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Lost in TransitionThe Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood$
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Christian Smith, Kari Christoffersen, Hilary Davidson, and Patricia Snell Herzog

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199828029

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199828029.001.0001

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Morality Adrift

Morality Adrift

(p.19) 1 Morality Adrift
Lost in Transition

Christian Smith

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins the exploration of some of the more unsettling aspects of contemporary emerging adult life by focusing on the question of morality, moral beliefs, and moral reasoning. What do emerging adults think about morality? How do they know what is moral? How do they make moral decisions? Where do they think moral rights and wrongs, goods and bads, even come from? What is the source or basis of morality? And how important is it to emerging adults to choose what is morally good? The chapter examines their answers to these and other questions, and then ponders what this all may tell us not only about contemporary emerging adults’ own moral imaginations but also about the larger culture and society that has formed them morally.

Keywords:   emerging adults, young people, young Americans, moral beliefs, moral reasoning

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