Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia's Dead End Kids
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Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia's Dead End Kids [Paperback]

Donna Gaines
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author, a freelance journalist working on a story about four teenagers in northern New Jersey who, in 1987, killed themselves in a suicide pact, gained entry into the world of the so-called "burnouts" of Bergenfield. Gaines, a former social worker and a devotee of rock music, began hanging out with local kids whose lives were much like those of the teenage suicides. Her reflections on the primacy of death in the culture of these nomads in a middle-class society are expressed in an earthy, colloquial style that marks the author's empathy with alienated youth. This is a hard-hitting, disturbing report urging adults to "renew our social contract with young people."
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Teenage Wasteland has become...a cult classic...the kind people refer to in hushed, reverent tones." -- Newsday, May 20, 2001

"The best of these [ethnographic] studies...for example... *Tally's Corner* and more recently, *Teenage Wasteland*...are regarded classics in socology." -- Pacific Sociologist, 1998

From the Author

In the years following the 1987 quadruple teenage suicide pact in Bergenfield, New Jersey, our youth have triumphed in many ways, innovating across categories of American culture and commerce. Despite the forces that pushed them down, most young people do survive.

In the 1990's, gang-related homicide upstaged suicide as the leading death among young people, after accidents. Again youth subculture was demonized; hip hop culture and rap music were blamed. At Columbine, we saw a new breed of angry American child. Part kamikaze, part suicide, part serial killer, two "outcasts" obliterated their peers and themselves. Once again, adults blamed youth subculture; goth, the Internet, video games and Marilyn Manson.

Adults still refuse to address the real issues; institutional failures, structural inequities and the brutalities that make up everyday life for too may kids. Young people continue to fight back. And again, they will prevail.

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