Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Beating on Young People

It's rare that I would post anything from Nerve.com, and the whole of this essay, "Coming Home: The Sexual Trials of the Boomerang Kid" is certainly NSFW, but I was struck by this graf:

The journalist-shrinks all seemed to think we boomerang kids favored our parents' homes over the bright and terrifying world of adult responsibility. They made us sound like Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, whimpering, when anyone asked what we were doing, "I'm just sort of drifting... here ... in the pool." But, like most of my friends who lived at home, and like none of the boomerangers profiled in the blitz of articles, I worked full-time. I didn't pay rent, but I helped out with other bills. It infuriated me that this trend was attributed to some soft-headed psychological bullshit and not to pure economics.

On a related note, the author of last year's anti-youth book, Generation Me, is on the verge of getting some of her research published in an actual scientific journal. She argues based on personality testing that the Millennials are more narcississtic than previous generations. The interesting thing is that she, a PhD psychologist, published a whole popular book based on her pet theory without any previous academic recognition of its validity.

There's one piece of info on this subject that's always puzzled me when it's trotted out there:
Surveys show "current freshmen are much more interested in financial success and less in "a meaningful philosophy of life" than students were in the 1970s."

Current freshmen are under grossly expanded economic pressures compared to 30 years ago, including stagnating income, high student loan debt, and a greater necessity to work while in school. Maybe they're more interested in being well off because they're an entirely different class of people than the overwhelmingly white, male, middle class freshmen of the 1970s.


The Urban Naturalist said...
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The Urban Naturalist said...

A refutation to the Generation Me argument from an unlikely corner-ESPN. (http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?columnist=buccigross_john&id=2788870&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab5pos1) Read John Bucciogross's attempt to refute a questionable theory with an interview of rookie defenseman Erik Johnson. Not to be confused with Erik Christensen who lit the lamp twice in the Penguin's come from behind win against the Flyers on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Anya: Yours is a very interesting blog.
I am not american, but I share most of your concerns regarding crappy jobs, debt and the financial crisis we under 35´s must undergo.
I am a doctor in Argentina, and believe me it is very very difficult for me to make a living on my own.
That is why I still live with my mother. _I hate the situatin, but no matter how hard I try, I just can´t live on my own (financially speaking) . My friends are lawyers and architects and they live the same situation.
I know that eventually I´ll make it, but i really never thought I would be in this situation at 28 years old.

Anonymous said...

This generation me thing is bullshit. A bunch of nonsense. How can a survay depict a humans behavior in a real sisuation. IT CANT!! sorry but the whole theory lacks validity