Rites of Passage Essay

Rite of Passage Anthony Solin BSHS/342 June 10, 2010 Patti Williams, PHD In society, there is a transition that every youth will transition to adulthood and this transition period is commonly referred to as the rites of passage. This marks the period in which every female and adolescent males will go through. Rite of passage is a terminology that was enunciated by Arnold van Gennep who in his denotes rituals that some society takes part in to celebrate a youth transition into adulthood.

Gennep works has been widely accepted as the basis anthropological thought. These rites of passages correlate to the transitioning period from adolescents to adulthood. Rites of passage are a ritual, event and or celebration that scribe an individual’s progression from one status to another. This rite of passage is a widely accepted belief cross culturally, a phenomenon which reveals to anthropologist the complexities of human development, social hierarchies, values, and beliefs which are pertinent in specific cultures.

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Ceremonies, celebrations, bar mitzvah, family tradition commemorate the young adolescent’s transition to adulthood and mark his or her new journey into the new world. We will examine and answer the demands that society has on the adolescents, the many factors that they are bombarded with and the many pressures that they are faced with, sexual orientation development, the biological changes that take place during adolescence and how those changes affect the Childs physical, emotional, social and cognitive development.

In addition, evaluate the process in which they go through from separation, initiation and reintegration. Pressures to fit in Teenagers, today are experience many pressures, from acceptance in “in crowd” to being knowledgeable about the latest trends. These pressures that affect them shapes their thoughts process and thus their decision making as well, the fact is that teenagers are pressured to grow up fast, disregarding parental supervision and advice and alienate themselves from values that would help navigate them in life.

In local high schools, from my work as a Marine recruiter, I see the ongoing trend that these young teens partake, social rituals they undergo in order to be part of the “in crowd. ” I notice that I too was a young pimple faced adolescent who earnestly wanted to be part of the in crowd, a crowd that was hip, popular, well versed in urban vernacular and knowledgeable on the latest styles. This crowd of special individuals had encoded language to disguise their covert actions from their parents, teachers and those in authority. Their mission was to live life without rules, exercise their independence through defiant actions.

Acceptance into this “in crowd” was not easy and the qualifications to get in were not quite as simple. One of these qualifications would be a certain economic status, friends of a particular status and certain things you possess. This would allow a individual to be included into this “in crowd”, in school all over this nation, they are sub groups that are children are longing to be inducted, these groups progress into their secondary education at colleges where we see fraternities, sororities or even those who go to military.

As parents we must better prepare them to discern negative associations, gangs, and people with ulterior motives, these individuals will fill the a void that has apparently missing from the lack of structure, love and encouragement a mixture to solidified a key that will unlock the doors to adulthood. Rites of passage is an induction for the child to transition from on stage to another and a foundation for them to build their lives to become productive citizens and thus process again with the next generation that they shall raise.

Is this preparation enough to avoid the traps, deceptions and snares of this cold, cold world, a world that values, morality and genuine goodness is almost a thing of the past and the only way to get ahead is by materialism and association. Astin (1984) stated that parents act as “value socializers,” shaping their children’s perceptions of the appropriateness of occupational-related decisions. Eccles (1994) theorized that parents are “expectancy socializers” who greatly influence their children’s self-perceptions of being academically and vocationally competent.

Young (1994) described parents as the primary providers of encouragement for their adolescents to reach vocational goals through both the modeling of career-related, goal-directed behavior and by actively providing career-related learning experiences. ” Good parenting that is effective and guided by moral compass will enable, prepare and navigate their children into adulthood and that in essence is a rite of passage, a ceremony a parent has with his son or daughter.

The parent sole responsibility is inform them of the importance of making sound and careful decision and using practical wisdom and trusting their “gut instinct” on any issue that they are faced with. What about the those children whom like myself raised by the hands assistance of the government through foster care, these children still should be given positive encouragement, preparation from seasoned adults who are well established and able to give good advice and it is their job to ensure that they are aware of the outside influencers that can affect their judgment. Sexual Orientation

A teenager will go through many changes, biologically, emotionally and physically, these are result of puberty. This process brings an awareness to feelings, hormonal changes that plays a role in the sexual development. Questions , thoughts and fears go through their mind, questions about sexual orientation, engaging in sexual activity, masturbation and thoughts of the opposite or to some the same sex. This process will awaken such emotions that in young males will drive them to seek a way to release those “happy” emotions, and females a way to attract someone to love them on a emotional level.

It is during this time that parents must actively engage and be open and honest about those changes that he or she is going. Normal growth during puberty includes increase in boy size, sexual menstruation, this plays a driving their need to experience sexually and a period of self discovery where masturbation maybe initiated to understand the changes there is going through. Parents should ensure that their children understand the changes their body is going through and consolation to know that such emotions is understandable, and should prepare them to better handle the pressures of sexual intercourse.

The reality today is that teens are engaging in sexual activity, experimentation with substance abuse and other acts that their parents would put them, six feet deep. In the line of work I do, the teenagers that flow in and out of office disclose things that apparently their parents are not aware and sad to say if they were more present and consistent with discipline those teenagers would not make those decisions that could affect their future and it is evident from teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

The statistics prove that teen pregnancy is at a growing rate and is due to the lack of poor education, parents not reinforcing the importance of abstinence or contraceptives and the consequences of engaging in any sexual activity. Parents, teachers and those who are influencer in the child life should fulfill their roles by providing that child with the necessary safety net to avoid making the wrong decisions. In conclusion, rites of passage cultural is a celebration to mark the ones transition to adulthood, but the success of that teenager is reliant on the foundation in which the parents, role models lay for them.

The responsibilities of the parents are provide their children with the loving support, guidance and information that would help them to make well informed choices and decisions. The foundation laid is pertinent to their success in the adult world and should be noted that good sound advice should be modeled in the parents as they teach their children the importance of values, principals and responsibility. The process in which their child would go through from separation of child to going through the initiation phase that would usher them to re-integration into society, this process is delicate and should be taken with great care.

References Astin, H. S. (1984). The meaning of work in women’s lives: A socio-psychological model of career choice and work behavior. Counseling Psychologist;, 12, 117-126. Eccles, J. S. (1994). Understanding women’s educational and occupational choices: Applying the Eccles et al. model of achievement-related choices. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 18, 585-609. Young, R. A. (1994). Helping adolescents with career development: The active role of parents. The Career Development Quarterly, 42, 195-203.


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