California State University, Northridge WordmarkOviatt Library WordmarkOviatt Library Catalog Wordmark
Author Silva, Jennifer M.
Title Coming up short : working-class adulthood in an age of uncertainty / Jennifer M. Silva.
Published New York : Oxford University Press, [2013]
Book Cover

 Floor3  HD8072.5 .S575 2013    IN LIBRARY
Description xii, 192 pages ; 25 cm
Content Type text
Format volume
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 177-187) and index.
Contents Preface -- Coming of age in the risk society -- Prisoners of the present : obstacles on the road to adulthood -- Insecure intimacies : love, marriage, and family in the risk society -- Hardened selves : the remaking of the American working class -- Inhabiting the mood economy -- Conclusion: the hidden injuries of risk -- Appendix -- References.
Summary A sustained analysis of contemporary working class lives, providing a powerful and compelling perspective on several high profile issues at the forefront of public debate: economic instability, class instability, and the changing composition of the American family.
"Coming Up Short illuminates the transition to adulthood for working-class men and women. Moving away from easy labels such as the 'Peter Pan generation,' Jennifer Silva reveals the far bleaker picture of how the erosion of traditional markers of adulthood--marriage, a steady job, a house of one's own--has changed what it means to grow up as part of the post-industrial working class. Based on one hundred interviews with working-class people in two towns--Lowell, Massachusetts, and Richmond, Virginia--Silva sheds light on their experience of heightened economic insecurity, deepening inequality, and uncertainty about marriage and family. Silva argues that, for these men and women, coming of age means coming to terms with the absence of choice. As possibilities and hope contract, moving into adulthood has been re-defined as a process of personal struggle--an adult is no longer someone with a small home and a reliable car, but someone who has faced and overcome personal demons to reconstruct a transformed self. Indeed, rather than turn to politics to restore the traditional working class, this generation builds meaning and dignity through the struggle to exorcise the demons of familial abuse, mental health problems, addiction, or betrayal in past relationships. This dramatic and largely unnoticed shift reduces becoming an adult to solitary suffering, self-blame, and an endless seeking for signs of progress. This powerfully written book focuses on those who are most vulnerable--young, working-class people, including African-Americans, women, and single parents--and reveals what, in very real terms, the demise of the social safety net means to their fragile hold on the American Dream."--Publisher's website.
Subject Working class -- United States -- History -- 21st century.
Working class -- United States -- Economic conditions -- 21st century.
Working class -- United States -- Social life and customs.
ISBN 9780199931460 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
0199931461 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
OCLC number 812781063