Themes and variations in emerging adulthood across social classes
This chapter takes on the critique, made by Kloep and Hendry among others, that the theory of emerging adulthood obscures the variation by social class that exists in the 18- 29 age group. First, demographic differences by social class among emerging adults are noted, specifically educational attainment and age at marriage. Views of adulthood are similar across social classes, although persons from lower SES backgrounds tend to be earlier to reach a subjective sense of becoming adult. Views of the future have been found to be similarly optimistic across social classes, although persons with lower educational attainment have less promising actual prospects in the job market. Then four African American emerging adults from Arnett's research are profiled, to show themes and variations across social classes. The profiles reveal that the influence of social class on pathways through emerging adulthood is profound, but social class is a more complex and unpredictable variable than is often acknowledged.
Debating Emerging Adulthood: Stage or Process?
Arnett, Jeffrey Jensen and Tanner, Jennifer L., "Themes and variations in emerging adulthood across social classes" (2011). Psychology. 731.