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Adolescent Peer Pressure

Between the ages of twelve and nineteen is a period in a teenager’s life that determines what kind of adult he or she will become. This period of adolescence, also known as the “formative years”, is the subject of much study and research to determine why adolescents are vulnerable to the phenomenon called peer pressure. The disturbing number of incidents of teenage drug use, teenage pregnancy and teenage suicide is most assuredly the reason that fuels the need for such research. Perhaps it is because as children they are taught the importance of having and maintaining friends. Or perhaps they don’t feel that they can talk to their parents or teachers when problems arise. Or maybe they simply want to rebel against the pressures placed on them as youths. Because adolescents spend their time either at home or in school, it is within these confines that the answers to adolescents’ behavior lay. In other words, family and school can sometimes cause adolescents to give in to peer pressure because of an overemphasis on the importance of social adjustment, a lack of interest or communication on the part of the parents and teachers, and the unrealistic expectations that these entities create.

Although the purpose of attending school is to receive an education, it also provides children with a medium through which they can develop relationships with other children that eventually turn into friendships. The ability to form friendships can be traced back to even the pre-school years and its importance henceforth emphasized by eager parents who want their children to fit in at school. “Interactions with friends or other peers are crucial for the development of a mature morality.” (Juvonen, p.11) Most would agree that social interaction is important but sometimes parents are guilty of over-emphasizing this importance. Let’s recall the numerous birthday parties where every child in the neighborhood was invited to come regardless of whether or not they were actual friends. This desire to socialize children also occurs in the classroom at school. “The classroom setting represents not only an educational arena but a powerful social context in which the psychological adjustment of children and adolescents can be affected.”(Juvonen, p.248) Teachers tend to promote social interaction by assigning exercises that require working in pairs or groups. Furthermore, when a teacher spots a child playing alone, they will encourage him or her to join the other children while overlooking the possibility that the child might have preferred to be alone.

Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels – Traditions of the Lilliputians Gulliver’s Travels Essays

Modifying the Traditions of the Lilliputians In Gulliver’s Travels, through the character of Lemuel Gulliver, Jonathan Swift apparently wishes to modify the traditions of the Lilliputians. The traditions were of breaking eggs from the small end first and “That all true believers shall break their eggs at the convenient end”; other such satirist traditions were to be followed, found in the chapter entitled “A Voyage to Lilliput.” One of the first traditions that appear in the chapter is rope-dancing. Rope-dancers are Lilliputians who are seeking employment in the government, for the performance, as a competitive examination, the candidates dance on ropes, or “a slender white thread, extended about two foot, twelve inches from he ground” (73); whomever jumps the highest earns a position in office. The people who currently hold office continue this tradition as well, in order to show that they have not lost their skill. There does not seem to be any desire for modification of this tradition; on the contrary, Gulliver seems to be entertained by the tradition. The second tradition of the Lilliputians that appears in this chapter is of the heels. The heels represent the two different political parties in this Empire; Slamecksans are the low-heeled and the Tramecksan are the high-heeled.Raldresal, Principal Secretary of Private Affairs, tells Gulliver that the they, Slamecksans, believe that the high-heeled government is far greater than their government, but that “the power was wholly” on their side (84). He adds that the Emperor himself has lower heels than all of his officials, but that he has one heel higher than the other, making him walk unevenly. Perhaps, through the description of the uneven heels, the author is telling the reader that government is not at all perfect, and is “uneven” or injustice. Yet, there are many more other traditions he feels should be modified.

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