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Posts tagged "Christian Smith"

The Culture of Narcissism, Part 3: The Religion of “Me”

The Culture of Narcissism, Part 3: The Religion of “Me”

Here is the penultimate post in a series inspired by Christopher Lasch’s book, The Culture of Narcissism.

Back in 1987, when the New Age movement had not yet become just another part of the spiritual background noise of postmodern America, ABC television mainstreamed one branch of the movement in the miniseries “Out on a Limb,” which was based on actress Shirley MacLaine’s autobiographical book about her adventures in New Age spirituality. Just over a decade had passed since my own brief involvement in the New Age, so much of the mindset and the jargon was familiar to me. One scene in…

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Lost in Transition (to Adulthood): Political Apathy and the Prison of Connectivity

Lost in Transition (to Adulthood): Political Apathy and the Prison of Connectivity

Another gem of a chapter from Christian Smith’s Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood deals with, in his opinion, one of the deepest (and most subtly hidden) plights of 20-somethings today, that of political distrust and disconnect. Because the 2008 election was so reportedly groundbreaking in the involvement of new voters, it seemed that a new dawn had arrived for the American political milieu, that once again people were believing in and participating in a “change they can believe in.” Change. Any way you accord yourself along the line, now, it’s evident that the general enthusiasm has…

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Lost in Transition (to Adulthood): Whatever Makes You Happy?

Lost in Transition (to Adulthood): Whatever Makes You Happy?

In line with the boomers-stickers speech from Wendell Berry, Christian Smith’s Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood is a sociological look into the hyper-relativist boom-ist mentality of today’s 18-23 year old. His book identifies five of the premier values of emerging adults today (consumption, sexual relativism, binge drinking, political apathy, etc.), all of which point to an infantilized adulthood, an adulthood priding itself on mobile acceptance, a conception of freedom which paradoxically kills it. Smith is a bit heavy on the criticism, to the point that his understanding misses empathy, as well as too much of the…

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