chapter  14
Adolescents’ relationships to institutional order
ByMonica Rubini, Augusto Palmonari
Pages 20

This chapter deals with adolescents’ orientation towards institutional authorities, that is, the way in which they relate to the formal system of society. Adolescents’ orientations in this regard are shaped to a considerable extent, as we will illustrate, by their experiences with the school system and their interactions within the peer group. In this respect we will consider different aspects of adolescents* school experience, taking into account the pivotal role of school socialization in shaping the general orientation of individuals towards institutions. We will also look at the interplay between school experience and peer group membership in influencing attitudes and behaviours towards the formal institutions. But before we concentrate on those links, we will show how the institutional framework of society assumes special importance during adolescence. We will then look further at the components of institutional orientation, how it develops, what sort of implications it has in terms of the social identity it communicates, and starting from the communication of attitudes or from the adoption of behaviours towards the institutional system we consider what impressions are formed by others.