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Adolescents and their social representations: notes on the importance of the historical context

This study aims to discuss the modes of social representation of adolescence. Scientific tradition, especially from Erikson (1976), favored the social representation according to which adolescence is a period of transition between childhood and adulthood, ie, a period marked by instability, crisis and turbulence whose main characteristic is manifested by the loss of childhood and the beginning of adult life. The discussion presented here derives from the assumption that, when the adolescent universe acquires social status of legitimacy, which can be seen through the media and social representation, then adolescence is no longer that period of instability and crisis; unfamiliar period which only sense is to reach adulthood. Adolescence, as it is represented in its own socially symbolic construction, can no longer be seen only as an interface, but has legitimated its own social space.

adolescence; social representation; historical context


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