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  1. #11
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Man I hate these names...

    I think Gen. Y is self-absorbed, but I think Gen. X was too. The endemic narcissism our society has might have really started taking off in the 70s, actually. It was certainly already in bloom in the 80s.
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  2. #12
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    No more or less than any other generation. I don't see self-absorbedness as a generation related trait.
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  3. #13
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Prior to the Boomer generation, community trumped individual. Boomers backlashed on themselves by going from one of the most altruistic generations to becoming one of the most self-absorbed and selfish generations. Gen-X and Y followed suit.

  4. #14
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    Actually, the Boomers were the most idealistic and rebellious of recent generations when young. They have overall been a highly untraditional generation (for better and for worse).

    Like many Gen Yers, many Gen Xers left school at a time of diminished expectations (depending on the timing), although Xers didn't face anything as bad as the current job market. Graduating into a bad job market tends to lead to being labeled as lazy or being "boomerang kids."
    Yes. Gen Xers also tend to value work-life balance, as opposed to their parents who were very job-focused. This also makes us seem "lazy."

    I would say, compared to us Gen Xers, Gen Yers seem to have had a much more managed, scheduled existence during childhood.

    My Gen Y coworkers seem like a good group, overall. I haven't had any real conflicts with them at work, so I can't speak to their expectations as coworkers. The old stereotype was that Gen Yers feel more entitled and expect work to be more flexible. No idea if that's true, and it seems a bit unlikely in the current work environment, where most people are clinging to whatever job they can find.
    I agree with this. I don't think Gen Yers are self-abosrbed.... they tend to actually be quite community-oriented, and are frequently involved in volunteer activities and community service. They are also "joiners" (Gen X, not so much!) and overachievers.

    The Gen Yers I work with are a good group too, but the college students I work with (still part of GenY/Millenials) do definitely have a tendency to express a degree of entitlement and also to be spoiled and sheltered. It's a result of the same thing that makes them overachievers, I think - their parents have scheduled every minute of their lives since they were young, which also means they were involved in every minute of their child's life, and continue to be so through the child's college years. (Seriously, some of the parents I talk to, you'd think their kid was 10 instead of 20. They're not called "helicopter parents" for nothing!!)

    For this reason, Gen Yers see their parents as the ultimate authority on everything, and sometimes have difficulty respecting the authority of, oh I don't know, college administrators... I think that's why I get so many calls from parents. We tell the kids things, but they don't believe it until their parents tell them. And I get a lot of parents calling saying things like, "I can't believe you would expect students to take a day off of class to go get a visa in Chicago," like they expect us to change the French Embassy's policy for their kid?? As if we had any control over it - we'd love our students not to have to go get their visas in Chicago in person, but that's the Embassy's policy! And I also hear, "Are you going over there with the students?" a lot. Um.... no.... your kids are adults, we're not chaperoning them!
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    Actually, the Boomers were the most idealistic and rebellious of recent generations when young. They have overall been a highly untraditional generation (for better and for worse).

    Gen Xers were mostly raised by parents of the Great Generation, when Gen Yers (aka Millennials) are the children of the Baby Boomers. That's why Gen X is a smaller cohort than the generations on either side (in the US, there are around 70 million Boomers and Gen Yers, while there are only about 43 million Gen Xers). This means Gen Xers are comparatively less powerful and less a media and marketing focus than the Boomers or Gen Y.

    Like many Gen Yers, many Gen Xers left school at a time of diminished expectations (depending on the timing), although Xers didn't face anything as bad as the current job market. Graduating into a bad job market tends to lead to being labeled as lazy or being "boomerang kids."

    I would say, compared to us Gen Xers, Gen Yers seem to have had a much more managed, scheduled existence during childhood. While some people ascribe an extended childhood to Gen Y, to me is seems almost like an early adulthood where you have felt responsible for managing your success and avoiding failure from an early age. It seems from my perspective that Boomer parents seemed to force a kind of achievement-ism on their kids from pre-school on.

    My Gen Y coworkers seem like a good group, overall. I haven't had any real conflicts with them at work, so I can't speak to their expectations as coworkers. The old stereotype was that Gen Yers feel more entitled and expect work to be more flexible. No idea if that's true, and it seems a bit unlikely in the current work environment, where most people are clinging to whatever job they can find.
    Excellent post, Seymour.

