noun, adjective: A legal and cultural age set or class invented in early 20th century Western nations to describe young adults roughly between the ages of 12 and 21. As bourgeois families acquired more wealth and freetime, it became expected that their ofspring would have childhoods far extended beyond biological tendency and tradition. While "teens'" rights are severely limited in modern societies, they are often paradoxically expected to rebel against these limits as part of a "natural phase". Through the 20th century, the "teen" phenomenon has extended from a small well-to-do set of urban youths in America to expectation enshrined in most countries laws. The years refered to as "adolescence" or "immaturity" have quickly bloated in duration from 14-16 years of age to (in middle class America) 12-24 years of age.
"In America, a teen is just a spoiled little brat. Where I'm from, a teen often has a spouse, a job, and standing in the family and community." -B. Patel