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Book Review of The Road to Whatever by Elliott Currie

by Suleman

Children and teenagers are susceptible to population units. This is because they face many life issues, some of which do not know how they are supposed to react. However, teenagers or youths are the most affected as they tend to avoid correction, and if not handled properly, their behavior could get out of control. This work will look at different behavior traits portrayed by children after subjection to different circumstances. The discussion will be based on Elliott Currie’s book, “The Road to Whatever,” and the various issues discussed by the author.

Different individuals go through different life experiences affected by various issues, for instance, family background. The characters, children and youths, in “The Road to Whatever” exhibit a rebellious behavior where they do not seem to care about the consequences of their actions or other people that may be affected. Most of the children in this story come from a family background that is relatively stable, for instance, in terms of finances. These children are involved in activities such as drug and alcohol abuse given this incentive. On the other hand, parents have not been in a position to handle their children’s behavior effectively as there have been instances of misperception regarding what ought to be done. Therefore, this shows that it is not because of ‘lack’ but rather the presence of a culture that does not appreciate the children and makes them know where they go wrong. Parents also try to correct the children inappropriately, through punishment, an aspect that makes them feel unwanted hence resulting in indulgence in criminal activities as a way to hide their embarrassment (Currie, 2006).

Book Review of The Road to Whatever by Elliott Currie

Currie Elliot, author of The Road to Everything: Middle and Adolescent Culture, is a sociologist, a factor that has led to the growth of the various sociological aspects that are depicted in the story in question. According to the author, there has been a change in how society operates, especially concerning the treatment of children and youths. For instance, parents and caregivers have neglected their responsibility to bring up their children appropriately. Yet, they are very hard on them once they make some mistakes. The parents’ poor treatment of teenagers is largely to blame for the teenagers’ indulgence in criminal activities. Respect and dignity are simple but yet very crucial aspects of an individual. In their absence, there is a high possibility of going astray to fight back feelings of humiliation and disrespect (Currie, 2006).

My experience as a teenager did not vary from the experience of the kids in this novel. At times we became terrible enemies with my parents as they tried to force me to do things that did not please me or those I considered not to be my responsibility. One instance that I do remember is when I became the 10th student in class concerning performance, whereas previously, I would not go beyond position three. My dad was so mad at me and treated me as a failure stating that it was due to bad company and influence. I felt so hurt because I still worked hard before. To counter this, I decided to be reluctant to learn to appreciate excellent performance and advise when I made mistakes.

Being in the career of criminal justice, it is evident that I will be faced with various issues that relate to instilling of discipline or rather solving behavior- related cases. Here, I should be very critical to make the best response to avoid affecting the children in a negative manner that would make them turn rebellious rather than correct their ways. The first thing I ‘d suggest particularly amongst parents is that they seek to understand their children to the greatest extent possible so that they can be able to handle them in a manner that does not seem to be a form of punishment or disregard. For the children, I would show them the benefits associated with good behavior compared to the drawbacks that go hand in hand with delinquent behavior, such as having to face the law and performing poorly in the school. This way, I will put them in a position to make informed decisions instead of forcing them to behave in a particular manner, which is more likely to foster rebellious actions. Having talked to the parents will have changed the teenagers’ environment, hence facilitating positive change in behavior.

Various theories have been put forth regarding behaviors exhibited by individuals and how they ought to be handled. Some have been developed concerning juvenile delinquency or rather the indulgence of children and youths into behaviors and activities that are not acceptable by law and the general society. The children’s actions and the responses got from the parents, teachers, and other professionals could be seen concerning the strain theory, as discussed in the Agnew book. This theory is based on the fact that youths may experience strain, which may annoy them and encourage them to engage in criminal activities. From the book, we find that teenagers are subjected to adverse treatment, such as rejection and neglect, and strict home and school supervision, that make them feel unwanted hence indulging in delinquency to deal with the humiliation feeling. In my capacity as personnel in criminal justice, I feel that poor treatment to the teenagers by parents and other individuals is detrimental and should be avoided under all circumstances to avoid losing the essential part of the population into delinquent behaviors.

From the discussion in the book, The Road to Whatever: Middle-Class Culture and the Crisis of Adolescence, various significant issues are relevant when it comes to the concept of dealing with children. To avoid having such generations in the future, there is a dire need to formulate benevolent policies that may guide families, organizations, and learning institutions. The policies should foster a caring attitude that will, in return, allow for a better society where individuals are valued for whom they are. The parents should learn to treat their children as children rather than looking at them as adults and expecting them not to make mistakes that they made at that stage.

Reference List
  • Currie, E. (2006). The Road to Whatever: Middle-Class Culture and the Crisis of Adolescence. New York: Henry Holt and Co.

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