January 1983

Conservatism new teen trend

   A noticeable turn towards a more conservative attitude has been taking place among the present generation of teenagers. The change in attitude has occurred since the rebel sixties and seventies. Only a decade ago, many families were divided by their views on the Vietnam War, seen in their children's rebelliousness that was symbolized by long hair, rock music, and drugs.
   Even Maine South teens showed their rebelliousness when in 1969 ten or twelve girls made a protest against the dress code by wearing pants to school instead of skirts. This move was for the better, though, and succeeded in abolishing the dress code.
   However, since the end of the Vietnam War, teens' views have taken a turn to the right. Rebellious behavior has decreased according to Mr. Bitta, Dean of Students. "Although the number of students getting into trouble has increased, the severity of the problems has decreased."
   Even the manner students dress now reflect this conservative attitude; the radical "hippie" look has been replaced by the more conservative "preppy."
   In place of rebelling against parents, most teenagers now depend more on their parents financially and also emotionally, respecting their opinions and advice. Teens now appear less idealistic than those of years before. They are more preoccupied with preparing for a future whereas a sixties teen criticized the materialism of their parents and labeled college as a part of the Establishment. In recent years, though, college enrollment has soared. Even in spite of the economy, teens are obtaining education and skills in order to compete for jobs.
    This label of conservatism is not to say that teens are not involved in political concerns or national and world affairs. They are very much informed on current issues, more so than their parents were at this age, and will stand up for their beliefs, supported by people of all ages. Hopefully, today's informed teens can stop tomorrow's disasters from tearing apart the present unity of generations.