Inadequate recognition by institutions of the transition through adolescence
Typically, in Western societies and institutions such as schools, there is no equivalent to the tribal rites-of-passage. Indeed in many Western high schools there is inadequate recognition of developing maturity which aggravates adolescent delinquency, drug-taking, violence or suicide, and contributes to a disaffected, under-achieving student body.
The high school system has not failed, rather entire societies are failing as they become internally fragmented and torn between opposing global ideologies and power groups. Demands are made to make institutions more liberal on the one side, and more repressive on the other, reflecting the same tendency to polarization that is found in the community which the schools image.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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