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

By Patricia Hersch
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Book Details
  • Author: Patricia Hersch
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Published: 1998-03-31
  • Edition: 1
For three fascinating, disturbing years, writer Patricia Hersch journeyed inside a world that is as familiar as our own children and yet as alien as some exotic culture--the world of adolescence. As a silent, attentive partner, she followed eight teenagers in the typically American town of Reston, Virginia, listening to their stories, observing their rituals, watching them fulfill their dreams and enact their tragedies.
Without prejudice or stereotype, Hersch set out with the goal of seeing adolescents as they see themselves. What she found was that America's teens have fashioned a fully defined culture that adults neither see nor imagine--a culture of unequaled freedom and baffling complexity, a culture with rules but no structure, values but no clear morality, codes but no consistency.
Hersch also comes to a sobering conclusion. It is society itself that has created this separate teen community, a world where kids are left on their own to make their own choices and determine their own fates. Resigned to the attitude that adolescents simply live in "a tribe apart," adults have pulled away, relinquishing responsibility and supervision, allowing the unhealthy behaviors of teens to flourish. Ultimately, this rift between adults and teenagers robs both generations of meaningful connections. For everyone's world is made richer and more challenging by having adolescents in it.
A work of luminous truth and revelation, A Tribe Apart serves as a wake-up call to parents, educators, and the population at large. Original, profoundly revealing, and emotionally wrenching, this report from the front lines will forever change the way we think about our children--and ourselves.