chapter  4
Social Relations and the Social World
Pages 15

In this chapter I want to address two aspects of social life, those of personal relationships and those of social context.

Relations with Adults

In growing into adolescence some tension between the youth and his parents is almost inevitable. As we saw in the last chapter, this is a time in which the young person has to achieve the personal autonomy necessary for the development of a sense of identity. Without this sense of identity the individual is l ikely to be goal-less and fail to achieve adulthood satisfactorily. At some level the young recognize the need and will be pressing for ever greater independence. For a variety of reasons, parents and others responsible for the care of the young may tend to resist this pressure for greater freedom. In part, this resistance may come from the force of habit, having cared for someone for many years it is not easy to relinquish this role. But there will also be valid reasons for concern. Adults know that it can be a tough world, in which many other adults are only too willing to exploit the naiveté of youth and, in the light of such knowledge, one tends toward caution. Thus the scene is set for a time in which the adolescent is constantly claiming greater freedoms which parents and teachers are tending to resist.