Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Chronic YouthDisability, Sexuality, and U.S. Media Cultures of Rehabilitation$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Julie Passanante Elman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479841424

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479841424.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 08 March 2021



From Rebel to Patient

(p.1) Introduction
Chronic Youth

Julie Passanante Elman

NYU Press

This introductory chapter considers The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976), a TV romantic drama that is loosely based on the lives of two young boys without functioning immune systems who lived and died in isolation from the outside world. Transforming the medicalized human interest story of the patients (bubble boys) into a teenage love story, the movie juxtaposes the U.S. Independence Day celebration with the humiliation of one of the characters’ failed romantic encounter to accentuate his weakness. In relation to this case, the book argues that teenagers have appeared in history and culture as an anxious figure, the repository for American dreams and worst nightmares, national and individual success as well as the imminent danger of failure.

Keywords:   Plastic Bubble, Independence Day, teenagers, bubble boys, American dreams

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.