Leaving the Nest

One of the most exhilarating and terrifying, yet meaningful and productive actions a teenager can do is fly out of the comfortable coop their parents have built for them.  There is little responsibility while living under a family member’s roof and there are controversial feelings within a teenager on if s/he is ready to live self-sufficiently.  Leaving the nest is an important step for every individual as well as for society as a whole.  Could you imagine if everyone lived with all of their extended family in America similar to many other cultures around the world?

According to societal rules in America, a child is supposed to move out and go to college or get a job when s/he is eighteen.  In reality a clear majority of teenagers do not do this when becoming of age.  There are parents that allow their child to live at home through college and even after college due to variables that could be that they couldn’t find a job, don’t want to find a job, or have a job that isn’t sufficient in being able to pay the bills for their own house.  This is what a Practice theorist would notice because the general ideal of life after high school to most kids, while growing up, along with parents having children, is for the child to move out and be self-sufficient, while a vast amount of teenagers are unable to do so and end up living in their parent’s home into their twenties with little to no negative repercussions.  This in an example of invisible rules in a society that are not followed in practice.

A Marxist would focus more on why they couldn’t move out once they reach eighteen and be able to connect those reasons to capitalism.  This would pertain to the idea that being in a capitalist society allows for children to stay home until graduation for a better education in order to make the best productive citizens in society.  By having a capitalist economy it is assumed that relationships in the work force are going to deal with the mode of production, means of production, and mode of exchange.  If a teenager does not have the money to go to college then they do not have the means to become a productive member of society and contribute to the U.S. capitalist system.  The less people that are able to go out and buy a home while maintaining a job, the harder it will be for our capitalist society to be efficient in production and exchange, therefore those who live with their parents after college are of interest to a Marxist anthropologist in an economically productive standpoint.

—Finley N.

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41 Responses to Leaving the Nest

  1. Stephanie Grossart says:

    I was one of those teenagers that did not go off to college right after graduated High School. My parents generously let me stay at home, eat their food, and drive their cars. To me the issue is that my generation feels entitled. I was very comfortable at home and didn’t feel the need to further my education right away. My part time job gave me enough money to go out at night and buy clothes but it definitely would not be enough to support myself. I had a good education. I should have gone straight to college. I realize how economics could be an issue but when it came to me I was “comfortable”. Marxist theory could work but I believe a lot of teenagers today are experiencing what I did.

  2. Lucy Johnson says:

    I truly agree. The author did a great job explaining his position with both theories. I as well believe that to grow in oneself’s true form, we must welcome change. Coddling has proven time and time again that it achieves very little towards the developments of ones persona. As referred, the cultural norm is to move along from the parents after college, but those who exclude themselves and only hurting themselves in the long run. You’d think that by now parents would understand these principles, and regardless of their current reason for allowing it, look towards their child’s future rather then the present difficulties in making a decision.

    The connection to Marxism was interesting. Don’t know if I would have chose in, but it was argued well.

  3. Ariana Ross says:

    This argument is very specific to American society, without explicitly saying so. I would be interested in looking at comparisons between different cultures’ approaches to the same concept of “flying the coop”. Often, familiar and ingrained concepts are best understood by examining their opposition, allowing parallels and differences to emerge.This does however, provide an emic look at the issue, the author and most of the audience coming from analogous backgrounds with similar, albeit very limited experiences.

    • Adriana Petersen says:

      I agree with Ariana, that it would be interesting to compare the topic between different cultures, especially in terms of what society expects one to do and the general reaction one gets if they go against that cultural norm. Through personal experience, I have noticed that in the US people seem to really respect those who leave the home and become more independent after high school, it can sometimes even be a bit awkward when discussing someone who ended up staying at home. Where as, my mom who comes from a small European village, had an entirely different experience growing up. Unlike the rest of her family who all built houses twenty feet away from each other and either became seamstresses or farmers, she went to college and after graduation moved to the US. She was looked down upon for this by her family and because of it still has a relationship full of tension and disagreement with them. I think this could be easily related to interpretive anthropology, showing that the general standard that the US society holds of being independent and making one’s own career for themselves could represent our capitalist society. While in other cultures, it is often valued to follow the family business and continue to be heavily supported by your family while supporting them as well, which can related to my mom’s upbringing in a former socialist country.

