How 20-Something’s Fare Rough Times: Some of Us Go Home, Others Wish They Had One

Dec 6th, 2010 | By | Category: Trends To Watch

I recommend looking through two timely articles that underscore the coming of age experience of today’s youth in a torpid economy. The first article, from the New York Times Magazine, highlights the modern trend of huge numbers of nest-ridden and unemployed baccalaureates, a.k.a. “boomerang” youth. And the other, from the San Francisco Bay Guardian, illuminates the difficulties of young adults in San Francisco who are not as well-off as their middle class, college-educated peers, and who are likely to not only be unemployed in this recession, but also end up displaced by urban developments, disconnected from social services, become homeless, or wind-up incarcerated.

As the first article addresses, the distinct stage of life “adolescence,” and the appropriate institutions and networks of support to match the specific needs of this stage of life, was socially constructed after the economic changes of the last century. The important discussion to take away from the two articles surrounds the issue of how the economic, social, and cultural blurring of adolescence and adulthood in today’s world–now at work in all levels of the social strata–should affect the present institutions and networks of support (i.e. child welfare, higher education, and workforce development) for groups of young people who need us the most to become healthy adults, indispensable parts of their own communities, and future civic leaders.

By Justin Slaughter, TAYSF

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