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Lost in Transition, Christian Smith


This book has been really difficult for me to read. As someone who grew up on the edges of mainstream culture, I have often found myself puzzled and confused by the attitudes and ideas of my peers, especially in their perspective on education, success, and morality. The researchers of this book not only interview emerging adults to get their own words about what they believe, the choices they make, and why, but also examine the sociological implications of their findings; they look at the impact of the community, of teachers, of family and parents, of the media and the surrounding culture to find the foundations of the seemingly adrift emerging adult. They are quick to point out what is researched data, and what is anecdotal from their interviews; however, the interviews make up the bulk of the book, and are fascinating to read. I found much of it to be disturbing, as did the researchers, especially when it came to attitudes towards materialism, consumption, and the cursory mention of conservation by most of the interviewees.

The authors provide plenty of references for the research they cite alongside the interviews, so there is a good body of work available for those who wish to continue their studies in this field. Highly recommended.

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