  4. Colleen Godfrey says:

    For the Marxist anthropology argument it would work well to compare American society to a more socialist society like the French. In France it is the norm to stay at the natal home until much later than America. Staying in the parent’s house is more feasible in a socialist or Marxist society. In France higher education is paid for by the government, due to their higher taxes, and as a result more of their population pursues a higher education than in America. In America it is less acceptable to just continue to live off of the parents later into a young adult’s 20s whereas in France the average daughter/son doesn’t move out until 26.

  5. Greyden H says:

    I like the thought process from the author in this short piece on family and the monumental role it plays in society. The concluding sentence in the opening paragraph made the reader have to picture what America would be like if everyone grew up but still lived with their extended family. This would totally change the dynamics of society. I don’t think people would mature as much as they would if they were to move out and become independent. Moving out of your parents house is one of the biggest stepping stones in life and serves as a catalyst for the development of maturity in an individual. The author focused on Practice Theory and Marxism in their paper, and related them to certain occasions in American society. One anthropological theory that also could be talked also is Cultural Relativism. Looking back on the question that the author asks in the opening paragraph, I realized that some other cultures actually do see this as a normal act. When I go surfing in Mexico, the fishing town we go to is comprised of less than 1,000 people so this is one factor that creates this norm of living with the family. There are many other factors that could create an institutionalization of this act, in many other countries.

    • Kayla Clancy says:

      I really like that you brought up Cultural Relativism since I was too thinking that living at home for this extended period of time could mean many different things across different cultures. I believe that this concept of moving out at 18 and becoming financial independent was something that was economically possible in the last generation so was a cultural norm at the time. Today, it is very difficult and almost impossible for an 18 year old straight out of high school to make any more than minimum wage, which is barely enough to survive on. When my father attended college in the late 1970s he worked a 30 hour a week job at a pizza place and was able to pay for his entire college tuition without loans. Costs of tuition have increased exponentially, as have the costs of living. If I were to work full time at a minimum wage job, I may be able to cover my tuition costs but have absolutely no money for the cost of living. The ideas of independence have changed in the American culture in part due to the changing economy. I believe it used to be more valued and essential to become independent young. However, many cultures see becoming an independent adult as when you marry and move out of the family house. Americans are more focused on going to college and getting a good job than starting a family in their early 20s, so getting married is often pushed back to late 20s, 30s or even 40s. Perhaps American youth would become independent as fast as they did in previous decades if they were getting married earlier, but since it’s not uncommon to wait longer then the option of staying at home does not seem like a bad idea to many people. However it should be considered that different cultures believe you become an adult at different points in life. America seems to focus it on financial independence, but as that becomes increasingly tough, maybe we should define independence in other ways.

  6. ElisabethDiMarco says:

    It is so interesting that you wrote about this for your topic. You really nailed the idea that every teenager is sold the idea that they should go to college and move out of their parents home after graduating from high school, when in reality handfuls of teenagers don’t do that. You did really well in explaining the different circumstances and situations that allow or even force teenagers or people in their 20’s to stay at home. I enjoyed reading this blog post and thought it was interesting .

    • Brianne Hart says:

      I agree with Elisabeth’s comment because I also believe the author did a great job portraying their argument that the norm of society is to leave the home and attend college to start your own life. This was definitely true at my high school and majority of people I went to high school with are in college and living on their own, so I definitely agree that it’s a societal norm. Further, I think it might be interesting to look at the idea of leaving the nest after high school from a symbolic perspective. It seems like there are certain meanings and associations with someone who leaves their home right after they graduate- whether the meaning is negative or positive. It might also be interesting to see how online college has influenced the norm of leaving the home after college, I’ve known people who stayed at home to work and also take online college courses, so that’s interesting to see how online accessibility has influenced one’s college decision.

