By J. Burnett
A new method which problematizes the class of latest maturity, this booklet contains chapters on demographic swap; changing into thirtysomething; graduates and paintings; psychological health and wellbeing and happiness; new configurations of masculinity; the sexual lifecourse; political views in maturity; and maturity and the housing marketplace.
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Additional info for Contemporary Adulthood: Calendars, Cartographies and Constructions
As Young observes, this connects with a broader twentieth Kate Crawford 41 century trend towards consumption and commodity-defined identity. Property ownership is coded as a quintessentially ‘adult’ behaviour, with the purchasing of a first home as a rite of passage into adult life. The social importance given to home-owning in the popular conception of adulthood can be seen across a range of popular media. From newspaper features on how to get into the housing market to television auction shows and home renovation programmes, the desire to purchase a home and commit to its ongoing improvement for ‘resale value’ is represented as a universal adult desire.
The awareness of finitude has been argued to be an integral part of human experience and generates one of the central paradoxes of the human condition, which is that we live a finite period as part of an enduring social and historical stream which predates and outlives us. Creating the wealth of explanations for the otherwise inexplicable arrival of babies and their subsequent death either then or after a passage of time has been one of humankind’s greatest challenges. Explorations of time in human society suggest that there is considerable variation in orientation to time, and in the meanings attributed to it.
Furthermore, definitions of ‘not’ becoming a mother have become 34 The Calendar of Life socially contested. For example, Letherby (2003) comments on the definitional problem of ‘infertility’ and ‘involuntary childlessness’, demonstrating how these arise from different social processes (for example, she identifies the role of medical practitioners in gatekeeping resources for treatment to selected individuals who become defined as cases suitable for treatment for the condition of infertility). Further issues arise, for example, in evaluating when childlessness starts or end.
Contemporary Adulthood: Calendars, Cartographies and Constructions by J. Burnett