Where have all the good men gone?

Kara Powell | Mar 3, 2011

Where have all the good men gone? That’s a question asked by the Wall Street Journal in an article recently by Kay Hymowitz. We at Fuller, especially Chap Clark, have been talking about the lengthening of adolescence for years, and Hymowitz’s article is a helpful look at the extended adolescence of males in particular.

I found this paragraph in particular interesting:

“Like adolescents in the 20th century, today’s pre-adults have been wait-listed for adulthood. Marketers and culture creators help to promote pre-adulthood as a lifestyle. And like adolescence, pre-adulthood is a class-based social phenomenon, reserved for the relatively well-to-do. Those who don’t get a four-year college degree are not in a position to compete for the more satisfying jobs of the knowledge economy.”

I’m always fascinated by the intersection between socio-economic status and lifestyle, and Hymowitz may be right that pre-adulthood (aka “emerging adulthood” according to Jeffrey Arnett) is a phase more likely experienced by those who are middle class or upper middle class. It’s harder to delay adulthood when you are wondering how to feed yourself, or your family.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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