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Individualization as Hope and as Disaster: A Socioeconomic Perspective (From Social World of Adolescents: International Perspectives, P 27-41, 1989, Klaus Hurrelmann and Uwe Engel, eds. -- See NCJ-120206)

NCJ Number
M Baethge
Date Published
15 pages
Changes that occurred in the structure of adolescent socialization with the transition to a bourgeois society are characterized as a trend toward double individualization.
Double individualization refers to patterns of socialization formerly specific to particular classes that are now both disintegrating and individualizing. Double individualization also denotes the content and form of socialization which, with the increasing independence of the socialization process for the adolescent age group and its release from direct involvement in the work process, are characterized more by factors conducive to the formation of an individual identity and less by factors through which a collective identity might be forged. The restructuring of youth experiences from a work-oriented lifestyle to an education-oriented lifestyle impacts the development, behavior, and opinions of youth and their attitudes toward society and work. The change from productionist to consumerist socialization in adolescence has destructured adolescence. The cultural destructuring of adolescence, however, is only one aspect resulting from the dynamics of expanding market economies. Another aspect relates to the basic social prerequisite for attaining adult status, and this status is closely linked to attaining a firm position in a profession or other form of employment. It is concluded that, as long as work represents a key determinant of the social structure, there is no chance of breaking work's power to set standards for socialization and utilizing the potential of such fields of socialization as learning, play, and communication. 17 references.