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The Road to Whatever

reviewed by Charles M. ViVona - 2006

coverTitle: The Road to Whatever
Author(s): Elliott Currie
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks (Henry Holt and Company, Inc.), New York
ISBN: 0805067639, Pages: 305, Year: 2004
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“Whatever,” says Elliott Currie, is a state characterized by alienation, desperation, drift, indifference, and a lack of care. The adolescents and young adults in the state of “whatever” are detached from mainstream social institutions—most notably, school and family. Currie borrows “whatever" from the vernacular of the young people who use it, because it reflects the sense of carelessness these adolescents feel just before doing something dangerous or self-destructive. Middle-class, white adolescents in America increasingly find themselves in the state of “whatever.” The Road to Whatever, says Currie, exists in a society that claims to have spent extraordinary resources on its youth. This society—our society— assumes its middle-class youth have been handed it all and are coddled and spoiled. It disparages these youth for their unwarranted sense of entitlement. Ours, says Currie, is a society which has been harsher on, less supportive of, and more precarious for middle-class youth than has... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 8, 2006, p. 1675-1678
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12263, Date Accessed: 6/5/2020 2:49:31 AM

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About the Author
  • Charles ViVona
    St. Johnís University
    E-mail Author
    CHARLES M. VIVONA, Ph.D. is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Sociology at St. Johnís University (NY), and also on the faculties of William Paterson University, Queensborough Community College, and Nassau Community College. He teaches courses on the sociology of deviance, criminology, juvenile delinquency, institutional and community-based corrections, criminal justice administration, urban sociology, and social psychology. He is studying the social psychological dynamics by which people care for and cultivate social order, with a focus on actors in the theater.
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