What is maturity? In answering this question, Tanya Loughead shows how maturity has traditionally been defined in a conservative fashion—as a patriarchal, heteronormative, pro-nuclear family project. Politics of Maturity challenges existing notions of maturity by raising fundamental questions about society and its structure. Which structures and experiences help us to mature, and which ones block us from maturing? How can we redefine what it means to be a mature person at this moment of capitalist devastation and climate catastrophe?
This book tackles maturity not merely as a problem of individual personality, but as a political and philosophical problem that requires revolutionary rethinking and redefinition. It envisions maturity as collective, liberationist enterprise that requires us to see and live differently. A progressive vision of maturity must define “progress” anew and prepare a ground that cultivates critical, open-minded thinkers.
Tanya Loughead is professor in the Department of Philosophy at Canisius College.
Chapter 1: What is Maturity?
Chapter 2: Psychoanalytic Approaches to Maturity
Chapter 3: Failure and Immaturity
Chapter 4: Maturity as a Political Project
Chapter 5: The Family is a Political Structure
Chapter 6: Maturing as Critical Openness
In Politics of Maturity, Tanya Loughead argues that maturity is less about finding our place in the world as it is, and more about living an authentic existence amidst the complexities of a world in need of repair. Rather than becoming increasingly sure of ourselves as we mature, maturity involves an ever-deepening humility. With a keen eye on the dynamics of multiple forms of oppression, Loughead outlines the practices in which we can engage that foster the sort of openness to destabilization that maturity requires.