Generation Me – a New Generation, Essay Example

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Arguments of Jean Twenge

Twenge feels that the young Americans of today have a great deal more confidence than their parents. Equally they are confident and have self-esteem but despite this they are exceedingly depressed and more miserable than previous generations.  The position is argued from the standpoint of 14 years research, comparing results of personality tests that were given to members of the baby boomer generation.

Today’s generation have highly optimistic outlooks in terms of the ability to obtain both a college and University education.  This ability to obtain a first class education in a leading country like the USA should translate to the ability to obtain a good job, earn  a lot of money and even become famous.  It translates to achieving the American Dream of having a great job, a good house and the luxuries that a good income provides.  However, reality has changed this to that of a ruthless financial economy where unemployment has soared, the costs of housing and healthcare have escalated to record levels and it is becoming exceedingly difficult to borrow or loan money.

Essentially this generation find themselves in an uncaring environment where they are thrust into competition where only the very best will survive and achieve their ambitions.  This has resulted in many teens thinking that the world demands perfection from them and they are starting to crack under the stress and pressure.  Despite being confident in their own abilities, the aspect of self-esteem, this is being beaten down by the demands of society stating you are not good enough.  The reality is that there are becoming fewer really good career opportunities and the big firms only want the best and brightest graduates.  It is the concept of not going just to University but ensuring you graduate from one of the top business schools or colleges from a business recognition perspective.

Generation Me – A new generation

Twenge clearly makes the connection between the pressures of society in order to make individuals succeed. The boosting of over confidence and building of self-esteem is to set individual standards which are unrealistic to the society that we live in.  Compare the number of graduates throughout the US Education system to the reality of good career opportunities being presented in industry today.  Costs are sky rocketing, unemployment is high, there are fewer jobs available and students are graduating with debts that may take a decade to repay.  Parents are also increasingly worried about how this has created more liberal attitudes towards sex with teenage and young students.  The consequences of HIV and other serious sexually transmitted diseases are a darker side where increased freedom has led to potential serious medical consequences at an early age.

There are ample medical and educational statistics that support the findings of Dr. Twenge.  Further economic and industrial statistics provide evidence of low growth in the USA, fewer jobs being created,  higher returns of unemployment  and less capital investment to support research and continued professional development of the young people entering the job market.  The increased level of retirement from ‘ the baby boomer period’ has left a lack of trained mentors and coaches in the system to pass on the skills and experience that industry demands.  This is particularly evident in manufacturing industry, the professions and the high technology / scientific research firms.

In Moore’s film Sicko he focuses on the plight of the health industry and the massive amount of underinsured Americans.  It is essentially a breakdown in Government administration to protect the basic rights of the individual i.e. a healthcare system for everyone regardless of class or creed.  It underscores Twenge’s point of a failing society, the concept of the younger generation being on their own and nobody is running to the rescue.

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