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Keywords:

  • adolescence;
  • cohorts;
  • life course;
  • cultural drift;
  • culture change

Abstract

This article proposes a cohort-based theoretical model of understanding adolescence as a key moment in the intersection of individual and cultural change. Drawing on work from anthropology, psychology, and sociology, adolescence is shown to be a critical time for examining the proximate interactions of individuals with the cultural models and norms transmitted to them in the re-creation of new generational norms and practices. Examples are provided from Kenya, Mexico, and Nepal as well as the United States. This kind of psychocultural research contributes to policy, practice, and theory regarding both adolescence and cultural change.