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《经济学人》:最美好的时光-年青人的世界

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The world of adolescence
年青人的世界

The best days of their lives?
他们人生中最美好的时光?

What drives the young
是什么因素驱使着年青人成长

Sep 17th 2011 | from the print edition

Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood.
迷失于转型之途:成年早期的黑暗面

CHRISTIAN SMITH is a well-known sociologist of religion. That alone may deter the more deeply secular from reading his book, “Lost in Transition”, which explores the moral map of 18- to 23-year-olds in America. This would be a shame, as it is intensely and uncomfortably thought-provoking. It deserves consideration on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly from the parents of that generation.

克里斯汀史密斯是一位著名的宗教社会学家。仅仅因为那样也许会使更深入世俗的人们不读他写的书“迷失于转型之途”,这本书探究18至23岁的美国人的道德地图。这将是一件憾事,因为这本书会引起人们强烈地、不自在地深思。而且也值得大西洋两岸的人们思考,尤其是那一代人的父母。

A note about method first. Mr Smith (a professor at the University of Notre Dame) and his co-writers have been following the emerging adults on whom this study is based since 2001, when they were just young sprats. The authors have repeatedly surveyed a “nationally representative” sample of over 3,000 and personally interviewed a smaller number. This book relies primarily on intensive interviews in 2008 with 230 of the original group, many of them then in college or university.

本书的首页是关于调查方法的注释。自2001年以来,史密斯先生(一位圣母大学的教授)和他的合著者一直研究新一代的成年人,当时他们两位也仅仅是初出茅庐的小子。他们两位作者反复调查3000多个全国有代表性的人物,还亲自访问一些人。这本书主要信赖2008年访问的230个最初的小组,大部分人当时还在学院或大学就读。

Mr Smith starts from the observation, which few would dispute, that adolescents are slower to emerge into adulthood these days: they study for longer, they depend on their parents for longer and they marry later, if at all. The world of real work they eventually enter is not the world of stable, long-term jobs that previous generations knew. During that long transition they have unprecedented freedom—from unwanted childbearing, for example—and no particular reason to rush into commitments of any sort. Moral boundaries are less clear than they were; many young adults have been taught not just to tolerate other people’s views and behaviour but to see them all as equally valid.

史密斯先生从观察开始,观察表明如今的年轻人进入成年期的速度较慢,这一观点几乎没有异议:如果条件允许的话,他们求学的时间长,依靠父母的时间长以及结婚晚。他们最终的工作并不是上一代人认为的稳定、长期的工作。在这段漫长的转型时期,年轻人享受着前所未有的自由,例如,不用考虑生育,没有理由去仓促地做任何承诺。道德的界限也不太清晰;很多年轻的成年人被教育不仅仅要忍受他人的观点和行为,而是平等正当地对待他人。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
original [ə'ridʒənl]

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adj. 最初的,原始的,有独创性的,原版的

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questionable ['kwestʃənəbəl]

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adj. 可疑的,可置疑的

 
current ['kʌrənt]

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n. (水、气、电)流,趋势
adj. 流通的

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emerge [i'mə:dʒ]

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vi. 浮现,(由某种状态)脱出,(事实)显现出来

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consumerism [kən'sju:mərizəm]

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n. 用户至上主义,商品的消费和销售性服务

 
decent ['di:snt]

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adj. 体面的,正派的,得体的,相当好的

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disengaged [.disin'geidʒd]

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adj. 脱离的,解开的,超然的 动词disengage

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deter [di'tə:]

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vt. 阻止,抑制,威吓

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turbulent ['tə:bjulənt]

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adj. 狂暴的,骚动的,动荡的,汹涌的

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pressure ['preʃə]

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n. 压力,压强,压迫
v. 施压

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