  7. You explained idea that many teenagers are beginning to stay at home and not go to college immediately, due to higher education prices or pure laziness. Marxist anthropology fit your topic well however i think to fulfill the potential of the theory you should compare this idea to one of another country. Overall, this was a great topic and was written well.

    • Christopher McKeown says:

      Overall Finnely did an excellent job of explaining her topic through Practice and Marxist theory. However, I agree with Kristina with the idea of applying another country to her analysis. It would be very interesting to see the comparisons of practice and marxist across cultures and the ideas that can be pulled form these. The most interesting point I found was when Finnely stated “in reality a clear majority of teenagers do not do this when becoming of age,” which she continued to highlight as a major flaw in our actual applying of Practice theory.

  8. Taylor Rose Martin says:

    The idea of leaving home at eighteen is an interesting one, and is definitely an American ideal. There are many cultures around the world were one does not leave their parents home until they get married, and even then, with the current economy, many people live with their parents during married life. There is so much variation with this topic. I think practice theory was a good take, as there is an American ideal to leave home once one graduates high school, but this varies in practice. For instance, I left my parent’s home at seventeen, but my younger sister is living at home and working, she is almost nineteen. Further, I have friends who work full time and go to college, but choose to live at home due to financial reasons. What is the stigma with college? What about the stigma against college? There is an entire culture outside of college, many people even believe that going to college is a waste of time and money, especially in this economy. Most bartenders make more money than college graduates, I think this aspect of life could have also been brought into your paper.

    Marxist theory was an interesting take, however, I feel like it would have been beneficial to your paper to explore people who leave their parents to work and not attend school. The majority of our country goes strait into the work force, and I feel like this very prominent aspect of our lives was left out of theory. If we are studying who is more beneficial to capitalism, it is arguably the work force anyway, not the kids in college who rely on their parents to support them.

    It would have also been interesting to look at a post-structuralist point of view and examine power. What does the work force and college, or the combo of the two say about power relations? Is the workforce a powerful one? What about those with a degree? Who is running the college and the work force? Does this have any implication on biopolitics?

    Overall, it was an interesting paper, but it focuses so narrowly on kids leaving home to attend college, that it missed out on more prominent ways of life such as, leaving home to work, staying home to work, and staying home to work and attend school, as many many people do.

  9. Dakota Mendrick says:

    The theories used in this paper were super interesting. I would have never thought to use Marxist theory for this topic or in the way that the author did. Another theory that I think would work well with this topic is cultural evolution. A cultural evolutionist could compare at what age teenagers are supposed to move out of their parent’s homes in different countries and cultures. They could also compare why the ages are different depending on the culture and how this ends up benefiting or harming the teenager.

  10. Alyssa Janssen says:

    I thought this was a really good essay regarding the transition from relying on one’s parents to becoming an independent adult. From a practice theory standpoint, I think it would be interesting to look at what is acceptable for a high school graduate and how that has changed over recent years. For example, it is becoming much more common for students to take a year off between high school and college and either work or travel, which increases the likelihood of relying on your parents. It would also be interesting to look at how staying at home has been affected due to changing marriage practices. In the 1950’s kids got married right out of high school and started their own household, however, the older age of many people getting married these days may put less pressure on people to immediately move out of their parent’s house. From a Marxist standpoint I think we would also need to take into consideration the current economy. For many high school and college grads it is more practical to stay at home than move out and try to find a job with little practical experience in the work force. Lastly, it would be interesting to compare our norms to those of other countries. Overall, I think the author did a great job at analyzing our society’s standard of “leaving the nest” after high school.

  11. Alyssa Ferguson says:

    The idea of practice theory was very interesting. I think, however, that the ideal age of 18 is changing to after high school graduation. But I also believe that when people don’t follow the stereotype of moving out, they are looked at differently. The author did a great job of connecting the practice theory to marxist anthropology. When young adults don’t move out and become sufficient and independent they are looked at as a burden to society and are hindering the community as a whole. The idea of how these two theories got connected was well thought out and very relatable as we are all going through the process of becoming independent.

