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Adolescence Life in 17th Century Huron Community

The purpose of this research is to examine the adolescence phase of life in the Huron community that flourished in North America in the seventeenth century, comparing and contrasting it with a conventional understanding of the standard American middle class experience. The plan of the research will be to set forth the historical ethnographic context in which the Huron community has been studied and then to discuss known or inferred aspects of Huron adolescence that can be analyzed in contrast with features of modern American middle class life.

In order to establish a meaningful comparison of seventeenth-century Huron and contemporary American middle class adolescence, it is first necessary to note that the Huron culture suffered from its encounter with European civilization. Between a lack of resistance of European diseases, dispersion of Huron both geographically and through various neighboring indigenous peoples, and the variety of pressures of modernization, the Huron way of life that the French encountered on their explorations by and large disappeared. However, the difference of time that separates American middle class from seventeenth-century Huron culture can be set beside an important attribute that they share, which is a form of social organization, or sociocultural system in which identifiable social roles emerge and define relationship and behavior patterns.

It is impossible to discuss the adolescent phase of the Huron life cycle without reference to the context for adolescence, which in general terms can be considered a preparatory phase for married parental life as an adult. However, the manner in which marriage an family were structured in Huron culture meant that adolescents could unmistakably anticipate certain facts about the shape of their future. "Married men, as Trigger explains, "went to live with their wives' families" (Trigger, 1990, p. 67). Meanwhile, says Trigger, all Huron "simultaneously belonged t...

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Adolescence Life in 17th Century Huron Community. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:05, August 03, 2020, from