Cultural Significance Of Teen Films

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Teen films are the definitive genre that captures the adolescent zeitgeist during the 1980s, and its popularity still hold cultural relevance in the present day. The teen films produced during the 1980s effectively represent youth concerns and the coming-of-age narrative, in terms of adolescent identity, the different roles characters play, sexuality, gender, relationships, class issues and the generational divide. Exploring these issues is essential for recognizing the cultural significance of this specific group of films and how they are important in addressing concerns of the adolescent coming of age narrative. The Breakfast Club by John Hughes is an exploration and reflection of the changing Hollywood industry, political, economic,…show more content…
Sex and relationships are recurring themes throughout the genre and are essential elements teen narrative. Their portrayal ranges from comic interactions to serious exchanges and emotional liberation from restrictive forces. Timothy Shary explains the significance of these two thematic threads: “Romantic longing and sexual curiosity take on heightened intensity and profundity for youth in the adolescent years struggle to recognise and cope with the emotional and psychological changes”(2002). The character’s experience with sex are usually comedic and linked to sexual discovery and loss of virginity, which are continually present topics in the narrative. It is is often a determinant that shapes teen identity, as well as providing a commentary on societal questions regarding a desire of intimacy. The sexual exploits between the teen male and female investigates teen behavior and the conceptualization of feelings and emotions in their discovery of identity. Another convention which surfaces again and again during the 1980s teen genre is the generational divide that exists in the familial structure, resulting in teens rebelling against adult authority. Within the genre adults are often portrayed in a negative light in both comical and serious ways: teachers are depicted as corrupt and arrogant as incompetent social figures. Parents are often unseen, distant, emotionally detached, cold, violent and abusive. The setting and
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