  12. katie van amson says:

    “If a teenager does not have the money to go to college then they do not have the means to become a productive member of society and contribute to the U.S. capitalist system” Overall I liked your piece but I strongly disagree with this statement in particular. The U.S. capitalist system is kept afloat by the working class. Sometimes that means those who went a got a formal education and an office job, but often times that means those who had a kid young and couldn’t afford college but worked much harder then I do to stay afloat and juggle jobs. Whether your working for a fortune 500 company or busing tables at the sink your keeping the economy afloat by working. I almost think that those who take off some time to work and build a resume before college help our economy more sometimes.

  13. Anastasia M. says:

    I agree with much of this piece, but there are a few questions I have…

    1. According to the practice of turning 18, once you reach this age, you move out and go to school or get a job. But when this practice isn’t followed, who is the one breaking the practice: the parents or the child? Is it the parents fault for enabling them, or the child’s fault for not preparing for this life event?

    2. Is it really entirely necessary for someone to go to college to “be a productive member of society”? There are many careers and jobs that are essential to our country that do not require a college education. Are they not contributing because they didn’t put money into the college system or because they did not attain a college education?

  14. Hunter Emmons says:

    I love this topic because this was the same idea that I had for my first essay. It is interesting seeing how many different Anthropological lenses you can use for this idea of “leaving the nest.” For our first essay we has way fewer topics to work with and so using a functionalist and symbolic view were sufficient at the time by noticing that the function of leaving was this unspoken constant between parents and children, while it symbolized independence of the one moving out. The practice theory in this circumstance was very well thought out and written. Parents and teenagers both wait for that day when they will have to leave, but we never know exactly when it will be. Many people say that they will get out as soon as possible, but more often than not I have known many people who have ended up staying at the parents homes longer than either of them anticipated.

  15. Ashley Sanks says:

    I liked the idea of Practice Theory as compared with Marxist Theory in this essay. Like others who have commented, I probably would not have chosen Marxist, but it was well argued!
    However, I slightly disagree with your argument towards Practice Theory that parents volunteer to let their kids live at home, especially after high school due to the inability to find a solid paying job. I think there has been a paradigm shift, not only in this “pull yourself up from your bootstraps and get to workin’ kids” mentality, but also what it means to get a job after college. When I graduated high school, my mom wouldn’t have expected me to get a full time job, even though I had built my resume while still in high school. My mom wanted me to go to college, just to open my opportunities in the long run.
    As it is well documented, people with a degree these days are not the competitive workforce that used to happen once you graduated with a Bachelor’s, Associate’s or better yet, a Doctorate. I would challenge that Practice Theory now illustrates that after college on surface level, people are supposed to find their dream career and get working. But looking more closely, it is not ‘The Graduate’ situation where you take a summer off and then find yourself a position that pays well with benefits. It now is the ability to see if a job is even open, due to high unemployment and major’s that don’t have any availability. More so than when our parents were in school, graduated students are stuck at home because all that is available is menial low paying jobs, if they can even get that because they are ‘over-qualified.’
    Overall, I think the trend of staying with parents is changing as the demographic of what jobs are available with what degrees change in the United States.

  16. Alexandra Sapien says:

    It’s really interesting in regard to to the practice theory because of the changes from not even 40 years ago till today. In the 60’s and 70’s a lot of kids were even responsible for finding a means of paying for school. If they couldn’t find a job or resources to pay for college after 18 a huge majority of men would sign up for the military for five years which would then have the military pay for their college. It’s becoming less and less common for kids to travel to a different state for college and actually earn a degree that will become enough to sustain a life without parental help. We can observe the common aspect of getting an “easer” degree like a foreign language degree because there is becoming less and less jobs for people who get these degrees. The marxist analyzing of this theory is dead on because it really is a never ending circle that can be easily blamed on capitalism. If you have money, you have enough money to get a degree at a good school, then you will get a good job just like your parents and be able to provide the same opportunity for your kids. With only the exceptions of the kids who work very hard and receive a lot of scholarships for their brains, where people who have money get to go to the same school with barely working or ever have to worry about paying for college.

