Why Do Young Adults Seem Stuck?

Book - 2012
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What does it mean to be young today?

In the summer of 2010, Robin Marantz Henig wrote a provocative article for the New York Times Magazine called "What Is It About 20-Somethings?" It generated enormous reader response and started a conversation that included both millennials and baby boomers. Now, working with her millennial daughter Samantha, she expands the project to give us a full portrait of what it means to be in your twenties today.

Looking through many lenses, the Henigs ask whether emerging adulthood has truly become a new rite of passage. They examine the latest neuroscience and psychological research, the financial pressures young people face now, changing cultural expectations, the aftereffects of helicopter parenting, and the changes that have arisen from social media and all things Internet. Most important, they have surveyed more than 120 millennials and baby boomers to give voice to both viewpoints of a conversation that is usually one-sided.
Publisher: New York : Hudson Street Press, 2012
ISBN: 9781594630965
Branch Call Number: 305.242 HEN 2012 23
Characteristics: xxv, 276 pages
Additional Contributors: Henig, Samantha


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WPL_Reference Mar 04, 2013

The strong point Twentsomething makes is in its comparison of today’s youth to those who came of age in the 1970s and 1980s. When the Baby Boomers were in their twenties, they encountered many of the same difficulties of today’s youth, including struggling to find jobs in the 1980s recession. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic, such as education, career and marriage and compares the apparent dissimilarities in each generation. At the conclusion of each chapter a summary is given and the authors make a decision about whether or not there are distinctive changes in today’s young adults or if the difficulties plaguing youth today are “The same as it ever was.” What weakened this book was the fact that the authors are examining a very specific socio-economic group that is highly educated and has enjoyed more financial security via their parents; there is no exploration of coming of age for those who do not have access to higher education or the types of difficulties they might experience in their twenties. While the authors do explain that they are looking at a very specific type of young adult, it is a weakness that should be understood going in. Despite this limitation, Twentysomething provides an interesting picture of what it means to be young today and provides comfort to those in their twenties – you are not the only generation that has gone through tough times.


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WPL_Reference Mar 04, 2013

In this mother-daughter book, the authors explore what it means to be young today. Back in 2010 Robin Marantz published an article in the New York Times, “What Is It About 20-Somethings?” that questioned the idea that those in their twenties seemed to be experiencing an extended childhood the likes that we have never seen before. The article generated a debate between the millennials and Baby Boomers: are those in their twenties today all that different from the Baby Boomers that came of age in the 1980s? At first glance, it may seem that today’s young adults are very different – they are growing up in a tough economic market, jobs are scarce and it seems that more and more are moving back home after graduation, perpetuating the myth that today’s young adults just don’t want to grow up. Twentysomething compiles research on both of these generations and demonstrates that the apparent differences between the generations may not be all that it appears.

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