I’ve gone through their piece a few times, and the only thing I’m sure about is they’ve substantially shifted the terrain of debate. As they argue, what’s really at stake here is not a generation gap per se, but a fundamental shift in social identies, on a par with the transition from tribal or ethnic identities to the rise of nation-state identities in the 18th and 19th century. Now, it’s the demise of the nation-state — thanks to globalization, technology, population mobility, and so on — that has triggered what they describe as a “seismic shift” in our identities, with Gen Y feeling the full brunt of it.
In our view, identifying the skills and supports young people need to cope with this kind of change should be one of our highest priorities as a society. We cannot simply assume that a whole generation will have the internal resources to figure it out for themselves. This new world has caused an identity shift; with it comes a new challenge that demands that we rethink many of the structures, attitudes, and relationships of the old world. There is no turning back the clock.
I have thoughts on this, but I’m not sure they are good thoughts. Anyone here want to chime in first?