  17. lilykoral says:

    This was an interesting take on the American phenomena of “leaving the nest”. I wonder, however, what a culture and personality theorist might think about this. For example, I believe they would look at how in America independence is a desired personality trait. They would also look at how “leaving the nest” fosters this desire for independence. It does this by having it be a cultural expectation for all children to move out by the time they’re “of age” and once they do they are slowly weaned off their parents care. This includes personal needs (like doing their laundry) and financial care.

  18. Amanda B says:

    This essay provides a thorough description of the two opposite lifestyles most young adults face upon turning 18/graduating high school in the US. It is interesting how using Practice Theory shows that the culturally accepted tradition is to move out either for college or a job, but the main other trend seen in America is to remain at home supported by one’s family, completely opposite of the supposed expected trend. Marxist theory is a very good transition to explain why there is such a difference in the expected idea versus a different lifestyle change that is becoming more common. “Leaving the nest” after high school is still dominant in America, however, so it provides contrasting opinions for Marxist anthropologist. The Marxist anthropologist could also analyze that
    whether a young adult stays home with the family or becomes self-sufficient should depend on what is in the best interest for his/her successful future career and, therefore, benefit the economy.

  19. Nick Young says:

    Very interesting topic. I can relate personally, because I left the nest right after high school to come here to CU. But now that I’m about to graduate in the spring, I find myself kind of wanting to move back in with my parents for a year or so after college. For me, it is purely for economic reasons, so a marxist would love me. I have proven to myself that I can survive on my ow,. pay my own rent and all of my own bills. But I’ll have just turned 22 when I graduate. I’m in no hurry to find my “career job”. My current job pays me more than enough. I don’t want to settle down. I want to move home, save a ton of money, travel, pay off my car, ect. Then, when I’m 23-24 I’ll have a great bankroll jump back out into the world on my own.

    Also, I really miss my dogs, and want to be able to hang out with them every day…. But we wont tell the Marxist that.

  20. Elliott Cairns says:

    Your approach with Marxism I found very interesting, especially in today standards with a College education becoming progressively more competitive. Along with competition, there is debt that is not immediately paid off until a long time. Those who go right into the workforce do earn more throughout their lifetimes than people who delay working to go to earn a bachelors, a masters or a doctorate. Anastasia M. had a great question regarding when practice theory isn’t followed regarding the 18 year old move out, is it the parent or the child to blame? I believe that this affects different classes differently with some having the financial means to delay the move and others needing the 18 year old to work immediately. All in all good essay and very thought provoking

  21. Martin Golibart says:

    I thought this was a very interesting thought: “Could you imagine if everyone lived with all of their extended family in America similar to many other cultures around the world?” I immediately thought of cultural ecology. In cultures where people live in familial societies, the people depend on each other to create a sustainable environment for the group. These familial societies tend to live in groups with blood relation, because it takes the whole bunch to live comfortably. Each family member is given a specific duty. These duties usually revolve around manipulating the environment in order to live comfortably. In that regard, a cultural ecologist would say some extended families live together because their need to produce their habitat using the nature provided cannot be accomplished with just the immediate family.

  22. Martin Golibart says:

    A Marxist anthropologist would also look at the sudden rise in extended family housing. With the recession in the last couple years, extended families have been living together because of the recession. If its foreclosures, or families just choosing to save money, the current economy is moving families into the same houses. A Marxist anthropologist would think about social classes. Families in higher classes with enough wealth were able to make it through the recession without having to resort to moving in with their extended families homes. Lower class families that had trouble during the recession had to resort to these moves. A Marxist anthropologist would study the impact of the recession and the moving patterns for lower class families.

