Adulthood, Delayed: What Has the Recession Done to Millennials?

Feb 14, 2012 Read more: www.theatlantic.com 6

The Great Recession didn't just postpone financial independence for millions of young Americans. It also changed our attitudes about what it means to be an adult.

Generations are social constructs. There is no chemical or biological difference between Gen-Xers and Millennials, but we talk about them as if they were different species. That Gen-Xers grew up "independent" and Millennials grew up "entitled" aren't anthropological observations. Rather, they're marginally useful stereotypes. If it's true that members of a certain age group have commonalities that they don't fully share with older or younger groups, this isn't the result of generational determinism. It's just circumstance.

Read more

Since: May 11

Location hidden

#1 Feb 15, 2012
What I see in young people today (and as an older parent I'm around them a lot) is a serious case of arrested development. They just refuse to grow up.

The sad part about it is that many of them end up with babies or trying their hand at marriage and failing at it, then they drag their problems back home to mom and dad. And they have no qualms doing that. "Here, Mom...raise my kid for me."

I know times are tough, but so many of these young people just flounder about. They have college educations and still don't know what they want to do.

I'm inclined to believe the age of maturity has risen drastically. Watch any of these TV talent shows and you'll see millions of young people whining in front of the judges that they are the next big thing. These kids have no other ambitions in life other than "be famous." Even supposed grown adults quit their jobs and put their families in jeopardy for a chance to "pursue my dream."

I look at my grandfather who worked 3 jobs to support his family. If a dream ever entered his head he never it was how to put more food on the table for his children. My father worked long hours his whole life because people were depending on him.

People today want youthfulness to last forever. I find it an honor and a privilege to be older and to have the wisdom and maturity that comes with age and experience.

“I Offer You Truth!”

Since: Jul 07

Tampa, FL

#2 Feb 15, 2012
In the fast food, quickie divorce, instant online love, "I want EVERYTHING, and I want it NOW" era this generation wants everything immediately...except adult responsibility. THAT they want to put on hold until they've taken care of their partying.
Sheik Yerbouti

Pennington, NJ

#3 Feb 15, 2012
I am glad I grew up in a period of unprecedented prosperity in the US. Back then it was possible to get a world class education in the public schools.(50's)It was before (c)rap and other signs of a serious decline in western civilization. Today's young adults are undereducated, unfeeling and have an astounding sense of entitlement without any real work ethic. Makes me glad I grew up when I did!

“I Offer You Truth!”

Since: Jul 07

Tampa, FL

#4 Feb 15, 2012
Sheik Yerbouti wrote:
I am glad I grew up in a period of unprecedented prosperity in the US. Back then it was possible to get a world class education in the public schools.(50's)It was before (c)rap and other signs of a serious decline in western civilization. Today's young adults are undereducated, unfeeling and have an astounding sense of entitlement without any real work ethic. Makes me glad I grew up when I did!
Ditto that!

I graduated from high school in 1968. The schools I attended while growing up had become absolute hellholes within ten years of my graduation.

Our country seems destined for the same fate as the former great Greek and Roman societies.
DENG

Nanjing, China

#5 Feb 15, 2012
THE UNITED STATES ECONOMIC POLICIES OF THE LAST 40 YEARS ARE A DISASTER, AND THE MEDIA AND THE GOVERNMENT ARE NOW HAVING A VERY DIFFICULT TIME COVERING UP THE COLLAPSED ECONOMY THERE.
Johnny2071

Bronx, NY

#6 Dec 10, 2013
All I can say is if you're just coming out of college and can't get a decent job, your stuck at home for the rest of your days! Good luck putting up with today's BS television and the four walls.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

BusinessWeek Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News China Wants to Cut Down on Coal -- And That's B... (Oct '13) Oct '13 SpaceBlues 1
News Video: Frank Luntz on IRS scandal: administrati... (May '13) Jun '13 See the light 40
News BusinessWeek: Karl Rove Jokes About Todd Akin's... (Aug '12) Sep '12 the rest of us 46
News The Economic History of the Last 2,000 Years in... (Jun '12) Jun '12 Patriot 1
News David Sirota Smears Obama Campaign Manager Jim ... (Jun '12) Jun '12 Mitt s Dog Crate ... 1
News How America Spends Money: 100 Years in the Life... (Apr '12) Apr '12 PayThat CEO 4
Facebook Got Me Fired! (Mar '12) Mar '12 DrG 1
More from around the web