The Coming of Age of an Adolescent Character

For this assignment, you will read a novel or watch a film that depicts the “coming-of-age” story of one or more adolescent characters. You will then use the theories and concepts learned in this course to write a 5-7 page analysis of the novel or film while emphasizing ways in which the movie’s adolescent character/s illustrate characteristics and research discussed in the course. To complete this assignment, you will also find and incorporate at least 3 peer-reviewed research articles. A main focus of your paper should be the extent to which the novel or film you chose represents adolescence accurately (based on what you know from the research presented in class and in the empirical research you find), versus depicting a more stereotypical / inaccurate view. Initial ideas final paper: Adolescent egocentrism (ch 2) – imaginary audience (pretending to be straight), personal fable (drugs, affairs, robbery) Social intervention (ch 3) – delinquency, living in poverty leading to less motivation in school Effects of family (ch 4) – single parenthood (alcoholic father, sister takes care of siblings) Schooling (ch 6) – there is no educational support, has low expectations for his future (eventually attempts at military) Work (ch 7) – Ian has worked since the beginning of the series, helps support family Identity development (ch 8) – gay, bipolar The series that I chose to focus on for my research paper is Shameless. This series has ten seasons, with talk about an eleventh final season to end the crazy lifestyle that the Gallagher Family lives. The adolescent character that I chose to focus on is Ian Gallagher. Ian is the third oldest sibling out of the six children in the Gallagher family. Throughout the ten seasons it shows Ians growth and “coming-of-age” as he moves through his adolescent years. Throughout the series, it portrays the many physical, cognitive, social, and emotional domains that occur during the developmental period within Ians adolescent years. Some concepts and theories that have been discussed in class that are portrayed within Ians character include; egocentrism, the idea of social intervention, the many ways that family can affect one’s adolescent years, identity crisis, romantic relationships, and so much more. As Ian is coming of age the delinquency, drug use, alcoholism and negative behavior is shown throughout the series. It is very clear that coming from a high poverty neighborhood, an alcoholic father and a mother who abandoned her family has taken a toll on the development of this adolescent. As the series goes on, we learn about the cognitive issues that Ian runs into, and how it essentially affects his social and personal experiences.

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