College Hookup Culture and Christian Ethics: The Lives and Longings of Emerging Adults
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What happens at college parties? Why do students dress and behave the way they do? Who has power, and what kind? And are college students happy overall with party and hookup culture? In response to undergraduates’ skepticism of researchers’ accounts of hookup culture, the author engaged 126 college students as ethnographers to observe and analyze this complex social reality at parties. Part I presents their results, revealing a disillusionment with contemporary sexual and relational norms that challenges benevolent or even neutral views of hookup culture. Part II brings students into conversation with Christianity’s narrative of what it means to become fully human and experience genuine joy and fulfillment. The spokesperson for this vision is theologian Johann Metz, whose portrait of Jesus struggling to become fully human by embracing poverty of spirit resonates with today’s college students. Comparing Jesus’s way of being in the world with their college culture’s status quo, many undergraduates discover in Metz’s Poverty of Spirit a countercultural path to authenticity, happiness, and fulfillment. Part III culminates in a call to action: with understanding of contemporary norms gained in part I, and poverty of spirit as explored in part II, these chapters explore obstacles to sexual justice on college campuses, identify key commitments necessary for change, and envision how undergraduates can work to create the college culture they truly desire and deserve.
Oxford University Press
New York, NY
Koch Chair in Catholic Thought & Culture Book Gallery, hookup culture, neighbor-love, happiness, justice, ethnography, undergraduates, Christian sexual ethics, Johann Metz, sexual assault, theology
Higher Education | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Beste, Jennifer Erin. 2018. College Hookup Culture and Christian Ethics : The Lives and Longings of Emerging Adults. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.