By Fleming C
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Extra resources for Adolescence : its social psychology, with an introduction to recent findings from the fields of anthropology, physiology, medicine, psychometrics and sociometry
They have no property of their own, and they take no interest in the activities of the adults, who, in turn, expect from them no co-operation, no contribution to the corporate life, no deference and no obedience. They are early taught the physical alertness and resourcefulness necessary for those whose homes are balanced precariously above the waters of a lagoon. Respect for the property of adults is enforced; and an early introduction is given to the elaborate system of taboos under whose shadow the community lives.
One of the earliest was that of Thomas,2 who threw light on the delinquency of unadjusted girls by an interpretation of their misdemeanours in terms of the needs which their society had failed to satisfy. They longed for new experience, security, response and recognition; and in place of these their homes had given them monotony, insecurity and rejection. Their delinquency was describable as a misguided attempt to find satisfaction for their fundamental wishes. Out of many such lists3 perhaps the most useful is that which emphasises as primary the need of the human being for acceptance by his group—for love in the intimate circle of the home, for admiration among his contemporaries and for appreciation from 46 THE ADOLESCENT AT HOME employers or teachers.
The men in such tribes are reported to be shy, timid and inferior in status. They are thought of as being the less highly sexed. They wait for favours from women and their corporate life is observed to be characterised by petty gossip, spying, quarrelling and backbiting. Gentle women and actively-sexed or aggressive men are looked upon as maladjusted. In other parts of the world there may be an emphasis on measured kindliness and tolerance comparable to that described by Benedict9 in the matrilineal groupings of the Pueblos of New Mexico.