I’ve been reading about 20somethings of late and one book I found particularly helpful is by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett: Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens through the Twenties
. (The title has nothing to do with the emerging movement.)
Jean Twenge’s own works at times uses Jensen’s research to provide categories and interpretations to make sense of the facts she found. I want to make two points about Arnett’s book that are helping me. He has chps on most of these themes.
Do you find these five themes accurate about iGens? What other themes do you think need to be present?
First, he finds five features in emerging adulthood. Emerging adults are roughly 18-25 yr olds, though it can extend to almost 30 for many. (There’s no automatic cut-off.) They are…
1. Exploring their identities in love, work, and beliefs.
2. Experiencing a high degree of instability in life.
3. Exploring their identity to the degree that they are self-focused.
4. Experiencing that they are in an in-between stage of life: neither adolescent nor adult.
5. Exploring an endless list of possibilities for their future.
Second, he says “adulthood” has changed from being connected to marriage to being defined by self-sufficiency:
1. An adult accepts responsibility
2. An adult makes independent (of parents) decisions
3. An adult is financially independent.
There’s much to ponder in this very well written, even if textbook-ish, book.