Talking about this at work today after a friend brought it up on e-mail – when did teenagers get their own “identity” as “teenagers”?
My mom (now in her late 70’s) says her generation was never referred to as anything in particular, and definitely not ever as teenagers.
I think it started when teens became a market to cater to. Someone else said no, it started when teens became a problem, citing the “juvenile delinquents” of the 50’s.
Another person thought it started with public education, and schools splitting along age lines – grade school, junior high, high school.
I felt like a teenager when I bought my first 45 rpm record (Elvis, of course). I’m going with the marketing theory.
Is there a definitive answer?