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Generational Differences

OMGJustinBieber
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8/22/2011 4:21:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I've been perusing a few papers online about supposed generational differences, and despite the natural inclination to disregard these kind of conclusions as generalizations the studies tended to reach similar conclusions.

Here's a few of them that I read about generational differences in the workforce:

http://rtc.umn.edu...
http://www.agts.edu...

Looking online I've also found opinions of the Millennials (1981-2000) ranging from everything to the next Greatest Generation to spoiled ingrates.

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So what do you think? Can we make these types of generalizations? How will the millennials change the work force? Is Generation X (1965-1980) really the ignored, pessimistic generation sandwiched between the boomers and the millennials? Just in my experience, many of the traits assigned to millennials - my generation, do jive with my personal experience.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/22/2011 4:29:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think, simply put, that the human population becomes wiser as the generations advance. We are better able to reason out life from both a scientific and philosophical stand point. As generations advance, we have more insight from the mistakes and the hurdles of the past. I agreed most with generation Y from the 2nd link.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
000ike
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8/22/2011 4:29:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/22/2011 4:29:09 PM, 000ike wrote:
I think, simply put, that the human population becomes wiser as the generations advance. We are better able to reason out life from both a scientific and philosophical stand point. As generations advance, we have more insight from the mistakes and the hurdles of the past. I agreed most with generation Y from the 2nd link.

1st link*
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
OMGJustinBieber
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8/22/2011 4:37:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/22/2011 4:29:09 PM, 000ike wrote:
I think, simply put, that the human population becomes wiser as the generations advance. We are better able to reason out life from both a scientific and philosophical stand point. As generations advance, we have more insight from the mistakes and the hurdles of the past. I agreed most with generation Y from the 2nd link.

Talk about a conversation starter!

There were more links though, would be interested to hear from older members. The generational groupings have also been subject to some variation. I know I've seen practices in the workplace - dress codes, for example, that seem largely irrelevant in modern times when so much communication is not face to face.

As mentioned in the articles though, it is a huge insult when a boomer asks me to work overtime. Work is not my life.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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8/22/2011 4:42:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I was born in '64, and am between the boomers and the xers. There are definitely generational differences particularly due to experience and economics. Those who went through the depression definitely had different values, some pretty admirable and lost. Those who went through WWII view the country differently than the generation today, and for me, i find it amazing that there are people that have no experience or real understanding of the cold war. Living with the constant threat of nuclear annihilation i guess can make you a bit pessimistic, along with being told to question authority, and all the watergate and vietnam stuff.

There is also a far greater number of kids who are just entitled to stuff. I never saw landscapers when i was a kid, because the kids always mowed the lawns. People never paid to have their lawns mowed, and if they did, it was usually the neighborhood kids that would do it. I had a paper route for a lot of years, and started when i was like 9, and walked to school when i was in kindergarten. Now there's no way kids would do any of that stuff, and their parents wouldn't allow it. So the generation is more provided for and sheltered.
GeoLaureate8
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8/22/2011 4:53:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I believe that this generation is much more intelligent and knowledgable than the previous generation, though it also seems a bit more arrogant. Kids these days are exposed to a lot more and aren't as sensitive and uptight as the people of older generations. They're always about tradition and staying in line with customs. The younger generations has no time or need for that bullsh!t.

One thing I do miss about the old days is the fashion and sophistication. Times when the casual clothes that everyone wore were a suit and tie, everything was fancy and classy, etc.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
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Kinesis
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8/22/2011 5:02:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/22/2011 4:53:18 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I believe that this generation is much more intelligent and knowledgable than the previous generation, though it also seems a bit more arrogant. Kids these days are exposed to a lot more and aren't as sensitive and uptight as the people of older generations. They're always about tradition and staying in line with customs. The younger generations has no time or need for that bullsh!t.

One thing I do miss about the old days is the fashion and sophistication. Times when the casual clothes that everyone wore were a suit and tie, everything was fancy and classy, etc.

Not Americans. Native born Americans are some of the worst educated people in the developed world.
OMGJustinBieber
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8/22/2011 5:05:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Millennials are certainly very educated, but I wouldn't immediately equate education with intelligence. While we're skilled technologically, the older generations certainly have their own sets of skills and plenty more experience.

A point that has come up in other articles is that there seems to be a broad commitment to civil service and a loosening of the ideological polarity (red state/blue state) that plagues this country among this generation as seen in political analyst David Gergen's speech to Cornell College and described in numerous other blogs and articles.

http://www.futuremajority.com...
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/22/2011 5:08:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/22/2011 5:05:58 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Millennials are certainly very educated, but I wouldn't immediately equate education with intelligence. While we're skilled technologically, the older generations certainly have their own sets of skills and plenty more experience.


