Adolescence through the Lens

HDev312 Spring 2022Dr. FeltonPaper Assignment: Film AnalysisDue: In Forum Group’s Paper Forum by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 1st

Adolescence through the Lens of A Feature Film

This assignment asks you to analyze a feature film about adolescence by applying concepts, dynamics, processes, and issues addressed in our course readings. You’ll draw primarily on readings from Week Six on through the semester. For example: topics pertaining to adolescents’ family, peers and friendships, romantic relationships, sexual identity, the role of smartphones and social media in adolescents’ everyday lives, school as a context for development, work and career aspirations and possibilities, problems such as drug abuse or mental illness, or challenges such as unplanned early pregnancy (among other concerns). You may also draw on readings from the first part of the semester on the teenage brain, risk-taking and adolescent cognition and on pubertal timing.

[Note: An alternate option for selecting a novel or a non-fiction memoir is listed at the end of these guidelines.]

Select ONE of the Following Films:

Hoop Dreams (1994)

Bend it Like Beckham (2002)

Love and Basketball (2000)

Our Song (2001)

Real Women Have Curves (2002)Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Eighth Grade (2018)

Juno (2007)Quinceañera (2006)

Love, Concord (2012)

The Spectacular Now (2013)

The Wood (1999)

Dope (2015)

ATL (2006)The Kings of Summer (2013)

Lean on Me (1989)

Coach Carter (2005)

Boyz n the Hood (1991)

The Hate You Give (2018)

Mean Girls (2004)

Love, Simon (2018)

Mosquita & Mari (2012)

The Perks of being a Wallflower (2012)

All of these films are widely available and each reflect many of the themes addressed in our text’s readings.

Your task is to identify concepts, ideas, and insights we’ve been addressing and to apply them to the central character(s) and experiences depicted in the film. Your paper is NOT meant to be an exhaustive survey of all of the concepts depicted; rather, your task is to select 6 concepts, processes and/or dynamics and explore them in depth by focusing in on specific instances in the film. Use the specific examples from the film to explain how the experiences depicted are consistent or inconsistent with the research presented in our readings. For example, if you select Juno, you might address the following concepts, dynamics, and issues: the social support offered by peers, adolescents’ increasing levels of autonomy in the family system, or challenges, risks, and protective factors related to an early unplanned pregnancy.

When citing the text or other course materials verbatim (directly) or when paraphrasing (indirectly), be sure to identify the relevant page number(s). Use in-text citation.

Tips on developing your paper:

Availability of Films: at independent and chain video stores; through Netflix, iTunes, and other online sources; through your local library.

Having a good grasp of the film means that you will need to watch it more than once. You’ll also want to take notes. Remember, your primary purpose in viewing the film is for analysis, not entertainment (although an appreciation for the film will support your engagement). You’ll want to view the film critically, considering how the film depicts themes and concepts discussed in the readings and viewing material addressed from Week Six on. Strategies for Note-taking: Some students prefer to take notes during their first viewing of the film (when the story and characters are fresh and unfamiliar). Others choose to make notes after their first viewing, and then re-view the film and make more detailed notes. Whatever strategy you choose, you will need to view the film more than once, and you may view portions of it multiple times. You’ll also want to jot down relevant bits of verbatim dialogue and descriptions of events that you’ll incorporate in your writing.

Provide an introductory paragraph that BRIEFLY summarizes the arc of the film (4-5 sentences max), and then tell readers of your paper why it’s a particularly useful film for addressing specific dynamics, processes and challenges that adolescents face. Make sure to identify the 6 concepts or processes that you’ll be focusing on for your paper.

Your paper must be thoughtfully developed. Focus your analysis on one or two central characters. Also, be sure to refer to the characters by name (not by the name of the actor playing the role). If you aren’t sure of characters’ names, you can find them on (Internet Movie Database), or by rolling the film credits at the end of the film.

Remember, you’re not being asked to review the film or write up your reactions to the film. Your task is to examine how the film illuminates and helps us to understand the various phenomena that we are studying.

Papers will be posted in your Forum Group’s Paper Forum.

Alternate Assignment Option:

Some of you may prefer to skip the added screen time needed for this assignment. If that’s the case, you may select a novel or a non-fiction book or memoir that focuses on the adolescent experience through the lens of a specific teen. This may also be a way for you to focus in greater depth on particular issues facing adolescents. For example, you might want to address autism or neurodiversity, homelessness, activism, a highly creative adolescent, or drug addiction. Please email me directly with the title of the text that you plan to use.

[Note: For either option (the film or a book about an adolescent): If you find that our course materials are insufficient in addressing the themes (dynamics, processes, issues) that you want to examine, you may certainly opt to bring in outside sources. However, outside sources are not required.]

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