Home Concepts Adult Development The Social and Cultural Characteristics of Generational Age Groups

The Social and Cultural Characteristics of Generational Age Groups

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Millennials feel their greatest advantage is being born into a technological society.  They are the experts in social media and know how they work. Having had the Internet most of their lives, they are used to possessing knowledge at their fingertips at all times. Especially are they skilled at multitasking, and they can balance a mobile data terminal and a 12-lead electronic patient care device and still hold a conversation (Endnote 30).

Many employers consider Millennials the hottest workers since WW II’s Rosie the Riveter. They’re sociable, optimistic, realistic, talented, team-oriented, open-minded, tenacious, influential, technically savvy, and achievement-oriented. Because Millennials grew up with heavily scheduled lives, they are well-suited to such work environments. In the workplace they want a job that provides great personal fulfillment. They also look for employers who can help them to achieve their goals, and they want open and constant communication and positive reinforcement from their boss. Guidance is important in helping them to manage their time effectively, and to avoid getting overly stressed (a remnant of their childhood) (Endnote 31).

Millennials started their political awareness during the Clinton years. They are evenly dispersed across the political spectrum, believe no political party has all the answers, and flocked to Obama during the last presidential election. They are more likely than any other generation to hold liberal or progressive opinions across all economic, environmental, security, crime, education, and social issues. And they tend to have relatively positive and optimistic perceptions about the political process and their economic futures (Endnote 32).

Community service seems to be embedded in Millennials’ DNA; it’s part of their generation to care about something larger than themselves. Rather than “keeping up with the Joneses,” they want to help others. Surveys show that people born between 1982 and 2000 are the most civic-minded since the generation of the 1930s and 1940s. Unlike culturally polarized Baby Boomers or cynical Gen-Xers, this is a generation of activist doers (Endnote 33). Indeed, in the 2009 Civic Health Index Millennials emerged as the “top” group for volunteering. They led the way in volunteering with a 43% service rate, compared to 35% for Baby Boomers (Endnote 34).

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