Volume 6   Number 2     Fall 2012

Unreachable Self-Expectations: What Is Going On In Our Society Regarding Young Adolescents (Commentary on Dillon, 2012)

Sara Chaves
Federal University of Bahia, Brazil
pp. 45-48

ABSTRACT: The article “Email as an arena for self-construction among gifted young adolescents: A qualitative study” (Dillon, 2012) is an invitation to reflect upon the meanings and types of values behind the perception of what it is to be successful, what it means to be worthy in a society. Even though the article’s main purpose is to “gain insights through examining the emergence of a diverse array of ‘self’ voices”, it goes beyond by bringing to reader closer to a reflection upon what do youngsters think they are expected to do. It is possible to observe in the participants’ narratives what motivations drive them to their quotidian activities, especially those regarding school. Their perception of success and failure is deeply embedded and intertwined in the understanding present in their cultural context of what it is to be good and successful. Not only is the acceleration of accomplishments present as a demand for success, but also the absence of mistakes. Maybe this is an excessively heavy burden to carry, the burden to always be perfect, flawless, exemplary, even though it seems to be what youngsters hold in the contemporary days.