In pre-industrial societies, people moved from childhood to adulthood directly, getting married and going to work early in life. Although this still holds true for many cultures, in countries such as the USA or Japan, adolescence has become a specific stage of life, where young people are cultural trendsetters and market drivers. The International Encyclopedia of Adolescence is an exhaustive socio-cultural survey of young people around the world. The focus is cultural and historical, and the work offers a rarely found worldwide perspective. Entries are compiled by experts from many fields of study, including anthropology, history, psychology, and sociology. Unlike existing works, the Encyclopedia does not stress biological or psycho-pathological issues. It addresses myths and realities of adolescence by looking at the actual life of young people in regions as varied as Iran, India, France, the USA, or Japan. It also explains how teen cultures have developed in some countries and how young people deal with the conflicts between tradition and modernity in others.
Country coverage examines cultural beliefs, gender, personal and cultural identity, relationships (familial), friends and peers, love and sexuality, education, work, media, problems, and outlook for the future, plus topics particular to the culture or region discussed.