This post originally written on YouthWorker Movement
I will never forget this one day at youth, I pulled out my reasonably new cell phone that was all cool with a horizontal flip technology and enhanced screen, and one of the teens spouted out “Oh My Gosh! How old is that?” Now truth be told it wasn’t more than 6 months old, but it seemed that the day after I bought it the new improved version (way slicker than mine) went onto the market with a ton of advertising. So before I put in my wife’s phone number it seems my phone was outdated.
Up to that point & certainly since I’ve been fascinated with what I call the “ill” of our nation. Consumption.. and specifically how it affects our youth & young adults. Was totally into thinking like Branded & Story of Stuff, so it was not a real stretch to draw towards a title of “Freaks, Geeks, and Cool Kids: American Teenagers, Schools, and the Culture of Consumption.”
This is not a ministry book in intent, but the lessons drawn from its research are totally applicable into today’s youth ministries. Teenagers behaviors exhibited in how they treat others and place themselves into levels is totally ingrained in them & plays out in our youth communities (not to mention likely in our ‘big’ church environments).
As a sociology research piece it has a lot of dry reading, footnotes & research references are not my favorites to continually read through. The nature of the reading is not captivating as one might find some fictional writings. But, in between these pieces there is a ton of great insight into teens motivations to their behaviors. If you are wanting a break & challenge from the normal ministry book, this is a good choice to make.
If you do think of purchasing, go for a used version, or do like I did, get the Kindle or other electronic format. The price is always the big pain in purchasing research based writings.