Social Problems SOCY 2031 Spring 2010 Reading and Lecture Notes: Gaines Gaines, “Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia’s Dead-End Kids,” Article 2 in Mapping the Social Landscape•Employs C. Wright Mills' sociological imagination and, specifically, his distinction between personal troubles and public issues •Argues that American teens have nothing to do and nowhere to go: –Drug use often begins as a positive act of self-preservation. –For a bored, ignored, lonely kid, drug oblivion may offer purpose and adventure •For the most part, burnouts and dirtbags are anomic small-town white boys and girls, just trying to get through the day. Their way of fighting back is to have enough fun to kill themselves before everything else does •Average American kids who don't have rich or well-connected parents have had these choices: –Play the game and try to get ahead –Do what your parents did and work yourself to death –Find solace in beer, God, or family –Take risks, cut deals, or break the law
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Social Problems SOCY, Gaines Gaines, slightly different choices, Average American kids