Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials
By: Malcolm Harris
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
Millennials have been stereotyped as lazy, entitled, narcissistic, and immature. We’ve gotten so used to sloppy generational analysis filled with dumb clichÈs about young people that we’ve lost sight of what really unites Millennials. Namely:
– We are the most educated and hard-working generation in American history.
– We poured historic and insane amounts of time and money into preparing ourselves for the 21st century labor market.
– We have been taught to consider working for free (homework, internships) a privilege for our own benefit.
– We are poorer, more medicated, and more precariously employed than our parents, grandparents, even our great grandparents, with less of a social safety net to boot.
Kids These Days, is about why. In brilliant, crackling prose, early Wall Street occupier Malcolm Harris gets mercilessly real about our maligned birth cohort. Examining trends like runaway student debt, the rise of the intern, mass incarceration, social media, and more, Harris gives us a portrait of what it means to be young in America today that will wake you up and piss you off.
Millennials were the first generation raised explicitly as investments, Harris argues, and in Kids These Days he dares us to confront and take charge of the consequences now that we are grown up.
I ended up picking up this book after reading an article recently on Buzzfeed, How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation and how it perfectly encapsulated the challenges and realities our generation faces. I was curious to read more analysis on the matter so I picked up this book.