The term “quarterlife crisis” is associated with difficulties transitioning to adulthood that are accompanied by feelings of panic, loss, and uncertainty. However, we argue that this experience could vary largely depending on the sociocultural context and requires delving into nuances to understand and appreciate the lived experiences of the young population transitioning in different contexts. The aim of this study is to explore young people’s experiences of quarterlife crises triggered from interactions with the social environment, taking into consideration both British and Indian contexts. Our participants are 22-30 years of age from the UK (n=16) and India (n=8) who self-define as having experienced difficulties “finding one’s place in the world.” Data were generated through photo-elicitation and timeline interviewing and analysed with Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. We focus here on one of the themes derived from this project: “perceived standards and unfulfilled expectations,” which involves the sub-themes of playing catch up, feeling responsible, and living up to social expectations. We consider our findings in light of Robinson and Smith’s (2010) theory of early adult crisis. Our study adds detail and subtlety with respect to ways in which young people experience threats to their self-worth as a central feature of quarterlife crisis within individualist and collectivist cultures.
life span, identity crisis, cross-cultural differences, young adulthood, visual methods, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.
Recommended APA Citation
Duara, R., Hugh-Jones, S., & Madill, A. (2023). Quarterlife Crisis in the UK and India: Perceived Standards and Unfulfilled Expectations. The Qualitative Report, 28(2), 392-416. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2023.5599