Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood: A Cultural Approach, Revised

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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A rich and timely introduction to the field of adolescent development, this book incorporates culture throughout (both within the US and outside the US) as a key element in understanding development in adolescence, and expanding the notion of adolescence to include "emerging adulthood" (ages 18-25). It uses a timely interdisciplinary perspective to present key theories, research and application; many first person accounts from adolescents across cultures; critical thinking questions; and numerous other features. Chapter topics include biological foundations; cognitive foundations; cultural beliefs; gender; the self; family relationships; friends and peers; dating, love, and sexuality; school; work; media; problems; and adolescence and emerging adulthood in the 21st century. For individuals in a variety of fields relating to adolescents.

Table of Contents

Biological Foundations
Cognitive Foundations
Cultural Beliefs
The Self
Family Relationships
Friends and Peers
Dating, Love, and Sexuality
Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood in the 21st Century
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


Adolescence is a fascinating time of life, and for most instructors it is an enjoyable topic to teach. For many students taking the course, it is the time of life they have just completed or are now passing through. Learning about development during this period is for them a journey of self-discovery, in part. Students who are beyond this period often enjoy reflecting back on who they were then, and they come away with anew understanding of their past and present selves. What students learn from a course on adolescence sometimes confirms their own intuitions and experiences, and sometimes contradicts or expands what they thought they knew. When it works well, a course on adolescence can change not only how students understand themselves, but how they understand others and how they think about the world around them. For instructors, the possibility the course offers for students' growth of understanding is often stimulating. My goal in writing this textbook has been to make it a book that will assist instructors and students in making illuminating connections of understanding on this dynamic and complex age period. I wrote this book with the intention of presenting a fresh conception of adolescence, a conception reflecting what I believe to be the most promising and exciting new currents in the field. There are four essential features of the conception that guided this book: (1) a focus on the cultural basis of development; (2) an extension of the age period covered to include "emerging adulthood" (roughly ages 18 to 25) as well as adolescence; (3) an emphasis on historical context; and (4) an interdisciplinary approach to theories and research. All of these features distinguish this textbook from other textbooks on adolescence. The Cultural Approach In teaching courses on adolescence, from large lecture classes to small seminars, I have always brought into the classroom a considerable amount of research from other cultures. My education as a postdoctoral student at the Committee on Human Development at the University of Chicago included a substantial amount of anthropology. Learning to take a cultural approach to development greatly expanded and deepened my own understanding of adolescence, and I have seen the cultural approach work this way for my students as well. Through an awareness of the diversity of cultural practices, customs, and beliefs about adolescence, we expand our conception of the range of developmental possibilities. We also gain a greater understanding of adolescent development in our own culture, by learning to see it as only one of many possible paths. Taking a cultural approach to development means infusing discussion of every aspect of development with a cultural perspective. I present the essentials of the cultural approach in the first chapter, and it then serves as a theme that runs through every chapter. Each chapter also includes aCultural Focusbox in which an aspect of development in a specific culture is explored in-depth--for example, adolescents' family relationships in India, Japan's high schools, and media use among young people in Nepal. My hope is that students will learn not only that adolescent development can be different depending on the culture, but how tothink culturally--that is, how to analyze all aspects of adolescent development for their cultural basis. This includes learning how to critique research for the extent to which it does or does not take the cultural basis of development into account. I provide this kind of critique at numerous points throughout the book. Emerging Adulthood Not only is adolescence an inherently fascinating period of life, but we are currently in an especially interesting historical moment with respect to this period. It is a distinguishing feature of adolescence in our time that it begins far earlier than it did a century ago, because puberty begins for most people in industri

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