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In the real-life version of life imitating art, males in their late teens and early 20s are following different personal and career paths from their fathers. The net (yes, pun intended) results are exciting developments in technology and social media. The hubris of youth is the engine for innovation and entrepreneurship. So let “boys be boys.” They may just be on the verge of producing the next great social invention.


  1. Think about the typical psychological contract that develops when an individual joins a work organization. Now extend that to a personal relationship such as marriage. The article contends that 20-something men are shunning marriage and traditional careers. What role, if any, does the psychological contract play in this?
  2. What is the stereotype presented in the article? How are individuals like Mark Zuckerberg enhancing and/or changing the stereotype? Is the stereotype today any different from the one a young Bill Gates faced two decades ago?
  3. Use your own experience to determine what personality characteristics drive the new 20 year-olds. What characteristics do individuals like Zuckerberg, Chad Hurley, or Niklas Zennstrom possess that lead to their success?
  4. What forces lead these 20-somethings to shun the usual organizational career path in search of something different?

SOURCE: N. Rabin, “Two Cheers for the Maligned Slacker Dude,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at

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