Everyone knows the Millennial Generation (born 1982-2003) is obsessed with electronic media—video games, social networking, and MP3 players. But few recognize that this obsession extends to books in ways that are both saving and transforming the publishing industry.
A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 8- to 18-year old Millennials spent 43 percent more time interacting with various forms of media in 2009 than they did in 1999.
Yet during this period, almost half (46%) of the Millennials surveyed spent at least part of their day reading books, a percentage that remained steady throughout the decade. Even as computer usage quadrupled for these teens and tweens and video-game playing more than tripled, books remained of interest to a generation often accused of being more interested in texting than writing, and more likely to use an iPod than a Kindle.Read more
The debate over legislation to stop online piracy revealed not only the threat that a new generation of consumers presents to the entertainment industry’s traditional business model, but the equally shaky future of the way Congress currently conducts its business. The high tech, Internet-based companies that Hollywood most fears used their clout with America’s most coveted customers, young Millennials, to stop a rush to pass the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and its Senate twin, Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).
The success of the Wikipedia-led Internet blackout demonstrated the way Congress goes about its business is as susceptible as the entertainment industry’s business model is to disruption from the energy and attitudes of a new, digitally native generation, Millennials (born 1982-2003). The film and television industry’s foundation, built on the notion that content will triumph ṻber alles, was shown to be just as prone to destruction by the Napster virus as its cousin in the recording industry was a decade ago. It turns out that consumers like companies that distribute content, such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon, more than they like the companies who produce and package the content and insist on being paid for it.
As Mr. Dooley, Peter Finley Dunne’s astute Irish-American barkeep, observed over a century ago, politics rather than legal precedent, makes it likely the United States Supreme Court will negate the 2010 Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) this year. Every 80 years, the Supreme Court has decisively entered a sharply divided political process to provide its own answer to the fundamental question of American politics: what is the scope and purpose of government? Each time, it has attempted to reinforce the generational and party alignments of a previous era in the face of challenges from the beliefs and partisan preferences of an emerging civic-oriented generation like today’s Millennials (born 1982-2003). This eighty year cycle is due to be repeated in 2012.
The first time the Court attempted to authoritatively resolve an ongoing, deeply divisive political conflict and reaffirm the political arrangements of a previous era was in the dreadful 1857 Dred Scott decision. Before the Court issued its infamous dictum in this case, Congress had struck a careful balance between pro- and anti-slavery forces with the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Based on that agreement, states were admitted to the Union in pairs—one slave and one free. Eventually, driven by the uncompromising ideological beliefs of the Transcendental Generation (born 1792-1821), which were as sharply divided as today’s Baby Boomers, continued accommodation became impossible. In Dred Scott, the Court attempted to impose its own solution by declaring the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional. Its ruling, in effect, made slavery legal throughout the entire country and denied citizenship to blacks, even those who were free.Read more
In 1987, as the oldest members of the Millennial Generation (born 1982-2003) were entering kindergarten, the groundbreaking television show, Thirtysomething, began its Emmy-award-winning, four-year run.
The one-hour drama focused on eight Baby Boomers struggling with the conflicting demands of work and family as the generation known for its rebelliousness attempted to settle into the culture and routine of suburban life.
January 2012 marks the date that these “first Millennials” will be 30 years old. For the next two decades, America’s most populous and diverse generation, defined in its teens and 20s by its penchant for social networking and sharing, will enter the phase of life when the choices dramatized in “Thirtysomething” will become central to their generation’s persona.
With President Obama’s speech in Osawatomie, Kansas channeling Teddy Roosevelt and decrying the growing economic inequality and lack of upward mobility in America, the issue has finally arrived at the center of this year’s campaign debates. While most discussions of this growing inequality focus on the gap between America’s poorest and richest citizens, a recent report by the Pew Foundation highlights how the same economic trends over the last two and a half decades have also widened the wealth gap between the oldest and youngest Americans to the highest levels in history.
In a time of great political unrest and economic anxiety, this inter-generational wealth gap has the potential to throw gasoline on an already white hot fire. Only by understanding the sources of this increasing disparity can the country develop policies that will help to close the gap and create a fairer, less economically stratified society.Read more
The gap between the support Millennials have for the beliefs of the protest movement and their less than enthusiastic backing of it, suggests both the opportunity for success Occupy still has and the danger to the movement if it fails to focus its strategy on attracting Millennials to its cause.
With municipal authorities disrupting and dismantling the Occupy movement’s encampments in cities across the country, many are questioning if the movement can survive without its most visible symbol of sustainability. Now that its physical presence is under siege, the need for the movement to attract more members of the Millennial generation – and align itself with its beliefs and behaviors – becomes even more critical. Demographic figures show that any social movement or trend endorsed by America’s youngest and most populous generation – the Millennial generation (born 1982-2003) – is likely to shape or even dominate American life in the decades ahead, while any rejected by it is likely to fall by the wayside.Read more
We’ll leave that for others to chew on, especially because we are not yet certain that these protests are Millennial enough. If they were, Occupy would have a greater chance of success as a movement. But Millennials clearly sympathize with the fundamental message of Occupy. Beset by over a trillion dollars in college loan debt and high unemployment, they believe the system isn’t working for them.
While most religions believe their doctrines and practices to be eternal verities, all denominations, like other institutions, must continually enlist and renew the commitment of each new generation if they are to survive and carry on their work. At perhaps no other time in the nation’s history has this task been more challenging for America’s religious faiths than it is now.
It is not that the country’s newest generation of young adults, the Millennial Generation, rejects the spiritual values that deeply permeate the nation’s culture.
Americans, to a greater extent than those who live in other Western countries, believe in God (in numbers ranging from two-thirds to 80 percent depending on how pollsters ask the question). Millennials, born in the years 1982 through 2003, fully share this belief with older generations, according to the Pew Research Center. Two-thirds of Millennials (64 percent) are certain God exists.Read more
Since the Republic was conceived, communication technologies have rapidly evolved to reduce the time and distance that separate Congress from the public. But as the most recent poll results show, at least in this case, familiarity breeds contempt.
Too many of Congress’s procedures and practices have remained trapped in a time warp. To reverse the slide in its credibility, Congress needs to create a new connection between citizens and their representatives. It should start that process by adopting some of the millennial generation’s (born 1982-2003) favorite technologies, especially social media, to build a more transparent, open and participatory legislative process.
What will American families be like in the Millennial era?
Millennials (young Americans born from 1982-2003) are now beginning to marry and form their own families—or at least thinking about it. What will American families be like in the Millennial era? If history and generational theory provide any guide, Millennial families will be very different from the Baby Boomer and Generation X-parented families of the past four or five decades.
Social scientists define a generation as the aggregate of all people born over about a twenty-year period in a demographic group. Together those who comprise a generation share a common location in history, and, according to survey research, common beliefs, behaviors, and perceived membership in their generation. Today, another new generation—the Millennial Generation —is emerging into young adulthood.