This chapter focuses on the children who have learned work and health patterns within their own families as U.S. households have become sites of productivity and care again. These youth are native to the conditions of the new economy and constitute the third wave of change. Young people, newly on their own, make the transition to self-care and self-direction. Various institutions and ego-centered networks buffer the impact of that transition to some extent. Behaviors and skills learned include gaming and experimentation, building, pruning and maintaining networks, managing their own sexuality, and reconciling competing forms of work morality. These technologically-saturated young people are part of an experience economy in which they make themselves interesting, and hence competitive, both formally in a global knowledge economy and in an informal economy of networked reciprocity. One of the key characteristics of this group is immersion in deep diversity, and a more facile and experimental use of general cultural competencies than is seen in their elders.
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