FDL Book Salon Welcomes Jennifer M. Silva, Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty
If you were a Martian landing on Earth and had 24 hours to learn about “Millennials,” the youngest generation coming of age in a post-industrial economy, you’d surmise from New York Times articles and NPR segments and TIME magazine cover stories that young people are a bunch of downwardly mobile middle-class college-educated baristas who are willfully delaying adulthood. You’d think that they’re putting off marriage and parenthood, crashing with their parents, and languishing in unpaid internships because they are overwhelmed by choices and don’t want to grow up yet.
Jennifer Silva, in her book “Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty,” paints an entirely different world absent of the luxury of choice. She tells the story of the other Millennials, the working-class young people grappling with an intensely precarious, low-wage economy that leaves them feeling isolated, betrayed, and bewildered by institutions that are ostensibly there to help them. They’re avoiding romantic entanglements not because they value their freedom, but because marriage and children feel like untenable demands on top of an already demanding existence. The traditional markers of adulthood—college, career, home ownership, marriage, kids—aren’t just delayed for these young adults. They feel completely out of reach.
[Welcome Anne Kornblut, and Host Nona Willis Aronowitz] [As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book. Please take other conversations to a previous thread. – bev] Notes from the Cracked Ceiling: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and What It Will Take for a Woman to Win The