Chapter

The Curtain Rises: A Brief Overview of the Book

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Leo B. Hendry, Marion Kloep and Jennifer L. Tanner

in Debating Emerging Adulthood

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199757176
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199863389 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199757176.003.0001
The Curtain Rises: A Brief Overview of the Book

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The first chapter provides some background and some information on the two contending approaches debated in the book. Demographic and economic changes influencing the lives of young people in recent decades are noted. The limitations of 20th-century stage theories are described (e.g., Erikson, Havighurst). Then the two theoretical approaches of this book are presented. Arnett’s and Tanner’s approach presents emerging adulthood as a new life stage, distinct from the adolescence that precedes it or the young adulthood that follows, but also emphasizes that there are many paths through emerging adulthood depending on culture, social class, ethnicity, and gender. In contrast, Kloep and Hendry argue against stage theories generally and emerging adulthood in particular, favoring instead an understanding of development that focuses on processes.

Keywords: emerging adulthood; social class; stage theories; individualization

Chapter.  2621 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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