chapter  13
‘Normal learning problems’ in youth: In the context of underlying cultural convictions
Pages 16

Ever since the publication of his dissertation Puberty and Narcissism (in German) in 1975, Thomas Ziehe, now Professor at the Hanover University, has been well known in Germany and Scandinavia for his insights and interpretations of youth psychology, youth culture and youth education. In 1982 he published, together with Herbert Stubenrauch, probably his most important book, Pleading for Unusual Learning (in German), which broke with prevailing understandings and introduced a new view on youth and education in modern society. Since then, Ziehe has produced a continuous fl ow of papers and articles closely following the changes and developments in the thinking, feeling, learning, understandings and behaviour of teenagers and suggesting corresponding changes in teaching and schooling. As a sociologist and social psychologist, Ziehe belongs to what has been termed the third generation of the so-called Frankfurt School, and his solid theoretical basis is accompanied by an almost seismographic empathy in the everchanging conditions and movements of the youth generation. In the following chapter, which compiles three recent papers in German, Ziehe explains his understanding of the basic forces which today are directing learning, development and culture in youth.