'Is there a teenage problem today?'
The word "teenager" didn't even exist until the 1940s. But as long as there's been a word to describe youth aged 13 to 19, there have been adults complaining about teenagers. Drinking, promiscuity, laziness — these are some of the negative stereotypes that have stuck with teens over the decades. Yet most teens do grow up to become responsible citizens. Are teen problems a real concern, or are adults just worrying too much? CBC Digital Archives looks back at how teenagers were portrayed in the media from 1949 to 1979.
• Teens in 1949 would have been born between 1929-1935. According to Statistics Canada, in 1950, the average age for marriage was 28.5 for men and 25.9 for women.
• There were 150 people in the audience for this broadcast, aired live from Saskatoon.
• Citizens' Forum was an ongoing collaboration between the CBC and the Canadian Association for Adult Education, and had community offices from coast to coast in continuing education departments of major universities. First broadcast on radio beginning in 1943, Citizens' Forum was a listener favourite, running on CBC Radio for 22 seasons. It was among the earliest programs adapted for television, with broadcasts beginning in 1955.
• The program expressly aimed to be a "workshop for democratic citizenship," encouraging and facilitating the creation of local forum groups to gather across the country to listen to the broadcast and discuss the issues presented on air. Study pamphlets for each broadcast were sent to the groups in advance of every episode to help further discussion.
• Although the format of the program shifted over the years, in 1949 the radio audience's views were included in the program in two ways. Each week a five minute segment at the end of the broadcast showcased letters sent by individuals about the previous week's topic. As well, four times each season an entire half hour was devoted to comments sent in by forums and individuals across the country.
Program: Citizens' Forum
Production Date: Oct. 27, 1949
Guest(s): Bernice Casselman, Dr. S.R. Laycock, J.R. MacKay, Mrs. L.C. Paul
Announcer: Wilf Gilbey
Host: Frank W. Peers
Last updated: January 23, 2012
Page consulted on May 11, 2012