The experience you're thinking about is age. The future elderly of Generation Y will be far wiser and have more experience than the elderly of The Traditional Generation and the Baby Boomers. History is the source of wisdom. Those who are exposed to greater history are exposed to more wisdom.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
OMGJustinBieber
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8/22/2011 5:11:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/22/2011 5:08:48 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/22/2011 5:05:58 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Millennials are certainly very educated, but I wouldn't immediately equate education with intelligence. While we're skilled technologically, the older generations certainly have their own sets of skills and plenty more experience.


The experience you're thinking about is age. The future elderly of Generation Y will be far wiser and have more experience than the elderly of The Traditional Generation and the Baby Boomers. History is the source of wisdom. Those who are exposed to greater history are exposed to more wisdom.

Implicit in this is the assumption that history is being rationally processed and interpreted by the members of a generation, or even cared about in the first place.
innomen
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8/22/2011 5:13:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/22/2011 4:53:18 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I believe that this generation is much more intelligent and knowledgable than the previous generation, though it also seems a bit more arrogant. Kids these days are exposed to a lot more and aren't as sensitive and uptight as the people of older generations. They're always about tradition and staying in line with customs. The younger generations has no time or need for that bullsh!t.

Yeah, right the SAT's have been dumbed down 3 times since i have taken them, and the literacy rates have steadily increased since i graduated HS. I see the kids to be self obsessed more so than previous generations, and if you ask your generation some basic history questions, like who fought whom in WWII, they have no clue. There are of course exceptions, and many come here to this site, but it has been my experience that many who are graduating high school today wouldn't be able to do so when i was at that age, same for college.

One thing I do miss about the old days is the fashion and sophistication. Times when the casual clothes that everyone wore were a suit and tie, everything was fancy and classy, etc.
Those days were before me.
PARADIGM_L0ST
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8/22/2011 5:35:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/22/2011 5:31:33 PM, Kinesis wrote:
What ever happened to the tophat anyway?:

They caused people to go crazy. Mad Hatters!

No, but, seriously... they really did. Look it up, pretty interesting.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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8/22/2011 5:44:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Actually, yes, we can and do make generational generalizations (that does not roll off the tounge well). In college, I took a class about the history of video games (as well as how to make your own basic game). The apply the same generalizations when determining what type of games to fund, since they want the most bang for their buck.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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8/22/2011 6:05:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/22/2011 4:21:54 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
I've been perusing a few papers online about supposed generational differences, and despite the natural inclination to disregard these kind of conclusions as generalizations the studies tended to reach similar conclusions.

Here's a few of them that I read about generational differences in the workforce:

http://rtc.umn.edu...
http://www.agts.edu...

Looking online I've also found opinions of the Millennials (1981-2000) ranging from everything to the next Greatest Generation to spoiled ingrates.

--------

So what do you think? Can we make these types of generalizations? How will the millennials change the work force? Is Generation X (1965-1980) really the ignored, pessimistic generation sandwiched between the boomers and the millennials? Just in my experience, many of the traits assigned to millennials - my generation, do jive with my personal experience.

Here's a fairly famous paper on generational differences and social engagement. It argues that civic engagement in American culture has declined not due to any specific social movement (like women in the workplace or desegregation) but to generational differences. That is, people don't leave their community groups, they just die and get replaced by kids who don't join in the first place.

Bowling Alone
Robert Putnam
http://xroads.virginia.edu...

I'm wary of all systems that try to classify generations in a repeating cycles. They tend to cherry-pick their events (especially when it comes to choosing wars). Instead, it's best to focus on how one generation changes into another.
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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8/22/2011 6:17:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/22/2011 4:21:54 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
Here's a few of them that I read about generational differences in the workforce:

http://rtc.umn.edu...
http://www.agts.edu...

A lot of the stuff brought up in the first reading are things people concern themselves with in the Human Resources field, which I'm kind of going to school for. The statistics and relevance of attitudes and the times and how that impacts the work environment is really interesting. In my HR classes I've enjoyed coming up with potential solutions to various issues.

I definitely agree that we are living amongst a more entitled generation. I am really young yet still notice a vast difference in attitude and work ethic between myself and those 5--10 years my junior.

I also disagree with Geo that we are living in a "smarter" generation. We have access to a lot of information and can obtain it quickly, but that doesn't say much about our ability to retain it, or ration and reason logically. A lot of our advantages are met with equal disadvantages too. Plus, those social advances are true for Western societies, but they're still pretty old school in many parts of the world.
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