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[xmca] Reflections on the topic of delayed adulthood

A month or so ago the topic of "developmental stages" and "adolescence" was
I've just read a book review of "Lost in Translation: The Dark Side of
Emerging Adulthood" by Christian Smith et al. [reviewed in the Economist
September 17, 2011.] It has left me pondering, not on "stages" but rather on
"transitions" between activity systems. Within transitional activities
"breaches" to social interactions and "ruptures" of active experience can be
observed and reflected on. Our cultural tool kits have developed to respond
to somewhat predictable activitiy settings such as "schooling" and the
"transitions" to more "formal institutional organizations" of employment.
We have developed texts and genres to assist in the transition. However, the
book exploring being lost in transition is pointing to breaches and ruptures
in our collective activities that are now unravelling.

In todays transition there is a dark side of apathy, confusion, loss, and
grief. [breaches and ruptures]. Christian Smith suggests at the core of this
breach is a loss of moral boundaries. Young adults have been taught not just
to TOLERATE other people's views and practices but to see them as all
equally valid. Where there is a question of others questionable behavior a
standard common answer is that it is up to each individual to decide for
himself. Right and wrong is rooted in personal experience and there is no
reference point outside the personal standpoint.

The response as remedy for Smith is to "alert the parents" that in teaching
tolerance we are failing to ensure that our children understand how to FRAME
MORAL ISSUES and MAKE JUDGEMENTS ABOUT right conduct and what is the good
life. It is this remedy to the breaches and ruptures in transition that I
want to reconsider.  This approach to moral accounts locates the response as
"personal" reasoning and making judgements and "personally" framing moral
issues.  Martin Packer in 1985 wrote a book "The Structure of Moral Action:
A Hermeneutic Study of Moral Conduct" where he suggests locating moral
issues in a space of personal reasons and justifications was a misguided
approach. Moral genres should focus primarily on moral action rather than
reasoning ABOUT moral situations. What people justify they do is not
necessarilly what they actually do. Actual 1st person moral acts are
qualitatively different standpoints from 3rd person reflections and
justifications about moral acts. Reasoning about and constructing
justifications do not have the same immediacy and active experience of

This account of 1st person moral "knowledgeability" as a skill as contrasted
with "knowlege as info*mation" within spaces of reason is a critical
reframe.  However this shift in perspective still leaves the active 1st
person experience at the subjective level.  The concept of "collective
memory" is another aspect that I believe is missing in the ideal of
"tolerance" of differences as a "personal" commitment. [I googled
"collective memory & XMCA and found a 1985 Newsletter devoted to the topic
of "collective memory" as contrasted with "personal memory" I want to
suggest that "active personal experience" and "shared experiences" [ie
living through the disaster in Japan] are only the initial experience and it
is the "recollecting" the shared experience that moves the experience
into the "collective plane" of shared memory.  Bartlett was the author most
often referenced in the newsletter exploring "collective memory"  It was
suggested he was exploring this theme until joining a psychology department
whose tool kit was biased towards "personal memory". It is Bartlett's
earlier work [1923] that was engaged with.  V. Zinchenko also references
Bartlett in his work on collective memory.

I'm suggesting we are loosing the skill of participating collectively in
activity structures and systems that prioritize engagement  with collective
memory. The default structure [and moral standpoint] idealizes "tolerance"
and respect for each person's individual perspective but the opportunities
to develop "collective memories" OF "shared experiences" and the revisions
and alterations of what was actually shared in the recollections is a
fundamental aspect of interpsychological [cultural historical] or
intersubjective [phenomenological] accounts.  In other words is the themes
explored about "transitions" between activity systems and the locating of
experience within "personal memory" in contrast to "collective memory"
leading to an ideal of toleration for encapsulated personalities using
particular tool kits to explain "personal memories" and "personal
justifications" and loosing sight of the need for translating these
"personal" narratives or accounts into "collective memories."

The explanations for "bullying" in schools can be explored using the same
themes I'm articulating above as breaches and ruptures in collective memory
of who "we" are

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