Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood

By Christian Smith; Kari Christoffersen et al. | Go to book overview

2
Captive to Consumerism

The only thing that consoles us for our miseries is distraction, yet that is the
greatest of our wretchednesses. Because that is what mainly prevents us from
thinking about ourselves and leads us imperceptibly to damnation. Without
it we should be bored, and boredom would force us to search for a firmer way
out, but distraction entertains us and leads us imperceptibly to death
.

—Blaise Pascal

What do American emerging adults think and feel about the mass consumer society in which they have grown up? Are they comfortable with mass consumerism? Do they like it? Or do they have concerns about the environmental impact of mass consumerism or the misplaced values and priorities that some critics see in consumer materialism? What role does the buying and consumption of material things play in the lives, values, and goals of emerging adults today? This chapter explores the place of mass consumerism and materialistic visions of the good life among emerging adults. After a brief view of some survey statistics, we explore in some depth today’s emerging adults’ views of mass consumerism. In that discussion we focus on how critical or uncritical they are of our culture of material consumption. We then shift to examine emerging adults’ outlooks on what makes for a good human life, and how material consumption fits into that vision.

First, in our nationally representative telephone survey, we asked emerging adults some questions about materialism and consumerism. The findings help to provide a larger context for the analysis of our follow-up interviews with them. Among emerging adults ages 18–23, 65 percent said that shopping and buying things give them a lot of pleasure. Fifty-four percent said that they would be happier if they could afford to buy more things. And 47 percent felt that the things they own say a lot about how well they are doing in life. These are survey questions about which some respondents likely feel a social-desirability bias not to

-70-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - Morality Adrift 19
  • 2 - Captive to Consumerism 70
  • 3 - Intoxication’s "Fake Feeling of Happiness" 110
  • 4 - The Shadow Side of Sexual Liberation 148
  • 5 - Civic and Political Disengagement 195
  • Conclusion 226
  • Notes 245
  • Index 277
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 284

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.