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[xmca] Fwd: NYTimes.com: What Is It About 20-Somethings?

In response to Steve's question about what CHAT could lend to the conversation 
about emerging adulthood, following a Marxist grounding, I would assume that 
CHAT might suggest looking at the sociohistorical context for the emergence of 
this stage of development - particularly in the economic context of today. Here I 
don't just mean the recent crash but the transformation of the economy over 
the past fifty years - maybe it is a myth, but I have been told of a time when, 
upon graduating college, a person would go and find a job that they would be 
in for at least 10 years and possibly their whole life. Nowadays, a college grad 
might work for a place for a year or two and then jump to another job and so 
on... I think that it is this transformation in the economy that has lead to the 
stage of emerging adolescence (I prefer "adultolescence"). 

[[And flipping the question, one can ask, what this does "emerging adolescence" 
do for the economy. Quite simply, it is a way of staving off crisis. By keeping 
potentially high salaried people from getting high salaries, it staves off the 
potential deflation (or "inflation" if salaries remained high) in middle-class 
standard of life that would happen if all of these college grads were to try to go 
into the high paying jobs that their parents went into upon graduating, and 
maintains the appearance that everyone could live the good life if only they 
chose to do so.]]

What is it about today's economy that makes it so much more common for 
youths (formerly adults, i.e. 20 somethings) to be living at home. And who is it 
exactly that is living at home? Is this consistent across SES categories?  At my 
(former) department's conference for Master's theses this past year there were 
two papers on a panel together. One was arguing the extended adolescence 
position by investigating University of Chicago graduates and the other was an 
exploration of the anxieties of black working class new mothers. It just so 
happens that they were both dealing with subjects of approximately the same 
age but with markedly different experience of adult-hood. A question was 
asked to the student researching adulthood among college graduates "do you 
think that these college graduates would see these new mothers as adults?". I 
think that is a great question. 

I'm sure if one looked around the globe, the category of emerging adulthood or 
adultolescence (as some have called it) would look increasingly preposterous as 
a universal category of development. To link back to the linguistic relativity 
question, as Larry pointed out, John Lucy notes that as people get older, one 
would expect the relativity effects to get stronger. This would suggest that older 
developmental categories will be more likely to be historically and culturally 
particular. And I suspect that this has a lot to do with why there hasn't been 
much said about them - Psychologists generally don't like talking about things 
that are culturally particular...



Message: 13 
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 11:40:38 -0700 
From: Steve Gabosch <stevegabosch@me.com> 
Subject: Re: [xmca] Fwd: NYTimes.com: What Is It About 20-Somethings? 
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture,	Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu> 
Message-ID: <41341B51-58A3-488A-8BFB-26EBC183F90B@me.com> 
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=WINDOWS-1252; format=flowed; 

Mike, is the 1983 book you are referring to below the Handbook on   
Child Development, Vol 1, 1983, ed by P Mussen, et al? 

The chapter on lifespan development sounds interesting. 

What has been published from a CHAT perspective on that? 

- Steve 

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