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ERIC Number: EJ821058
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-1367-6261
Teen Driving as Public Drama: Statistics, Risk, and the Social Construction of Youth as a Public Problem
Best, Amy L.
Journal of Youth Studies, v11 n6 p651-669 Dec 2008
In popular and policy framings in the USA, traffic accidents and fatalities involving teens are typically treated as having their own facticity. Much like other social phenomenon, teen driving accidents are regarded as though they are part of an objective reality external to a set of ideational or discursive processes and social organization of knowledge. Treated as such, teen driving accidents and fatalities are uncritically classified, counted, and compared with rates of accidents and fatalities among other groups of drivers with the purpose to direct public policy decisions and give authority to specific legislative agendas. Examining the rhetorical practices through which an event or an object appears as a factual given, "as if" belonging to an objective and unproblematic reality, this paper examines how teen driving and the teen driver are social created through a public problems discourse, fueling panic among parents, policy officials and legislators, educators, and risk and safety experts. Significant consideration is given to the uses and misuses of statistics about teens and driving in various media outlets and by various claims-makers in the construction of teen driving as a public drama with specific policy and legislative outcomes. (Contains 3 tables and 21 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A