Recently the lives of people from age 18 to 29 have changed so dramatically that a new stage of life has developed, emerging adulthood, that is distinct from both the adolescence that precedes it and the young adulthood that comes in its wake. Rather than marrying and becoming parents in their early twenties, most people in industrialized societies now postpone these transitions until at least their late twenties, and instead spend the time in self-focused exploration as they try out different possibilities in their careers and relationships.
In Emerging Adulthood, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett identifies and labels, for the first time, this period exploration, instability, possibility, self-focus, and a sustained sense of being in limbo. An increasing number of emerging adults emphasize having meaningful and satisfying work to a degree not seen in prior generations. Marrying later and exploring more casual sexual relationships have created different hopes and fears concerning long-term commitments and the differences between love and sex. Emerging adults also face the challenge of defending their non-traditional lifestyles to parents and others outside their generation who have made much more traditional choices. In contrast to previous portrayals of emerging adults, Arnett's research shows that they are particularly skilled at maintaining contradictory emotions--they are confident while still being wary, and optimistic in the face of large degrees of uncertainty.
As the demographics of American youth, the American workplace, and adulthood continue to evolve, Emerging Adulthood is indispensable reading for anyone wanting to understand the face of modern America.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press|
|Edition description:||Older Edition|
|Product dimensions:||9.20(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
Table of Contents
|1.||A Longer Road to Adulthood||3|
|2.||What Is It Like to Be an Emerging Adult? Four Profiles||27|
|3.||From Conflict to Companionship: A New Relationship With Parents||47|
|4.||Love and Sex||73|
|5.||Meandering Toward Marriage||97|
|6.||The Road Through College: Twists and Turns||119|
|7.||Work: More Than a Job||143|
|8.||Sources of Meaning: Religious Beliefs and Values||165|
|9.||The Age of Possibilities: Four Case Studies||189|
|10.||From Emerging Adulthood to Young Adulthood: What Does It Mean to Become an Adult?||207|
|Index of Names||259|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am the mother of two daughters, ages 22 and 17. I have always read parenting books in order to understand the stages of development my children were going through. But until Dr. Arnett¿s book came out, I knew of nothing to help me comprehend 'emerging adulthood,' a very confusing life stage I never experienced myself. (I knew exactly what I wanted to study when I started college, married at 21, and got a full-time job in my field immediately after graduation.) The attitudes of my older daughter and her friends often baffled me during her college years, and they continue to do so now that she has graduated. I was also surprised by the behavior I observed when visiting the university my younger daughter will be attending soon. In general, I try not to be judgmental or to give my children advice unless they ask for it. This strategy has worked well in the past. But until I read Dr. Arnett¿s book, I found it increasingly difficult to 'keep my mouth shut' as I listened to my daughters talk about their lives. Now that I have read 'Emerging Adulthood,' I have more of a grasp on where my children are psychologically. The book has given me the tools to be a better mother. I think Dr. Arnett¿s work can be useful to emerging adults themselves by validating their own experiences. It can also be helpful to grandparents, who may find the behavior of their EA grandchildren incomprehensible.