What is Generation Y Characteristics Important historical events

Generation Y

Generation Y, better known as the millennial generation (term that is preferred instead of the English word, millennial) , is the demographic cohort of people born between approximately 1981 and 1995 . This nomenclature comes from the Anglo-Saxon world, so it might not be accepted or recognized throughout the world, but it is commonly used in popular speech and in contemporary media.

Millennials fall between Generation X and Generation Z , and for that reason are identified by the letter Y. As with other demographic groups, the start and end boundaries of the “Millennial Generation” are approximate and are study of social classes stands out. This topic involves many aspects and can be understood from different angles; therefore, it is the subject to discussion. Something similar occurs with their generational traits, which were the subject of numerous comments and discussions in the media at the beginning of the 21st century.

The name “millennials” is due to the fact that they were the last generation of the 20th century and the first to finish their school studies in the 21st century, and was coined by William Strauss and Neil Howe in 1987. However, they have been nicknamed by other ways, such as “ new boomers ” given the surge in birth rates of the 1990s, or “global generation”, “ next generation ” or “ net generation ”.

In terms of their character, Strauss and Howe summarize the traits of the millennial generation into seven key elements: special, protected, confident, team-oriented, conventional, pressured, and successful. However, these considerations have been rejected as simplistic and stereotyped, and in their place the category of “pragmatic idealism” has been proposed as the spirit of the millennium: the conviction that the world must be improved , and that to do so it is convenient to rethink already existing institutions. often work out of them.

Characteristics of Generation Y

In very general terms, millennials are characterized by the following:

  • They were born between the 1980s and 1990s (usually between 1981 and 1995), and are generally the children of Generation X or younger baby boomers . They represent 22.4% of the current world population and their age range at the beginning of 2023 ranges from 30 to 43 years.
  • They were the last generation of the 20th century and the first to experience the digital revolution at an early age. In fact, the last members of the generation are usually already digital natives.
  • They are technological inhabitants , accustomed to the use of computers and other information systems in the fields of work, recreation and communications. They were the first generation to create relationships through virtual means, and it is estimated that many handle them with greater ease than conventional face-to-face meetings.
  • They are less sporty than their Gen X predecessors, but interestingly they are more physically active and more concerned with exercise and physical well-being than the previous two generations and Gen Z.
  • In the workplace, they prefer schemes of greater freedom and less conventionality than their predecessors, who prefer teamwork, and generally spend little time in the same job. This is combined with a yearning for meaningful experiences and immediate rewards, as well as a great desire for transcendence, which according to some authors, led this generation to frustration and unhappiness.
  • They clearly tend to liberal ideas in the social and economic spheres , and the causes of animal protection, equal marriage and the legalization of drugs are very popular among them.
  • They are more prone to political correctness and minority advocacy than their predecessors , but far less so than Gen Z. Where millennials are perceived as “sensitive” or “spoiled,” Gen Z declares itself militant.
  • It is a generation that is highly prepared in academic terms , and it is often said that it is “overqualified”, since the economic and employment scenario that fell to their lot has not allowed them to meet the same expectations as generation X.
  • Many dedicate more effort to pleasure and passions than to traditional long-term projects . This has earned them numerous criticisms from sectors that accuse them of being “eccentric” or “immature”, as well as being nicknamed the “Peter Pan generation”, for trying to postpone their maturity as long as possible.

Important historical events experienced by generation Y

Some of the most significant historical events in the formation of the millennial generation were:

  • The arrival of the internet at home and the cell phone in the pocket . Throughout the 1990s, the internet made its big appearance in the world’s homes, forever changing the way young millennials interacted, who were the first to chat online, participate in forums and use messaging . Instant (like Hotmail Messenger ). Shortly after something similar would happen with cell phones and text messaging: millennials were the first young people to have a cell phone in their pocket.
  • The Y2K phenomenon and the end of the century (2000) . The arrival of a new century is always a source of anguish and expectations for humanity. In the case of the year 2000, the millennials had to deal with the predictions of a global financial catastrophe due to the collapse of computer systems that, supposedly, could not go from the year 1999 to 2000, but would return to 1900, thus bringing chaos. to the digital age. Something that, of course, never happened.
  • The attack of September 11 against the World Trade Center (2001) . The first and most serious of a series of international attacks carried out by Islamic terrorism from the radical group al-Qaeda, consisted of the hijacking of four commercial airline flights to direct their courses towards strategic objectives in the United States, such as the Pentagon or the Torres Twins of the World Trade Center in New York. These two were hit by planes and collapsed to the ground, leaving almost 3,000 dead and 25,000 injured. This event began the so-called “war on terrorism” declared by then US President George W. Bush.
  • Invasion of Iraq (2003) . As a consequence of the US “war on terror”, Iraq was taken over militarily by a US-led coalition that included countries such as the UK, Australia and Poland. It took place despite the opposition of the UN, which considered it an illegal invasion, starting the bloody war in Iraq (2003-2011) under the pretext that the dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
  • The rise of China as a world power (2003-2010) . In 2003, the Chinese nation abandoned its marginal position in global politics and joined the World Trade Organization, a gesture unexpected by many and which laid the foundations for this nation’s trade war with the United States. In 2010, China was already considered the second world economic power, and this was interpreted, along with the rise of other countries such as India and Brazil, as the advent of a multipolar world, in which the United States was no longer the only great power.
  • The Latin American “pink tide” (2001-2013) . With the coming to power of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Néstor Kirchner in Argentina, Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva in Brazil, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Tabaré Vásquez in Uruguay, Michel Bachelet in Chile and Rafael Correa in Ecuador, a decade began of leftist governments in Latin America, which to some extent shared a nationalist, anti-globalization and anti-imperialist discourse. This “pink tide” benefited from the high prices of raw materials ( commodity boom ) that began in 2000 and lasted until approximately 2014.

Differences between generation Y and generation Z

Generation Y and Generation Z have some characteristics in common, such as their technological affinity and their ways of relating. However, they have some notable differences:

  • activism . Generation Z seems to have a greater commitment than generation Y to social causes such as gender equality and environmentalism. Especially on social networks. In addition, they tend to have more presence than generation Y in marches and demonstrations.
  • technology . The millennials were a generation that comfortably adapted to the nascent digital world, the centennials, for their part, were born immersed in it.
  • Cultural consumption . The Internet and cable television brought with them new cultural consumption trends that were born with the millennials and consolidated in the world of generation Z. Currently, streaming platforms and social networks for music and videos (such as YouTube or Tik Tok) they allow centenials greater freedom when it comes to choosing their aesthetic trends.

What are the other generations?

In addition to generation Y, the following generations of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st are usually distinguished:

  • The silent generation . The generation preceding the baby boomers , whose individuals were born between 1928 and 1945, currently comprises 3.5% of the world’s population.
  • Baby boomers . So called due to the significant rise in birth rates that they staged, thebaby boomerswere born between 1946 and 1964, and currently represent 15% of the world’s population.
  • Generation X. Also called “the lost generation” or “the dumb generation”, it is considered a “bridge” generation between baby boomers and millennials. This is a generation that witnessed the great changes of the 20th century and includes those born between 1965 and 1980. Currently it represents 18.2% of the world population.
  • Generation Z or centennials . Also called “post-millennial” or “centuric”, it is the first generation of digital natives in history, and includes those born between approximately 1997 and 2012. It currently represents 23.7% of the world population.
  • Alpha Generation . The most recent of the generations to date, encompasses individuals born between 2012 and 2022, for the moment, so it is the first generation entirely born in the 21st century. It currently covers 17.2% of the world population.

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