  23. Allison Dudley says:

    I think another interesting idea under this topic and possibly practice theory is the idea of a gap year. Many kids don’t go to college or get a job when they “leave the nest.” Instead, they take a gap year to explore their options, the world, or just to sit at home and do nothing. The idea is that you can take a “gap” in your life and then return to the societal norms such as attending college or getting a job. I think the gap year was constructed to get around the hegemonic system in America. This in practice helps preserve the system by allowing slight leeway to those who aren’t ready to progress into societies normal and expected course. This would be similar to the willful girls or the Ghinnawas in the Bedouin society.

  24. Danielle Maxey says:

    I really enjoyed reading your essay. I feel that this topic has some truth to many people in the United States today. I’ve noticed many people are actually staying at home for a couple years while they do online school or a smaller state school close to home. Some get jobs as well to help pay for it. It cuts the costs way down from the more expensive Universities and the student is able to also cut down on living expenses. It also helps is someone does not know exactly what they want to do in life. I’ve known people who have wasted a lot of money failing all their classes at Universities taking classes they didn’t want to take and not knowing what they wanted to take. It sometimes is cheaper to let people figure it out for a couple of years before going out. It would be interesting to read about other theories applied to this.

  25. Cassidy Reeves says:

    Analyzing leaving the nest through a practice theory perspective and a Marxist perspective was really interesting. I wouldn’t have necessarily thought not leaving the home as correlating to not becoming a productive citizen in society. I think that you could analyze going to college or joining the labor force from a Marxist perspective as well. Joining the work force right away means contributing to capitalism right away. However, since many jobs these days require a college education, and since many students get jobs after college and these jobs are usually higher paid, the question arises that do post-college laborers contribute more to capitalism (just later down the road) than their high school-to-workforce peers? It’d be interesting to analyze. Great essay! I really liked reading it!

  26. Stephanie Sanchez says:

    I found this essay very interesting. I liked how you explained that many cultures around the world still live at home rather than leave the moment you turn 18. Especially now it seems that most teens who do decided to move out right away end up moving back home. I think part of this is because of our cultures idea on individuality and being self-sufficient. Ultimately this is living up to the American Dream. A culture and personality anthropologist might look at this as a personality issue. Lacking the skills to move out and live on their and support themselves.

  27. Sam Calahan says:

    Along with your Marxist approach, I think Culture and Personality Theory can also explain the connection between capitalism and the timing of young adults leaving their parents’ homes. While you said that capitalism ALLOWS young adults to stay with their parents until they’re able to go out into the world as independents to contribute to the capitalist system, surely the same system in which they are brought up actively encourages this. In this way, the system could be seen as breeding a certain ideal type of person, one that contributes to its demand for growth. It is becoming acceptable to remain in the parents’ home for a longer period of time, because our current economy has made it necessary for those who intend to get the higher education required to be a productive member of our capitalist society.

  28. Molly gordon says:

    I really enjoyed this piece. I really liked how you used practice theory for your topic. I know many people who never moved out of their parent’s house and still attended college. Most of these individuals never matured or learned how to take care of themselves. It really shows the difference between growing up in your parents house and growing up in your own house.

  29. Sophia Kolybabiuk says:

    This was a well written essay on the topic because i see copious amounts of people my age living at home and not feeling any pressure to build up their own lives. It’s sad to see parents let their own children expect to depend on them, most likely resulting in their own children staying at home long after they are expected to go off into the world and start digging their own paths to where they want to end up. A Marxist anthropologist would also consider social classes and how some families can’t afford for their children to go to college.

  30. Neil Tobiasen says:

    This is a very interesting topic for today’s day and age. Many teens are starting to steer away from college due to its immense tuitions and book costs and continuing their education at a community college while still living with their parents. This is a very smart move for someone who does not think they are ready or will be able to financially support themselves throughout their college career without the support of their parents or student loans. Many students nowadays are fortunate enough that their parents will pay for their education, but expect a full refund after their studies have finished and they have been gainfully employed.

