Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled--and More Miserable Than Ever Before
Called “The Entitlement Generation” or Gen Y, they are storming into schools, colleges, and businesses all over the country. In this provocative new book, headline-making psychologist and social commentator Dr. Jean Twenge explores why the young people she calls “Generation Me”—those born in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s—are tolerant, confident, open-minded, and ambitious but also cynical, depressed, lonely, and anxious.
Herself a member of Generation Me, Dr. Twenge uses findings from the largest intergenerational research study ever conducted—with data from 1.3 million respondents spanning six decades—to reveal how profoundly different today’s young adults are. Here are the shocking truths about this generation, including dramatic differences in sexual behavior, as well as controversial predictions about what the future holds for them and society as a whole. Her often humorous, eyebrow-raising stories about real people vividly bring to life the hopes and dreams, disappointments, and challenges of Generation Me.
GenMe has created a profound shift in the American character, changing what it means to be an individual in today’s society. The collision of this generation’s entitled self-focus and today’s competitive marketplace will create one of the most daunting challenges of the new century. Engaging, controversial, prescriptive, funny, Generation Me will give Boomers new insight into their offspring, and help those in their teens, 20s, and 30s finally make sense of themselves and their goals and find their road to happiness.
A confused and confusing polemic
By G. Desjardins - July 14, 2006
First, the high points. The author has a lot of interesting survey data that she uses compare the attitudes of "baby boomers" and "generation me".
She shows how today's youth are much more accepting of other races, cultures and sexual orientations; how people are open about their feelings; how women no longer face the kind of discrimination that they did 30 years ago; how young people want to do fulfilling things with their lives and are more self-reliant than ever.
And of course we see the downside: narcissism due to what can only be described as too much self-esteem; an unwillingness to take personal responsibility; too much of a focus on money and celebrity; and an epidemic of depression that no one has yet found a cause for.
The contrast between the generations is very interesting - dating someone outside your race is no longer an issue; the average woman in 2005 has a more aggressive personality (as measured by her survey) than the average man... read more
Interesting, but could have been better
By P. Chrzanowski - December 4, 2006
I'd describe this book as an interesting yet flawed work- it raises some interesting questions, but often fails to follow through with incisive analysis.
Any book that attempts to describe "a generation" is going to raise objections of over-generalization and, therefore, anyone who writes such a book really should start by explaining just why, exactly, this is a useful characterization. At a minimum, there are problems of periodization, inclusiveness, and timeliness.
Some generations have been shaped by world-historical events (e.g., WWII, Cold War, Great Depression) but, since that does not seem to be the case here, then why define a generation as beginning in 1973 instead of 1982, or 1989? And, although the author beats pretty hard on the diversity drum, her observations often seem entirely centered on her own white, liberal, upper-middle-class self. Perhaps that's inevitable, but, if her "generation" generalities do not include those who are non-white,... read more
An employer's perspective
By Jane Austen "Barb" "schriftstellerin" - February 28, 2007
I think this book explains a great deal about the attitudes of the current generation.
I can understand how the self-esteem movement got started: if children are constantly told "you're stupid, you're ugly, you can't do anything right, you'll never amount to anything", they will think poorly of themselves and grow up to be under-achievers because they lack self-confidence.
it does not follow that children who are constantly told how fabulous, wonderful and special they are will grow up to be successful adults!
Case in point: a twenty-something of my acquaintance quit her highly-paid job in outrage because her supervisor dared to criticize her! His criticism? That clients and co-workers were complaining that she was rude and patronizing towards them...
Another case: a Canadian Idol judge expressed his amazement, in an interview, that would-be contestants reacted with incredulity when told they had absolutely no talent... read more