The World According to Y: Inside the new adult generation Paperback – 1 Mar 2006
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"Exposes the foibles and interprets the at times apparently scattered behavior of our newest generation." Bernard Salt, author, "The Big Shift""
About the Author
Rebecca Huntley is a Gen Xer. She has a PhD in Gender Studies, has worked as an academic and a political staffer, and is now a freelance writer. She is married and lives in Sydney.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book uncovers the self-inflicted contradictions that the new generation faces, but in doing so also shows the Yers for whimpering jeuveniles who continue to want life provided to them on a platter - no hard decisions to make, lots of money for little work, etc., until they have got sick of their parties and world treks and realise they have commitments. A recurring theme in this book is contradiction:
"This concern for the spiritual amongst a generation famous for its drive to consume, have fun and live for the moment seems contradictory. But this is a contradictory generation, called Generation Paradox by some market researchers. But their interest in fun and material goods doesn't negate the fact that for Yers something is missing."
Personally, I liked this book. Although it was a light read, it covered a broad range societal issues beyond those specifically related to Yers, and you should find yourself nodding along to most of what is written - mainly because there's nothing new here. But it does bring it all together in one place. Possibly this may be the problem with this book: after reading it I would very much categorise myself (if I was so inclined) as a Yer, even though I am outside the recognised age range.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I do not support many of her conclusions, as I think there simply is no solid evidence to support them. However, as a social commentary and opinion piece, this is a worthwhile read, and the author is a clear and critical thinker.
If you're looking for the 'magical' insight into your new workforce, or your children etc., that most self-proclaimed experts offer, then this isn't the book for you. If, however, you are looking for an alternative to the dozens of trite management-focused 'Gen Y' books that actually offers some critical social thought, then this may be a good book for you. As this is an Australian book many of the points and examples raised may not be generally applicable to the US, though.
- I appreciated the quotes from first hand interviews with Gen Yers
- May be helpful to someone who is completely unaware of the "Gen Y" concept
- To be honest, I haven't finished this book yet (several months on I'm only on page 151/188 of text), and it is on a topic I am quite interested in.
- It seemed to state the obvious (commonly held beliefs/feelings of Gen Yers), but didn't give me what I was looking for (information on how to interact with older generations - namely the Boomers), especially in a workplace setting.
- this book is focused on Gen Y in Australia, which is similar to North American culture, but uses some different terminology, and has a few different issues for Gen Y; as a North American reader, I didn't enjoy it.
I mean, such "golly-mister" ambitions do not accord with what market demographers otherwise tell us about the current lot of early twenty-somethings. They're the ones the Culture Industry so breathlessly panders to, the ones who inform media content. If we regard these realities as more indicative than any rah-rah rhetoric they can muster, then here's what they say about themselves in the lifestyle choices they make: they're the MySpacers, the FaceBookers, the lappers-up of bloody delicacies proffered by the latest cinematic torture-porn, the freak-dancers, the body-obsessed, the compulsive exercisers, the blasé wearers of overpriced slave-sewn garments, and, most abhorrently, the tunnel-visioned enablers of the status quo. Abu Ghraib or Grindhouse -- it's all the same to them, just as long as the current geopolitical situation doesn't prevent them from plunging headlong into the economy to snatch up dollars that, if you pay close attention to how these twenty-somethings couch their remarks, they believe theirs by divine ordination. American prosperity, a pettifogging abstraction which conceals real exploitation and malfeasance, is for them a roasted goose of such abundant flesh as to surfeit generation upon generation forever. They scoff at such secular Armageddons as peak oil and global warming. Sure, they've seen Al Gore's film -- but that Hummer H2? Man, it's just to pimp a whip to pass up.
These folks represent, in other words, the undiminished legacy of the Eighties, the decade of their inception: "Show me the money, and Devil take the hindmost!"; "trickle-down" everything. They are all ripples and surfaces illumined by sparks of excessive self-regard, are the people for whom life is one elaborate reality-TV show. Children of the simulacrum. More troublingly, they're a generation for which the contortions of public relations have become a veritable habitus: good is what nourishes the ego; evil is what you didn't get away with. The real is the rational. They'll certainly profess to hold the interests of others as they're own, when it's convenient to do so, but the clichés with which they express these interests, and the utterly diffuse and noncommittal means they suggest to secure them ("I owe other people a friendly smile." "The best thing I offer other people is the ability to listen." Political boilerplate at its most nauseating.) leaves you suspecting that they're real desire is to drink and fornicate and speed in their cars and get over on each other.
Unlike people their age of decades past, they're not romantics; they opt instead for the treacly cynicism that is "enlightened" permissiveness. They're infantile, and, if crossed, will rage and will seek revenge remorselessly. They are, in short, preening monsters of inconsequence. This is, however, something this generation's advocates will never tell you; to them, they are the dominant ideology made toned, flawless flesh, shaped in the most flattering light and without shadow or remainder. You can almost see them in the studio sleekly basking in the eminently deserved approbation which dull pseudo-liberal hordes slavishly heap on them.
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