Defining Adulthood —— Annotated Bibliography

KENISTON, KENNETH. “In Search of Adulthood.” New York Times (1923-Current file), New York, N.Y., 1979.

In the article, the author provided a thorough analysis of Peter Blos’ search for the adulthood of the adolescents. As an accomplished psychoanalytical researcher and writer, Blos worked exclusively on the psychoanalysis on the adolescent and had insightful ideas about coming of age.

The author mainly introduced four significant theories of Blos’ discussion: His argument that regression is a necessary component for puberty, his emphasis on Oedipus complex as a central issue for adolescents, his characterization of adolescent as the “Armageddon of the adult neurosis” with autonomous importance, and his definition for the “second individuation process” during which adolescents try to eradicate or carry on the traumas or positive vestiges of their good or bad parents.

In the last two paragraphs, the author evaluated the overall claim of Blos, enumerated approvals and criticism towards him, and finally voiced the author’s own opinion to the theory of Blos.

The article provides a brief and conclusive introduction to the ideas of Blos, and it also provides useful insights towards adulthood in psychoanalytic methods. The article in all can provide strong support to some arguments on the relationship between childhood experience and childhood evolvement.


RAMPELL, CATHERINE. “A Generation Of Slackers? Not So Much.” New York Times (1923-Current file), New York, N.Y., 2011.

In the article, the author argued against the prevailing views imposed by the elderly to the Generation Y (or Millennials) teenagers. The author’s idea can be concluded in mainly three points: Generation Y teenagers put greater emphasis on work, they are more devoted to community service and volunteer works, and their different working ethics illustrate taking breaks for fun during work as a way to improve working efficiencies.

The article almost exclusively utilized ethos and logos in rhetorical strategies: it cited many statistics, along with the standpoint of several authorities to support her idea.

This article can be helpful in exploring some special traits of the millennials and varied perspectives on the millennials from the society. In my opinion, the illustration of the passage is not convincing enough to oppose the stereotypical view on the millennials, but it does supply for a very helpful idea for us to analyze generations in general: accusing next generation is a constant trend through all the generations.


ROSENBERGER, GARY. “Class Reunion: Milestone of Adulthood.” New York Times (1923-Current file), New York, N.Y., 1984.

In the article, the author recount on his high school class reunion 18 years after graduation. Through his thoughts and feeling on the changes and achievement of his classmates, the author reflected on himself about the definition of adulthood.

In the beginning, the author admitted that he was very passive about his high school life. The passion and the burning youth was a torture for him. In the article, the author put emphasis on several figures that each stands for an important experience for him or a key thought he had: He mentioned his desire to see his high school crush, only to found out she did not come; he wrote about a going-to-be lawyer, a movie superstar and another frustrated actress who made pathetic comparison with the former, several people he tried to approach but misplaced in some past experiences.  He wrote about the ups and downs, achievements and failures of his classmates, and voiced his happiness, anxiety, and frustration. He said: “A high school reunion is a serious indication of having reached adulthood.”

The article provides detailed recounts of the reunion and high school recollections. Although it is not meant to persuade or illustrate a point, I would say that the article utilizes pathos in rhetorical strategy, since it evokes some feelings I have had in high school. The article might be useful in analyzing anxiety of becoming adults, and in defining adulthood with achievements.

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1 Response to Defining Adulthood —— Annotated Bibliography

  1. Jackson Bailey says:

    In your first article, “In Search of Adulthood” by Kenneth Keniston, you mention Keniston is an accomplished psychoanalytical researcher and writer. This is great, but it needs to be accompanied by some facts, such as an University he works with/for, or the amount of years/projects he has been involved in. Without any facts to go along with your claim, there is no ethos. Also, for your third article, “Class Reunion: Milestone of Adulthood” by Rosenberg, I think it can work for the best. It is clearly pathos, in that there is personal emotion and nostalgic. I found it very difficult to find any first person accounts. Going along this idea, I don’t think you can use this article as your main support, given that is clearly biased, but rather include it at a time when you are trying to give the reader a mental image of your claim.

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