Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Twentysomething Response 2: Brief Thoughts on The Emerging Adulthood Theory


In some countries more people experienced a longer period between adolescence and adulthood. Due to national policies, life-changing decisions, and other motivations, these individuals have the propensity to be self-obsessed and lack commitment. Jeffrey Arnett proposed the theory of Emerging Adulthood, where people are trapped between this period of uncharted territory. For instance, Indonesian scholars in Singapore are more likely to develop these traits in comparison to those who remain in their home country.Differences between the school year as well as curriculum in both countries, these students are more likely to graduate two and a half years later than their peers back home. As a result of this shift as well as their intelligence and ambitious nature, these scholars are more likely to delay plans to marry, have children and work. Many go on to graduate and doctoral degrees that require years of studying.

In comparison, those who graduate from Indonesian schools are more likely to plan these milestones earlier. Several female friends of mine intend to marry before the age of 25. In most Indonesian societies, even in urban settings such as Jakarta, marrying old or not marrying at all are considered taboos. Women, especially, are deemed failures by society. Nevertheless, from this example it is clear that certain variables, regularly in the form of experience, makes a person more susceptible to go through Arnett’s Emerging Adulthood stage.On June 4, 2013, members of the Twentysomething class inferred that some people experience Emerging Adulthood as a result of external factors. In my opinion, this stage lacks research and validity. It is not necessarily a research, as much as it is an observation of daily occurrences in certain settings that involve players of a particular group or subgroup, who experience specific variables. I agree with Hendry and Kloep that the theory talks about perhaps a system or a cycle, instead of a stage. Many people go through these arbitrary transitional periods in their lives, such as the change between toddler and infant, as well as a midlife crisis.

These phases are not necessarily based on time. As Ursula, one of the instructors, mentioned, a woman who once lead an affluent and secure lifestyle with a husband and children could be thrown into this period due to a divorce, loss of her own job, loss of husband’s job, a lawsuit, or a natural disaster. Anyone could go through a fuzzy period in his/her lives as it is unpredictable. I suspect that everyone could eventually go through the Emerging Adulthood phase, but some do, while others don’t. Once again, particular variables come into play causing one individual to be a more likely candidate for the phase than others. 

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