Contestable adulthood: variability and disparity in markers for negotiating the transition to adulthood

Horowitz, Ava and Bromnick, Rachel (2007) Contestable adulthood: variability and disparity in markers for negotiating the transition to adulthood. Youth and Society, 39 (2). pp. 209-231. ISSN 0044-118X

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Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0044118X06296692

Abstract

Recent research has identified a discreet set of subjective markers that are seen as characterizing the transition to adulthood. The current study challenges this coherence by examining the disparity and variability in young people’s selection of such criteria. Four sentence-completion cues corresponding to four differentcontexts in which adult status might be contested were given to 156 British 16- to 17-year-olds. Their qualitative responses were analyzed to
explore patterns whilst capturing some of their richness and diversity. An astonishing amount of variability emerged, both within and between cued contexts.The implications of this variability for how the transition to adulthood is experienced are explored. The argument is made that markers of the transition to adulthood are not merely reflective of the bio–psycho–social development of
young people. Rather, adulthood here is seen as an essentially contested concept,located within the discursive interactional environment in which young people participate.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Recent research has identified a discreet set of subjective markers that are seen as characterizing the transition to adulthood. The current study challenges this coherence by examining the disparity and variability in young people’s selection of such criteria. Four sentence-completion cues corresponding to four differentcontexts in which adult status might be contested were given to 156 British 16- to 17-year-olds. Their qualitative responses were analyzed to explore patterns whilst capturing some of their richness and diversity. An astonishing amount of variability emerged, both within and between cued contexts.The implications of this variability for how the transition to adulthood is experienced are explored. The argument is made that markers of the transition to adulthood are not merely reflective of the bio–psycho–social development of young people. Rather, adulthood here is seen as an essentially contested concept,located within the discursive interactional environment in which young people participate.
Keywords:Transition, adolescence, emerging adulthood, variability, Discourse, Rhetoric, Essentially contested concepts
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C820 Developmental Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:2731
Deposited By: Alison Wilson
Deposited On:09 Jul 2010 07:27
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:40

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