Thursday, November 4, 2021

Is There Really A Generational Divide?

Professor Kaplan sent me a link to a very interesting essay published in the Wall Street Journal. The Bunk of Generational Talk  dismisses the stereotypes of the various generations and points out that society's discussions should be about the real issues the generations face.

[S]uch stereotypes, myths and contrived conflicts can be genuinely destructive when they stand in the way of a real understanding of generational differences, which shape our attitudes and behaviors on many key issues: religion, sexual activity, smoking, drinking alcohol, connection to political parties and trust in other people.

Our wrongheaded thinking about generations leads us to focus on the wrong problems. Headlines about spendthrift young people, for example, distract us from the huge shift in economic policy in recent decades toward the interests of older people. We avoid facing up to a challenge like climate change by laying the blame on older generations while placing our expectations for salvation on the coming generation. Across a range of issues, manufacturing fake generational battles denies us the benefits of intergenerational connection and solidarity.

The article destroys the generational myths and stereotypes on some of the major issues facing us today as well as the reasons for the popularity of such myths.  This is an excellent article and I plan to assign it to my students.

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