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Extended Adolescence and Higher Education

  1. Sep 9, 2008 #1
    Extended Adolescence and Higher Education

    Virtually all of our political leaders have a college or university education. Many of our political leaders have an Ivy League education which often means six years of higher education; four years getting some kind of undergraduate degree followed by two years for an MBA.

    Often the student receiving a higher education does so while being supported by his or her parents. This means that often adolescence extends beyond the mid-twenties.

    In other words many of our political and industrial leaders have had a much extended adolescence.

    I would say that a child lives from birth through adolescence in a state highly dictated by the pleasure-principle and accepts the reality-principle as the sign of maturity. Extended adolescence means that many individuals do not become mature adults until well into their twenties.

    Can a culture survive such a situation?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2008 #2
    Of course. It has. It does.
  4. Sep 9, 2008 #3


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    There are several false premises here that make the question pointless. First, an Ivy League education refers to the universities one attends, not that one is getting an MBA. There is no reason to expect those attending the Ivy Leagues spend more time in college than someone attending any other university or college.

    Second, do you have any support for the claim that many of our political leaders have MBA's?

    Third, while students may be financially supported by their parents when receiving a higher education, this is not true of all students obtaining a higher education. You have also not shown that this is causative of any form of extended adolescence. Financial assistance does not mean lack of maturity or independence in other areas.

    Also, along the lines of that third point, university educations do not extend beyond about 21 yrs of age, unless one has started their education as a more mature adult, which would negate claims of extended adolescence into the mid-20s. Graduate school may extend the duration of one's education, but graduate students are typically not dependent upon parents for financial assistance and are fairly mature, hard-working individuals.

    You then added in industrial leaders without any prior mention of industrial leaders. So, your premises do not support any addition of that group of individuals into the argument.

    You have not defined "pleasure-principle" or "reality-principle." Is reality somehow distinct from pleasure? If that is your argument, make it clear.
  5. Sep 10, 2008 #4

    Quickie from wiki

    "The pleasure principle is a psychoanalytic concept originated by Sigmund Freud that continuously drives one to seek pleasure and to avoid pain.

    Its counterpart is the reality principle which defers that gratification when necessary. The id follows the pleasure principle and rules early life, but as one matures, one begins to learn the need sometimes to endure pain and to defer gratification because of the exigencies and obstacles of reality. In Freud's words, "an ego thus educated has become reasonable; it no longer lets itself be governed by the pleasure principle, but obeys the reality principle, which also at bottom seeks to obtain pleasure, but pleasure which is assured through taking account of reality, even though it is pleasure postponed and diminished"."

    I do not know how many political leaders have MBAs but I do know that George W Bush does.

    I suspect that those who obtain an undergraduate degree are generally far beyond 21 when they do so.
  6. Sep 10, 2008 #5

    Math Is Hard

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    Postponing of becoming a mature, responsible adult can go on indefinitely, whether a person lives with parents or not. Freudian theories are interesting, but they are something like phlogiston in the context of of modern psychology.
  7. Sep 10, 2008 #6
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/156372/page/1 [Broken]

    "What used to be regressive weekends are now whole years in the lives of some guys," Kimmel tells NEWSWEEK. In almost 400 interviews with mainly white, college-educated twentysomethings, he found that the lockstep march to manhood is often interrupted by a debauched and decadelong odyssey, in which youths buddy together in search of new ways to feel like men. Actually, it's more like all the old ways—drinking, smoking, kidding, carousing—turned up a notch in a world where adolescent demonstrations of manhood have replaced the real thing: responsibility. Kimmel's testosterone tract adds to a forest of recent research into protracted adolescents (or "thresholders" and "kidults," as they've also been dubbed) and the reluctance of today's guys to don their fathers' robes—and commitments. They "see grown-up life as such a loss," says Kimmel, explaining why so many guys are content to sit out their 20s in duct-taped beanbag chairs. The trouble is that the very thing they're running from may be the thing they need.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
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