Monday, January 26, 2009

Zogby's "First Globals"

You may not be aware of the American pollster John Zogby ( but don't go rushing off to his site before you have read the following.

Among his conclusions is: “We are in the midst of a fundamental reorientation of the American character… Away from wanton consumption and toward a new global citizenry in an age of limited resources.” He describes 18 to 29 years as the “First Globals": a “digital generation” that accepts all races, sexual orientations, and national cultures equally, intent on living sustainably in a unified world.

However, in order to assess that properly, you may want to keep in mind that Zogby comes from a Lebanese Roman Catholic family and describes himself as a Democrat. It may be that this is how that generation likes to think of itself. But is that how that generation actually is?

Well, this generation is undoubtedly digital (at least in the educated parts of the world, which are regretfully not the majority).

But it is worth reflecting on WHY this generation "accepts all races, sexual orientations and national cultures equally". What if this sort of "tolerance" is the fallback from it being too much like mental effort to think about the issues raised and much less effort to simply be "nice to all"?

And what if the interest in "living sustainably" is simply a similarly fashionable floating downstream along with all the other dead fish? I see very little evidence that this generation is prepared to spend more in order to choose "green products" or a "green lifestyle".

I do see evidence that this generation has a potential interest in putting itself to a certain minimum degree of exertion in order to help, but that marginal interest has not been tapped.

And I see no evidence at all that this generation is interested in being any less consumerist than its parents.

Zogby, being a political scientist and a pollster, presumably does not keep tabs on simple economic and financial matters.

If he did, he might notice the simple fact that this generation has higher levels of credit card and other debt than any other generation in history. Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

interesting. as one of the "digital" non-global, non-green generation, i agree that "being nice" is often the lazy way for our generation to obviate ourselves from the need to think why we tolerate anybody (apart from, perhaps including ourselves) at all!