By Julie Passanante Elman
The teen has frequently seemed in tradition as an apprehensive determine, the repository for American desires and worst nightmares, without delay near to luck and coming near near failure. Spotlighting the “troubled teenager” as a domain of father cultural, clinical, and governmental intervention, continual early life strains the teen as a determine by which huge threats to the normative order were negotiated and contained.
Examining tv, well known novels, technology journalism, new media, and public coverage, Julie Passanante Elman exhibits how the teen grew to become a cultural touchstone for transferring notions of able-bodiedness, heteronormativity, and neoliberalism within the past due 20th century. by means of the past due Nineteen Seventies, media industries in addition to policymakers started constructing new problem-driven ‘edutainment’ prominently that includes narratives of disability—from the immunocompromised The Boy within the Plastic Bubble to ABC’s After tuition Specials and teenage sick-lit. even supposing this conjoining of incapacity and youth all started as a storytelling conference, incapacity grew to become even more than a metaphor because the strategy of medicalizing early life intensified via the Nineties, with parenting books containing neuro-scientific warnings in regards to the incomplete and unstable “teen brain.” project a cultural background of minor that mixes incapacity, queer, feminist, and comparative media stories, Elman deals a provocative new account of ways American cultural manufacturers, policymakers, and doctors have mobilized discourses of incapacity to forged youth as a treatable “condition.” by means of tracing the teen’s asymmetric passage from postwar insurgent to twenty first century sufferer, persistent formative years exhibits how little ones grew to become a lynchpin for a tradition of perpetual rehabilitation and neoliberal governmentality.
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Additional info for Chronic Youth: Disability, Sexuality, and U.S. Media Cultures of Rehabilitation
The song was called “The Boy in the Bubble,” a title that invoked the cultural memory of David Vetter III, a “bubble boy” >> 29 30 << Medicine Is Magical and Magical Is Art who was born without an immune system, lived his entire life in a plastic enclosure, and died two years prior to Graceland’s release. In its outward look from the bubble, the song chronicled the screaming pace of technological change across multiple fields in the 1980s by emphasizing vertigo-inducing shifts of time, distance, scale, and space.
Rehabilitative citizenship is also a way of thinking theoretically and culturally about how two familiar narratives of development, “coming of age” and “overcoming disability,” became intertwined in “healthy” popular media for teenagers and emerged as a new strategy of neoliberal governmentality. Cripping adolescence reveals a culture of rehabilitation that has become so naturalized that, by the end of the twentieth century, it no longer requires disability to further its reach. If we all have disabilities to overcome, as a culture of rehabilitation insists, then we have nothing to change but ourselves.
49 Neoliberalism’s philosophy of personal responsibility acts as an important counterpart to rehabilitation. As complementary systems, they elide how ongoing structural inequalities, based on race, class, gender, sexuality, or dis/ability, continue to affect education, employment, health care, and access to citizenship and instead prioritize the individual will to overcome adversity as the key determinant of success. One can see this rehabilitative logic at work in various arenas. 50 Contemporaneously, prevailing “color-blind” racist practices of “postracial” America maintain that any acknowledgment of ongoing racism is itself racist in a culture that celebrates achievement regardless of race, color, gender, or sexual orientation despite tacitly perpetuating ongoing structures of inequality.