In the pages he consecrated to teenage life in Culture Against Man (1963), Jules Henry made much of a special anxiety among teenagers that was produced by the conjunction in their every day life of the need to be independent and of the need to find other people with whom to spend time, relax and, eventually, marry. He is particularly graphic in his account of the depth of this anxiety and of the children's awareness as to its source even as they found it impossible to escape it. In spite of the difference in vocabulary between his study and mine, it is certain that there is not much difference between Rome and Sheffield, between 1955 America and 1970 America. The introspective loneliness is still present, and so are the ambiguous groups that it produces. In the preceding two chapters, I have not made much of this anxiety as such, partially because our interviews and observations were not designed to elicit its expression.
In this last part of the book, before we conclude, I want to emphasize the personal phenomenological consequences of the rhetoric in relation to a topic of even more import, eventually, to the students than their social life: the matter of their evaluation Ac
by their teachers, the way it unfolds, and the dilemmas that derived from the symbolic arbitrariness of the rhetoric. In the first chapter (Chapter XII), we examine the source of disagreements among the adults about a pedagogical innovation. In Chapter XIII, we focus on the process of student evaluation itself and, in Chapter XIV, on the actual existential dilemmas that produced a form of anxiety among the adults that is closely related to the one Henry analyzed for the children. As we move through these discussions the generative character of the structure we have studied should become clearer.