Generation on Hold: Coming of Age in the Late Twentieth Century

Overview

Young adults in the modern era face a completely differently set of challenges from previous generations. Tracing historical constructions of adolescence and their role in maintaining social order, James E. Cote and Anton L. Allahar persuasively argue that young people today constitute one of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in society. Today, for the first time, teenagers and young adults in the United states, Canada, Japan, Scandinavia and Western Europe can expect to have a lower standard of living...

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Overview

Young adults in the modern era face a completely differently set of challenges from previous generations. Tracing historical constructions of adolescence and their role in maintaining social order, James E. Cote and Anton L. Allahar persuasively argue that young people today constitute one of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in society. Today, for the first time, teenagers and young adults in the United states, Canada, Japan, Scandinavia and Western Europe can expect to have a lower standard of living than their parents. Youth are conditioned to stay young linger and have, as a result, become socially and economically marginalized. Many young people amass credentials regardless of employment prospects and continue to live at home, often dependent on their parents, into their thirties. With fewer jobs available, young people are ironically targeted increasingly as consumers, rather than as producers. As new technologies continually reduce the work force and alter the social fabric, an entire generation of young people has struggled to keep up. What then does it mean to come of age in an advanced industrial or post-industrial society?

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
At last, a book about a group that's been sorely neglected, those who have come of age in an advanced industrial society in the late 20th century. Looks at facets such as education, youth unemployment and crime, family structure, and personal aspirations, using a multidisciplinary approach. Discusses the prolongation of youth resulting from industrialization and legislation, economic disenfranchisement and the new service worker, and youth targeted as consumers of the media, music, fashion, and education industries. Offers a model of coming of age in Sweden. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814715321
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1995
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 0.55 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

JAMES E. CÔTÉ is Professor of Sociology at the University of Western Ontario and is the author of Generation on Hold: Coming of Age in the Late Twentieth Century (also available from NYU Press).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. 1 The Prolongation of Youth 1
1 The Discovery of Youth 5
Nature: Adolescence as a Product of Biology 5
Nurture: Adolescence as a Product of Culture 16
A Speculative Interdisciplinary Approach 28
2 The Liabilities of Youth in Advanced Industrial Society 33
Credentialism and Education Inflation 34
"Cooling Out the Mark" 40
The New Service Worker 45
Statistical Indicators of Change 48
The Disenfranchisement of Youth 66
3 The Conquest of Youth 70
The Psychological Basis of Identity 71
Adolescence as a Moratorium 74
Identity Manipulation 80
Gender Intensification 84
Coming of Age in the Wake of Gender Intensification 95
Pt. 2 The Political Economy of Youth 101
4 Ideology and the Politics of Social Control 105
The Manufacture of Consent 105
The Ideology of Youth 107
Language and Ideology 111
The Macropolitical Context 112
Ideology and Illusion 115
The Politics of Social Control 116
The Ideology of Youth and Mass Education 120
The Manufacture of Dissent 128
5 Complementary and the Social Control of Dissent 129
The Principle of Complementarity 132
Complementarity and Nationalism: An Example 143
The Complementarity of Nationalism and Race in the United States 144
Youth, Complementarity, and the Mass Media 146
6 Toward a New Reality for Youth 151
Sweden as a Model 152
Recommendations to Young People 158
Notes 165
Bibliography 188
Index 203
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