This course focuses on the experiences of a generation of young adults who have come of age under the auspices of fiscal crisis, austerity and massive shifts in social policies landscapes, and recent upheavals and mobilizations against the state across North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Young adults today are uniquely positioned within the cultural, economic, and policy landscapes of growing conditions of social and material insecurity. Compared to adolescence, which is a much-researched area of educational scholarship, young people who are "emerging" or "young" adults are an under-researched population. Emerging adulthood includes the period between 18 and 30 years of age when young people become more independent and explore various life possibilities. It is a time of profound change, when young adults acquire the skills and education they need for jobs and careers, when they establish households and relationships, begin families, and begin to contribute to society in meaningful ways. It is also a time in which young people gain political status vis-a-vis the state and become subject to rules and regulations concerning criminal justice and financial institutions and can experience an attenuating loss of social supports. There is a growing body of research to suggest that that the forms of 'crisis' experienced by young people today will have a profound effect on their transition to adulthood, their engagement in traditional social and political institutions, and their ability to participate meaningfully in the knowledge economy. For these reasons, emerging adulthood and youth studies are important areas of study in adult education.
Leadership, Higher and Adult Education