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Tag Archives: Millennials

teamwork-382677_1920by Karla Erickson

How do we make sense of our lives and choices when we are told we are living amidst decline? As one way of thinking about the consequences on self-making in the post-recession economy, I have embarked on a new study of young workers called Millennials Navigating Lean Times, which uses interviews and observations of students from the millennial generation as they transition from college and make sense of opportunity, failure, luck and choice in the post-recession economy.

By interviewing graduates between 2000 and 2015, I capture their surprise, frustration, and how they make sense of opportunity and failure as they encounter a dramatically different world than the one encountered by their parents. Since 2013, along with two undergraduate research teams, I have interviewed 30 recent graduates of liberal arts schools asking questions about turning points in their careers, decision points, achievements, failures, and what they have learned about themselves from their working lives. The terrain on which they attempt to build adult lives feels new, uncertain.

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by Joan Williams

A recent article in Slate (based on an article in the Guardian) reports that many young Japanese have lost interest in sex. The Japan Family Planning Association found that 45 percent of women aged 16-24, and 25 percent of the men, “were not interested in or despised sexual contact.” A 2011 survey found that 61% of unmarried men and 49% of women aged 18-34 were not in a romantic relationship. A third of Japanese under 30, according to another study, have never dated at all.

What’s the turnoff? Traditional gender roles. “Japan’s punishing corporate world makes it almost impossible for women to combine a career and family,” the Guardian journalist Abigail Haworth writes, “while children are unaffordable unless both parents work.” Nearly 70 percent of Japanese women quit their jobs after their first child, forced out by long hours and hostility toward working mothers, not-so-affectionately called oniyome (“devil wives”).

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