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Hurt: Inside the World of Today's Teenagers (Youth, Family, and Culture) Paperback – October 1, 2004
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If parents, educators, and youth workers were to read only one book about helping adolescencethis would be the one. Chap Clark managed to get inside the world of US teenagers and reveal the depths of angst, pressure and loneliness they feel. Hurt is a illuminates the under layers of teen culture, the places where adolescents are most honest and vulnerable, only to discover that todays youth are indeed a tribe apartand it is the adults who have isolated them.
Most of Clarks research took place in Crescenta Valley High School in north Los Angeles County. One might wonder how a middle-aged dad could get inside the heads of so many teens from so many walks of life. He did this by doing what most adults are unwilling to dospending time with teens and asking questions, by showing a genuine curiosity in their world and a willingness to hear their answers without judgment. The results are riveting.
Ultimately this is an indictment of our increasingly adult-centric society that is more invested in adult interests than the individual needs of our youth. By the time adolescents enter high school, most have been subjected to at least a decade of adult-driven agendas. He slams coaches who are so invested in winning at youth sports that they leave mediocre athletes on the bench or pull them off the team. He points to the once playful dance classes that somehow morph into intensive dance training and regional competitions. Or the high school junior who faces a nightly four-to-five hour marathon of homework only to rise at 7 a.m. for morning band practice before AP calculus. We reward youth for their adult-pleasing achievements, failing to consider the price of isolation, stress and fear of failing that this generates.
Clark (the author of Daughters & Dads 1576830489 and From Father to Son 1576832945) concludes the book with solid recommendations for turning this tide. Unfortunately, he often defends his research and recommendations, as if a critical academic was looking over his shoulder. The truth is this book belongs less to the world of academics and more appropriately in the hands of anyone who lives with or directly works with teenagers. --Gail Hudson
About the Author
Chap Clark (Ph.D., University of Denver) is associate professor of youth, family, and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he also serves as director of the Student Leadership Project and Institute of Youth Ministry. He has a wide background in Young Life, Youth Specialties, and pastoral ministry and is the author of over ten books.
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Ashley Denton (Author, Christian Outdoor Leadership: Theology, Theory, and Practice)
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This choice to teach high school was the basis for Chap Clark's groundbreakign book, "Hurt", which I heartily recommend to anyone connected with middle and high schoolers in America. As a former youth worker and parent of a teenager (and another approaching teenage) I cannot say enough about this book for its clear perception of the state of youth culture.
Prepare to be surprised, shocked, offended, and awakened to the state of our youth. This book will make you mad, sad, scared, and hopeful. Prepare for a paradigm shift. Clark has done careful research of the world of high school students, and his work examines their world of "clusters", or friendship groups, and also includes insightful glimpses of the social world, moral confusion, lonliness, and sexual behavior of our young.
I say "our young" because they really belong to us. This is our country's future, and Clark points out in vividly clear language the pain they face, the confusion they deal with, and the ways we adults have abandoned them.
However, this book is not a complete downer. Each chapter ends with hopeful suggestions for change; ways in which the cultural afflictions young people face can be healed. Hope is abundant, and change is possible.
If you truly care about middle and high schoolers, this book is for you! Make it your book club choice, buy it for your friends, fellow teachers, adminstrators, school board members, and youth workers!
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the world of youth--about how they are "doing" and how "things"
are for them--and oft en the...Read more