YOUTH: Change and Challenge by Erik H.- Ed. Erikson

YOUTH: Change and Challenge

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The bulk of these essays appeared originally in the 1961-62 Deadalus; in the whole they eminently deserve the current hard-cover reprint. They are all concerned with, as the title suggests, the changing character of youth and the awesomely changing character of change itself, of those youths growing up ""uncertain and afraid/In a world I never made"", and those who, while settling down, no longer accept the bureaucratic myths of the past or indeed of the present, but, give a sort of ""privatism"": they do the job, search for security, but it is only with the young wife, the young family, that they have an interpersonal life-relatedness, if at all. What seems their common need, from the teenagers to the post-college crowd, is a challenge, a civic creed, a new historical raison d'etre, social-spiritual regeneration; failing that, the old moods is bound to continue: the organization man more and more alienated from an economy of abundance and superabundance. The above, of course, merely sketches the underlying themes; the sociologists working within varying interests and intents, probing differing aspects of the complexities involved: identity-diffusion; extremist responses like the Beat; archetypal patterns; the meaning of the Peace Corps and Sit-In Movements; the postwar sensibilities of Russia, Japan, France; science and technology; the lack of confrontation between generations today, between parent and child, etc., etc. Bettelhiem, Parsons and Denney are the most incisive, most interesting. A genuinely superior, stimulating study.

Pub Date: April 12th, 1963
Publisher: Basic Books