This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Adolescent artistic caricatures and the sharing of art




Henley, John

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The assumptions and stereotypes that form the basis of adolescent social groups include caricatures of artists and artistic peers. This exploratory qualitative study is a bricolage in educational psychology with elements of adolescent sociology and art education. As art is perpetually redefined by philosophers, artists, and art critics, teenagers are defining art themselves within the context of school and their social interactions. Six teenagers shared stories about the attributes and descriptions of artists, art making, and the sharing of art with others during interviews. These stories offer insight into the formation of social identities related to academic domains, and the role that art takes as a meaningful expression. The fear of sharing works of art with others is a salient aspect of their conversations, and is presented here as an outcome of an intelligibility of art that places high value on personal expression. For these students, the role of an artist was an extension of themselves, or rather, mirrored a desirable potential self.