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|Additional Physical Format:||Online version:
Smith, Christian, 1960-
Lost in transition.
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, ©2011
|All Authors / Contributors:||
Christian Smith; Kari Marie Christoffersen; Hilary Davidson; Patricia Snell Herzog
|Description:||284 pages ; 25 cm|
|Contents:||Morality adrift --
Captive to consumerism --
Intoxication's "fake feeling of happiness" --
The shadow side of sexual liberation --
Civic and political disengagement.
|Responsibility:||Christian Smith ; with Kari Christoffersen, Hilary Davidson, and Patricia Snell Herzog.|
Life for emerging adults is vastly different today than it was for their counterparts even a generation ago. Young people are waiting longer to marry, to have children, and to choose a career direction. As a result, they enjoy more freedom, opportunities, and personal growth than ever before. But the transition to adulthood is also more complex, disjointed, and confusing. The authors draw on 230 in-depth interviews with a broad cross-section of emerging adults (ages 18-23) to investigate the difficulties young people face today, the underlying causes of those difficulties, and the consequences both for individuals and for American society as a whole. Rampant consumer capitalism, ongoing failures in education, hyper-individualism, postmodernist moral relativism, and other aspects of American culture are all contributing to the chaotic terrain that emerging adults must cross. Five major problems facing very many young people today are identified: confused moral reasoning, routine intoxication, materialistic life goals, regrettable sexual experiences, and disengagement from civic and political life. The trouble does not lie only with the emerging adults or their poor individual decisions but has much deeper roots in mainstream American culture--a culture which emerging adults have largely inherited rather than created. Older adults must recognize that much of the responsibility for the pain and confusion young people face lies with them. Rejecting both sky-is-falling alarmism on the one hand and complacent disregard on the other, the need for "realistic concern" is argued--and a reconsideration of our cultural priorities and practices--that will help emerging adults more skillfully engage unique challenges they face. -- From Publisher description.
A thought provoking contribution E. Stina Lyon, Times Higher Education The book is totally America-centric. But it has lessons for all those trying to ape the American culture ... the interviews give