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The Millennial Generation: Two Views


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Here are two perspectives on the millennial generation, young people who are entering their 20's. One very positive, and another somewhat appreciative but sour.

Do either of these views connect? Are they accurate portrayals of Sikh youth now in their late teens and early 20's. If you are in your late teen's or early 20's, then what is your reaction to these editorials?

A positive view

Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change. (full report is attached to this thread)

Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change. - Pew Social & Demographic Trends

This is part of a Pew Research Center series of reports exploring the behaviors, values and opinions of the teens and twenty-somethings that make up the Millennial Generation
Executive Summary

Generations, like people, have personalities, and Millennials -- the American teens and twenty-somethings who are making the passage into adulthood at the start of a new millennium -- have begun to forge theirs: confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change.

They are more ethnically and racially diverse than older adults. They're less religious, less likely to have served in the military, and are on track to become the most educated generation in American history.

Their entry into careers and first jobs has been badly set back by the Great Recession, but they are more upbeat than their elders about their own economic futures as well as about the overall state of the nation.

A different view
The millennial generation test

Will tough economic times dampen their sense of optimism and entitlement?

The millennial generation test - Los Angeles Times

Many generations test their mettle in a crisis that defines them through the ages. The "Greatest Generation" had World War II. The baby boomers had Vietnam. Now the millennial generation -- the computer-savvy, coddled and {censored}y children of the 1980s -- may find that the current financial crisis is their crucible. If they survive it.

Variously dubbed "Generation Me," "Generation Y" or the "Everyone Gets an Award Generation," today's twentysomethings are to the boomers what the Japanese are to electronics. If the baby boomers invented me-first hyper-individualism, then the millennials have perfected it. Indeed, millennials are the children of the boomers, the product of family planing and the cult of self-esteem. They are hellbent on making it by their own rules.

A lot of those who are studying millennials have identified this "we'll do it our way" tendency as a sign of entitlement and weakness; by this logic, this won't be the greatest generation, just the whiniest and the neediest. But in my experience -- I'm Generation X with the Ys on my heels -- and in the studies of another set of observers, all that confidence instills in them just what their folks hoped it would: resilience. OK, arrogance and resilience

Not long ago, the economy seemed poised not only to embrace the millennials but to start taking orders from them. A survey by Jobfox, an Internet job site, found that millennials prefer setting their own work hours, being treated as equals and, because they understand that sooner or later everything becomes obsolete, constantly learning new skills.

"Businesses," said Jobfox Chief Executive Rob McGovern last fall, "must learn new ways to incorporate Gen Y views. ... The companies that succeed ... will be the ones that can most inspire Generation Y. This is the most educated and technologically savvy generation ever."

But that was before the financial crisis. The recession is hitting younger job-seekers hard. There are fewer jobs available, and many older workers are either trying to delay retirement or reenter the job market.

"If [millennials] don't adjust to reality, many are going to end up with a lot of disappointment," said Jean Twenge, the author of "Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled --and More Miserable Than Ever Before." "But that would be true even if they had realistic expectations, which they don't."


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