New Adulthood: Personal or Social Transition?
Blatterer, Harry (2005) New Adulthood: Personal or Social Transition? In Social Change in the 21st Century Conference, Brisbane.
The life course is part of our taken-for-granted stock of knowledge, even though the temporal boundaries of its phases have shifted under pressure from changing conditions. A case in point is adolescence. Previously largely overlapping with the teen-age period, it has now been extended to cover what used to be young adulthood. The reason lies in the way of life of many individuals in this age group (roughly 18-30) which no longer corresponds to generally accepted features of adulthood, most particularly economic independence and social stability. In the social sciences a sub-category of postadolescence has emerged as a label for such lifestyles. In turn, the media and marketing professionals have captured the emergent phenomenon labelling its progenitors kidults, adultescents, rejuveniles, etc. While implicitly acknowledging change, these labels are conservative since they rest on established assumptions about what it means to be adult. I challenge this position and argue that social forces have propelled young people into patterns of action inconceivable to the previous generation. Through this, rather than eschewing adulthood per se, they have forged a new adulthood. On both theoretical and empirical grounds, I suggest that the putative postadolescents do not need to catch up with 'normal' adulthood. Rather, we need to develop a new understanding of what adulthood means in the social world people are facing today – a world which is very different from the one in which the previous generation has had its maturity acknowledged.
Impact and interest:
Citation countsare sourced monthly fromand citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloadsdisplays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
|Item Type:||Conference Paper|
|Keywords:||Adulthood, postadolescence, social change, recognition, sociology|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Social Theory (160806)|
|Divisions:||Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research|
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2005 Harry Blatterer|
|Deposited On:||07 Feb 2006|
|Last Modified:||09 Jun 2010 22:30|
Repository Staff Only: item control page