Coming of Age in New Jersey: College and American Culture
by Michael Moffatt
Rutgers University Press, 1989
Paper: 978-0-8135-1359-1 | Cloth: 978-0-8135-1358-4 | eISBN: 978-0-8135-5574-4
Library of Congress Classification LD4756.M62 1989
Dewey Decimal Classification 378.1980974942

Coming of Age is about college as students really know it and--often--love it. To write this remarkable account, Michael Moffatt did what anthropologists usually do in more distant cultures: he lived among the natives. His findings are sometimes disturbing, potentially controversial, but somehow very believable. Coming of Age is a vivid slice of life of what Moffatt saw and heard in the dorms of a typical state university, Rutgers, in the 1980s. It is full of student voices: naive and worldy-wise, vulgar and polite, cynical, humorous, and sometimes even idealistic. But it is also about American culture more generally: individualism, friendship, community, bureaucracy, diversity, race, sex, gender, intellect, work, and play. As an example of an ethnography written about an anthropologist's own culture, this book is an uncommon one. As a new and revealing perspective on the much-studied American college student, it is unique.

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