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ERIC Number: EJ922494
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1088-8691
American Identity: Impact of Youths' Differential Experiences in Society on Their Attachment to American Ideals
Spencer, Margaret Beale
Applied Developmental Science, v15 n2 p61-69 2011
This article examines the problem of national and civic detachment among American youth. Using a developmental theoretical framework that integrates the ecological aspects of development with the phenomenological experiences of the developing individual, I argue that young Americans have difficulty developing an attachment to their identity as Americans due to contradictory experiences had between daily events and communicated perspectives and beliefs about America. The espoused story of America contains historical distortions, which we set as socializing adults and the collective context for youth development. Youth changes require that adults first confront the noted distortions in our own understanding of America before imposing American identity expectations on our youth. In order to do this, I propose that American society needs forums for civil discourse that can occur among groups with shared social experiences, to address these distortions in a safe space before engaging with those who have a different perspective on and experience with American society.
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States