  31. Scout E. says:

    This was a really interesting essay and it brought up many points that I had never considered before. I think it is interesting to note how young adults that chose to stay at home are viewed by others in American society. At least in my experience, I have met young adults and older adults alike that view this chose as one as laziness and dependence. I think this reaction can be considered a product of the American Dream. The American Dream touts that an individual must be independent in order to move up and be successful in American society. Because of this ideal, some people view those who do not strictly follow this path to be abnormal (which is something I do not agree with). Another theory that I think could have been used is the historic turn because I think it would have been interesting to see why it is becoming increasingly popular for more young adults to live at home after 18 years of age.

  32. Jon Mastman says:

    Outstanding essay, very detailed. Very good work tying practice theory in with the “what they say and what they do” cultural expectation that after turing 18, the new young adults are supposed to go to college, get a job, or move out, or in come cases all three. There are obstacles that prevent some people from getting jobs that could sufficiently support them, such as poor education systems and social constructs. Marxist anthropologists would also be interested in this line of thinking as the author correctly points out because they would want to identify how the capitalist system is putting down the people of this labor class.

  33. Alana Spielman says:

    I really enjoyed reading this essay. This idea s very relevant to everyone in college because within a few years back, pretty much everyone here went through it. Practice theory apply’s directly to this idea. At home I know people who had no idea what to do after leaving high school and did not want to run into something that they were both not financially and emotionally ready for. In this case waiting a year to make he big decision of moving out is not necessarily seen as a bad thing; even though this is not really seen as a positive thing in society. You also did a great job of connecting this idea to Marxist anthropology.

  34. Jake Bradshaw says:

    I enjoy the use of the Marxist analysis between the child and parents and I admire the edgy nature of this comparison. But I disagree with a few parts on the critique. I’m not entirely sure that a capitalist system wants a horde of educated masses capable of netting large salaries. This analysis presented by the author sounds more similar to social capitalism (where socialist governance gradually moves the economy softly towards pure socialism) where more individuals are able to prosper than just a handful. I think American capitalism actually benefits from less educated individuals because they more exploitable as laborers, giving a business higher profit margins, and the working class’ lack of capital it accumulates means the individuals within this class must constantly spend in order to survive in American society nor net enough money through work to where they would be able to economically compete with the bourgeoisie, as with property, for example.

  35. It is crazy to think that we are forced out of our homes to think that you may never rely on your parent’s home for an extended period of time ever again. I do see it in many cultures that families stick together. It looks very nice to always be with family and it makes me a little jealous. Always being separated from my cousins and sisters is very sad sometimes and I just wish I could live with them. It makes me upset to think that the only times I will be with my family for long periods of times is during the holidays. I am however grateful for living in a society where I am able to learn to live independently at a young age.

  36. Ashley Gates says:

    I agree with your points but I also see how this topic could play into the culture and personality theory. In the past a four year degree made you a shoe-in for a job because in general society expected everyone to have a high school diploma/GED. However now it has changed. Since a four year degree made your standard of living so much higher a large majority of people either started that journey (traditional students) or people went back to college (non-traditional students). At first this seems like a good movement, but it has also changed societies expectations. Now to be able to be seen as superior you need more than a four year degree…since they are more popular now. Since there has been this switch in just what the “ideal person” in the United States is we have had to adapt by staying at home longer because we want to be able to be seen as the “ideal person”. The price of an education has sky-rocketed over the years and now it can cost so much that we not only can’t pay for it while living on our own, but it has also sent people into debt.

  37. Helen says:

    I think it is very interesting that you connected the extent of americans usually staying home with having to gain the tools to be successful in this society. When you say that it will be harder and harder for people to gain these tools in an advancing society, are you suggesting as well that teenagers will stay home for longer? I believe that this is the case, as many of my friends have stayed home because college was not the right choice for them or not a possible choice for their family. A marxist anthropologist would look at the extension of this family housing would definitely connect this to financial hardships associated with a capitalist system. Furthermore, I think a marxist would look at “leaving the nest” as a cuturally created phenomenon associated with capitalist societies instead of something neccessary that everyone has to do.

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