    I especially liked the part about Gen-Y being forced into an early adulthood.

    I'd never thought of it that way, but I think it's very relevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    I would suggest the idealisation of self-absorbtion, due to the misuse and popularisation of psycholgical concepts relating to the development of an authentic sense of self, as a possible factor. SelfLESSness was in most previous eras held up as the popular ideal to which members of society should aspire, after all. There are other factors coming into play, but this may be the one which has the most potent impact on the generation you refer to, in comparison with others.
    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I think Gen. Y is self-absorbed, but I think Gen. X was too. The endemic narcissism our society has might have really started taking off in the 70s, actually. It was certainly already in bloom in the 80s.
    "We are now in the Me Decade - seeing the upward roll of the third great religious wave in American history.” - Tom Wolfe, August 1976, New York Magazine

    I, personally, think the hippies kicked it all off... It was the whole counter-cultural revolution, that transformed us from a largely conformative society (i.e., society takes precedence over the individual) into one with many individuals who attempt to resist conformity.

    Not everyone buys in, though, and many who do buy in simply end up conforming to some other subculture.

  6. #16
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I think US society is in flux. Values are being challenged and questioned, so it doesn't surprise me that gen Y seems a little 'stunted' vis-a-vis the old school and it's expectations. The fact is that the paradigm of go to college, get married, work for a company, retire, simply doesn't work anymore, so young people are searching for another, more personal way, or are hiding their heads in confusion.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    Simple question. Complex answer.
    Absolutely, I would say that while there is so much about Generation Y which would indicate self-absorption that its also, somehow, simultaneously not self-aware or really conscious.

    Never before do I think there's been so much of everyones individual and social life determined by factors they are largely unconscious of or could be conscious of but fail to be or rationalise it all in a way that allows them to carry on how they always have minimising conflict or crisis of conscience.

  8. #18
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    I, personally, think the hippies kicked it all off... It was the whole counter-cultural revolution, that transformed us from a largely conformative society (i.e., society takes precedence over the individual) into one with many individuals who attempt to resist conformity.
    Yes, I pretty much think that's what happened, too. Of course, there are elements of non-comfortmity that are great. Actually, what I think it is, is that I really love non-conformity but I think anti-conformity is very stupid.

    There is this good advice to question all authority. It seems to me that the advice went wrong when people started thinking question was a synonym for reject or dismiss. I think, contrary to their own high self-opinion, most counter-culturalists do not question much. They are very undeliberate compared to, say, me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Not everyone buys in, though, and many who do buy in simply end up conforming to some other subculture.
    Well of course. You'd have to be some kind of hermit to avoid that. The great wave of people trying to resist conformity is an ironic joke on a macro-social scale. It is bound to be a contradiction. You get to be unique and special like everyone else.

    Which reminds me of another thing. The 70s kicked off that whols self-esteem policy that was never validated by any research. Low self-esteem makes students perform poory. Low self-esteem drives people to be bullies. You know the stuff. It's amazing how long it took for research of these popular beliefs to actually start. And what research is finding is that they were all wrong.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Which reminds me of another thing. The 70s kicked off that whols self-esteem policy that was never validated by any research. Low self-esteem makes students perform poory. Low self-esteem drives people to be bullies. You know the stuff. It's amazing how long it took for research of these popular beliefs to actually start. And what research is finding is that they were all wrong.
    I remember being fed that garbage when I was five.

    I knew it was garbage then.

    Total circular reasoning.

    Axiom: The root cause of every problem is lack of self-esteem.
    Therefore: X was caused by lack of self-esteem.
    Question: What if it was something else?
    Answer: Refer back to axiom.

    Too obvious... I know nothing about the research, though...

  10. #20
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    I'm starting to see definite voyeuristic potential for this thread if anyone takes the bait:

    "It's the Hippies, stupid!"

    "No, stupid, it's the Capitalists."

    "Hippies!"

    "Capitalists!"

    "HIPPPIES!"

    "CAPITALISTS!"

    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

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