Cover of Growing Up in America by Brad Christerson, Korie L. Edwards, and Richard Flory
Growing Up in America
The Power of Race in the Lives of Teens
Brad Christerson, Korie L. Edwards, and Richard Flory

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2010
216 pages.
from $22.95

Cloth ISBN: 9780804760515
Paper ISBN: 9780804760522

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People's experiences of racial inequality in adulthood are well documented, but less attention is given to the racial inequalities that children and adolescents face. Growing Up in America provides a rich, first-hand account of the different social worlds that teens of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds experience. In their own words, these American teens describe, conflicts with parents, pressures from other teens, school experiences, and religious beliefs that drive their various understandings of the world.

As the book reveals, teens' unequal experiences have a significant impact on their adult lives and their potential for social mobility. Directly confronting the constellation of advantages and disadvantages white, black, Hispanic, and Asian teens face today, this work provides a framework for understanding the relationship between socialization in adolescence and social inequality in adulthood. By uncovering the role racial and ethnic differences play early on, we can better understand the sources of inequality in American life.

About the author

Brad Christerson is Associate Professor of Sociology at Biola University. Korie L. Edwards is Assistant Professor of Sociology at The Ohio State University.Richard Flory is Associate Research Professor of Sociology and Senior Research Associate in the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California.

"Growing Up in America is an eye-opener. In it we intensely experience the lives of teens, and come to see the powerful and often times surprising ways in which race impacts their lives. It is not the case, the authors show us, that white teens have access to the most and best resources. It varies by social institution, by what is valued, and what is needed. This is a wonderfully written, powerful book that enlightens as it engages. We cannot understand the meaning of race without understanding its formation in youth. And this is the very best book written on that subject."

—Michael O. Emerson, Rice University

"Growing Up in America masterfully shines an incisive light on how experiences in the four most influential contexts of adolescence—family, peers, school, and religion—can vary immensely based on one's racial or ethnic background. By revealing the unique 'capital portfolios' with which African American, white, Latino, and Asian American youth are equipped for adulthood, this book elucidates how uneven the playing field is when it comes to achieving social, emotional, economic, and spiritual success in adulthood. It's a must read for anyone interested in the sources of stratification and inequality in the U.S. or how race truly matters in the lives of American youth."

—Lisa D. Pearce, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill