Gen Y is sometimes characterized as a consensus-seeking, sheltered and less than rebellious generation. The recent Occupy Wallstreet movement is showing a “Generation Debt on the barricades“, on blogs, Twitter and Tumblr. American GenY’ers feel betrayed by the system and at the heart of that betrayal is student debt. Generation Y in the U.S. is getting more angry and more engaged than ever, so it seems. Occupy Wall Street is a manifestation of young people getting fed up with an unsustainable combination of huge student loan debt and shrinking job opportunities.
The American Dream
In the article on Huffington Post, Anya Kamenetz writes:
“Millennials, like all young people throughout history, have been pilloried for their sense of entitlement and lack of perspective, but that’s exactly what gives them the moral high ground here. They feel entitled to a better future than what they’re facing. They believe, as they’ve been taught to believe, in an America of rising prospects and expanding opportunities. They’re not living in that America anymore. So the challenge for Generation Debt at the barricades is to reach high in imagining what kind of country they DO want to live in. Because the old American dream — a house in the suburbs, two cars, two kids — is neither widely sustainable nor frankly desirable.[…] So the challenge for Generation Debt at the barricades is to reach high in imagining what kind of country they DO want to live in. Because the old American dream — a house in the suburbs, two cars, two kids — is neither widely sustainable nor frankly desirable. “
Research by Mr.Youth
Youth-focused research firm Mr.Youth did a research to this subject. The company’s research shows the following results:
- 70 percent of students say the economy has had a negative impact in some way on their job prospects after college.
- 86 percent of graduates say a four-year degree is not giving them the leg up that they need in order to find a job in the current market
- 62 percent of young people the agency spoke to believe that the overall financial system has created a mountain of debt for their generation to inherit.
- Half believe that the U.S. financial system serves only the rich and has eroded the middle class.
- When asked about their feelings about the protests, 20 percent of young people said that they’re actually outraged, 37 percent said they’re at least angry, and only 24 percent felt neutral about them.
Christian Borges, VP of Marketing at Mr.Youth: “This isn’t a generation like a Gen X where we were very rebellious of authority and of our parents. Working together and listening to your parents and respecting that discipline is definitely part of who Gen Y are. So for them to be able to come out against authority, definitely is establishing them as wanting to take action.”
Occupying GenY DNA?
Only 24 percent is neutral on this matter. According to this article, Generation Y “is conservative and family-focused, they often marry young. With both parents often working, they’ve spent more time alone than other generations, thus the desire for a strong sense of family.” The American Dream (a house in the suburbs and two cars + kids) is falling apart for GenY’ers in the US and the Occupy Wallstreet movement shines a light on that. What do you think of this research and this recent developments? Do you think this movement that started on Wallstreet and is now taken over in cities everywhere in the world, will affect the thinking and DNA of a whole generation?