Grounded in investigations conducted over the past 25 years, Adolescents’ Self-Discovery in Groups demonstrates how adolescents can become more active in society based on how they form, maintain, and evaluate groups. By collaborating with youth in a wide range of communities, Thorkildsen details the trajectory of adolescents’ development—from a primarily self-oriented perspective to beliefs about and participation in local and global activities. Focused especially on the potential of schools for catalyzing this development, this volume details youth’s affirmations and critiques of educational practices, and uses these evaluations to illustrate adolescents’ readiness to fulfill leadership responsibilities. Written for scholars, students, and professionals seeking to understand how adolescents construe their social worlds, Adolescents’ Self-Discovery in Groups makes a powerful case for group interaction being central to adolescent development.
"In this important, creative, and provocative book, Professor Thorkildsen extends substantially the boundaries of the developmental science of adolescence. She uses cutting-edge relational developmental systems concepts and innovative methods to illuminate the fundamental significance of mutually influential relations between individuals and their social worlds in shaping the emergence of adolescents’ conceptions of self and of their roles in group and community life. Adolescents’ Self-Discovery in Groups is a singularly invaluable addition to the literature of youth development, one that provides a profound understanding of the process through which youth become active contributors to their own development and to civil society."
--Richard M. Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and Director, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University, USA
"Adolescents’ Self-Discovery in Groups is the product of professional experience and expertise in adolescent thinking accrued over three decades of research work with adolescents. This is a major contribution to existing literature on adolescent identity development in a globalized, technology-driven world. The book seamlessly integrates psychological literature on the role of groups in adolescents’ development with philosophical discourses on civic and civil education in democratic societies and sociological discussions on the role of institutions such as schools and community organizations to understand how adolescents construe their social worlds."
--Revathy Kumar, Professor, Educational Psychology, Judith Herb College of Education, University of Toledo, USA
Introduction: Discovering the Self in Society
Part 1: Personal Discourse
Chapter 1: Caring for the Self
Chapter 2: Learning from Models
Chapter 3: Negotiating Rejection and Neglect
Part 2: Civic Discourse
Chapter 4: Choosing Causes
Chapter 5: Group Decision-Making
Chapter 6: Deciding When and How to Reject Outgroups
Part 3: Civil Discourse
Chapter 7: Intentions and Civil Discourse
Chapter 8: Schools as Institutions of the Civil Sphere
Chapter 9: Cultivating Relational Ties Between Youth and Society
Epilogue: Striving for an Aristotelian Balance