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Teen SpiritHow Adolescence Transformed the Adult World$
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Paul Howe

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749827

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749827.001.0001

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Finding Balance

Finding Balance

(p.191) Conclusion Finding Balance
Teen Spirit

Paul Howe

Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter highlights ideas which are largely aimed at finding a renewed place for adult attributes in today's society — a goal that is admittedly hard to pin down. For we have changed a great deal over the course of the past one hundred years, to the point that the defining qualities of adulthood have become more ambiguous and contested. So perhaps the first step, and in many ways the most challenging one, is to initiate a conversation, a serious and wide-ranging conversation, about what it actually means to be an adult in this day and age. If we are to provide guidance for young people moving toward that stage of life, we have to decide what we see as the basic prerequisites of adulthood at this juncture in our social evolution. This will not be a simple reversion to some archetype of the past, but it will likely involve some rekindling of venerable adult qualities updated for modern times. Yet these must be successfully combined with the liberating attitude and philosophy that our adolescent selves have rightly insisted upon. In the final analysis, adolescent and adult qualities must both have their place, as we search for a healthy equilibrium that can bring out the best in all of us.

Keywords:   adult attributes, adulthood, adults, young people, social evolution, adolescent qualities

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