Crossings to Adulthood

How Diverse Young Americans Understand and Navigate Their Lives


Crossings to Adulthood: How Diverse Young Americans Understand and Navigate Their Lives assembles chapters written by members and affiliates of the Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood on pressing issues facing young, coming-of-age Americans in an increasingly diverse, globalizing world. Based on over 400 interviews with young adults from different racial, class and regional backgrounds, the chapters provide an in-depth look at how young Americans understand their lives and the challenges, risks, and opportunities they experience as they move into adulthood during changing and uncertain times. Chapters focus on how these young adults understand markers of adulthood such as leaving home, launching careers, and forming relationships, as well as issues particularly salient to them including politics, diversity, identity, and acculturation.

Contributors are: Pamela Aronson, Arturo Baiocchi, Erika Busse, Patrick J. Carr, Laura Fischer, Constance A. Flanagan, Frank F. Furstenberg Jr., Douglas Hartmann, Maria Kefalas, Vivian Louie, Charlie V. Morgan, Jeylan Mortimer, Laura Napolitano, Lisa Anh Nguyen, Wayne Osgood, Rubén G. Rumbaut, Sarah Shannon, Teresa Toguchi Swartz, and Christopher Uggen.

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Teresa Toguchi Swartz, Ph.D. (2001), University of California, San Diego is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on intergenerational relations, families, race and ethnicity, Asian Americans, youth and young adulthood.

Douglas Hartmann, Ph.D. (1997), University of California, San Diego, is Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Midnight Basketball: Race, Sports, and Neoliberal Social Policy (University of Chicago Press, 2016) and studies race, ethnicity, culture, sport, and religion.

Rubén G. Rumbaut, Ph.D. (1978), Brandeis University, is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of numerous books and articles on migration, ethnic identities, and transitions to adulthood, including Immigrant America: A Portrait (with Alejandro Portes, University of California Press, 2014).
List of Tables
About the Authors 1

1 Introduction: Inside the Diverse Transitions to Adulthood
Teresa Toguchi Swartz, Douglas Hartmann and Rubén G. Rumbaut

Part 1: Experiences and Understandings in Core Domains of the Transition to Adulthood


2 Family Support in the Transition to Adulthood among Diverse Young Adults in the United States
Teresa Toguchi Swartz and Erika Busse 3

3 Social Contexts and Geographic Location in the Transition to a Four-Year College: Perspectives from Iowa, Minnesota, and New York
Vivian Louie

4 Career Beginnings American-Style: Agency and Floundering in Subjective Perspective
Jeylan T. Mortimer and Laura L. Fischer

5 “Marriage is More than Being Together”: The Meaning of Marriage for Young Adults
Maria J. Kefalas, Frank F. Furstenberg, Patrick J. Carr and Laura Napolitano

6 Moving Ahead, Drifting, and Scaling Back: Gender and Parenthood in Career Development
Pamela Aronson and Jeylan T. Mortimer

Part 2: Culture, Politics, and Community

7 From Daddy’s Liquor Cabinet to Home Depot: Shifts in Leisure Activity in the Transition to Adulthood
Sarah Shannon, Christopher Uggen and D. Wayne Osgood

8 Connecting with the Body Politic: Civic Engagement in Young Adulthood
Constance A. Flanagan, Patrick J. Carr and Maria Kefalas

9 Collective Identification among Young Adult Americans: Ethnicity, Race, and the Incorporation Experience
Arturo Baiocchi and Douglas Hartmann

10 Crossing Lines and Imagining the Future: Transitions to Adulthood and Mixed Couples in California and New York
Charlie V. Morgan, Rubén G. Rumbaut and Lisa Wang

Part 3: Conclusion

11 The Transition to Adulthood in Qualitative, Comparative Perspective: Insights and Implications from the American Case
 i>Douglas Hartmann and Teresa Toguchi Swartz

Academics, practitioners, graduate and undergraduate students, and educated public interested in the transition to adulthood, early adulthood, social class inequality, racial and ethnicity, and immigrant experiences in the United States.