what its effects or consequences might be. Your goal is to write an argumentative essay that answers the following questions:

  • What does this text communicate to its adolescent audience?
  • What does this text communicate to an adult audience (about the nature of adolescence)?
  • How might this text serve as a positive influence in identity formation?
  • How might this text serve as a negative influence in identity formation?
  • What are the positive and negative consequences of this text?
  • Should your reader condemn or condone this text and texts like it? Why?

Your paper should correspond with the details of your analysis from Step Two, and both parts of the assignment should be supported with specific content from the text. Cite all sources appropriately.

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